Dear Harriette:

I was previously a janitor for a school. Though schools are reopening, school days are limited, and I was officially notified that I will not be returning to work because my position was cut from the budget. Unemployment compensation for the pandemic is about to end. I’ve been searching for employment somewhere in my area but have been unsuccessful. I don’t have any degrees or skills.

I used to be so optimistic and applied for jobs knowing that I could sell myself up. But now that we’ve been home for so long, I feel like I don’t know how to get the go-getter attitude back. I feel like the only job I can qualify for right now is fast-food restaurants, and even then, positions are limited because I feel like everyone is trying to take whatever job they can, like me, and I have been unlucky. What else do I do to find a job, and what kind of jobs should I be looking for in this age of COVID-19?

— Struggling Worker

Dear Struggling Worker: Times are incredibly tight, and you are right to be concerned. You also know that the winning attitude that you once had is essential for you to maintain to make yourself appealing to potential employers. Remind yourself of your willingness to work hard and your ability to do whatever job is before you. Continue to apply at fast-food restaurants, but expand beyond there. Look around in your neighborhood, at community centers, houses of worship, soup kitchens, nursing homes and other public service organizations. Know that frontline organizations that service people suffering from COVID-19 may have openings for janitors. If you are willing to take the risk, that may be a viable option. Go online and look for labor jobs.

Write down the skills you used as a janitor and look broadly to see what companies are hiring. Do not give up.

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