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I was the first one laid off from my company during the pandemic. Since then, I've worked as a poll worker a?? here's what it's been like.

I was the first one laid off from my company during the pandemic. Since then, I've worked as a poll worker a?? here's what it's been like.

Jess Smith-Winchester.
Courtesy of Jess Smith-Winchester




Jess Smith-Winchester is a 34-year-old former account manager at a digital art studio in Atlanta, GA.




She was the first one let go at her old company during the pandemic.




She's signed up to be a poll worker, and is working on her photography and monetizing her social media.




This is her story, as told to Caroline Cox.




Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.


Back in February, I was prepping to find another job. 2019 was a fantastic year. Going into 2020, I said, I'm getting a new job. I wasn't necessarily let go because of COVID-19 a?? my company knew I was unhappy and applying to other jobs. So when the pandemic buzz started, I was the first to be let go. They've let others go since then because of business slowing, and they've been paying my unemployment. I reached out to some offers and there was a lot of momentum, then people started getting cold feet. I immediately filed for unemployment. I didn't want to take a job, then get let go in a month and have to start over again, because I heard from multiple people that unemployment was becoming a mess to get on.Right when I got let go, my husband got promoted and started working from home full-time, so he works longer days than ever. His job ramping up kind of pushed me into this homemaker role. We don't have kids, but he's the provider, and I find myself putting the house ahead of my career focus.

As far as money goes, we're saving. It's easier since restaurants aren't open and you can't really travel.

I'm not a homebody, so we've been doing some car travel for our mental health. But those are also times when I'm not looking for a job.
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