Since being discharged from the military in early April, Stacy Gonzalez explains how life has been difficult to adjust to without the benefits and pay she was receiving and the hopes she has of finding a job to become financially stable during this pandemic.
Q: How long were you in the Marine Corps and what was your job?
A: I was in for four years, which is one full enlistment, and my job was Supply Administration and Operations, which translates into Supply Chain Management. Somewhere during my two-year mark, I transitioned into finance and budgeting.
Q: Coming out of the Military into the COVID-19 pandemic, what were some challenges you have faced on a daily basis?
A: Finding a job! That was my biggest fear when I was in the military that I was going to come out to a struggle of not being able to get hired and here I am living that fear. Also everything that comes with not having a job, like health insurance. All that was stripped from me the day I got out.
Q: Have you applied to jobs since being discharged?
A: Yes, I downloaded several job finding apps and I’ve been applying every day. I just don’t get any calls back because the type of companies I’m applying at are either closed or a lot of jobs are requiring degrees, which I don’t have.
Q: What are the types of jobs you have applied for?
A: At first, because of the experience I have, I was applying for Supply Chain Manager positions as well as Finance and Bookkeeping, but I’ve opened up to simple administration positions like an assistant position or receptionist. I haven’t had any luck so I started applying to minimum wage retail jobs, not even from them I’ve been getting any calls back.
Q: With so many jobs either not hiring at all or requiring a degree, how has your motivation changed?
A: I decided to just let the world play out its plan with this virus. I still apply to jobs weekly but I don’t have my hopes up that I will get hired anytime soon. For now I’m just focusing on going to school full time starting this summer.
Q: You mentioned you have enrolled for school in the summer, how has this effected your future plans?
A: Instead of planning my school schedule around a work schedule, I am now going to school full time which means no job for me and that affects everything else, like my plans on moving out to a different city are on hold right now.
Q: Has anyone you know been recently discharged and is in the same situation? How have they coped?
A: Yes, I know a couple friends that are in the same situation. They are coping the same way as me, having family to lean on while the world gets back to normal and we can be on our own again.
Q: What can you see your near future looking like?
A: Near future, I am definitely going to be getting a lot of school work done, I have a long way to go when it comes to school, but at least now I have all the time. We have survived through other catastrophes and the light at the end of the tunnel was always closer than we thought.
Q: Has reenlisting crossed your mind through COVID-19?
A: Yes. When the whole world stops, the military never does which means benefits and pay don’t stop either. It’s a good feeling to know you’re taken care of. But I’ve closed that chapter in my life, and I would like to move on and do different things in my life so going back would really be my last option.