Studying and Changing Jobs during a global pandemic.

Hi, my name is Debbie and I live in a small community, close to Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan. This time last year (Jan 2020), I was working full-time in a local supermarket and was completing my master’s part-time.

I remember going to college one evening and the lecturer said, ‘we had better try to cover everything tonight, because I don’t think that I’ll see you again.’ Thinking back, I didn’t realise how true that statement was! Not surprisingly, the following day, all classes were cancelled, and I had to complete my master’s Thesis from my sofa!

Work was very strange during that period; people were panic buying. It was very peculiar seeing people run around the shop buying lots of toilet paper out of fear of the unknown. At times, I had to ask customers to remove items from the till belt as they became too heavy and would not carry the goods.

A few months later, I decided that I was ready to take the leap and change job. This was a challenging time as I was finishing my education while trying to get to grips with social distancing in an office situation as well as learning about the role. After two months in the office, the Government advised offices to close, and we were told to go and work from home. It was unusual for me, from seeing hundreds of people passing through the shop daily, and then seeing my team in work, to getting excited about the daily routine of my neighbours as they passed by my window.

To anyone who is interested in either taking on a course part-time or even changing jobs, I would highly recommend it. Challenging yourself by putting yourself into new experiences can be daunting at first, but you grow so much as a person.

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