Coronavirus: 'I wrote my first job application in 25 years'

Patricia McVeigh Image copyright Patricia McVeigh
Image caption Patricia McVeigh ran her business for the past six years

The economic upheaval caused by coronavirus has left many people out of work - either temporarily or permanently.

Some people have found themselves in a position they have never been in before in the hunt for work.

They include a County Tyrone business owner who had to write her first job application in more than 25 years.

Patricia McVeigh owned a clothes shop in Eglish for six years but said she was left with no other option, but to close her appointment-only store.

She told BBC Radio Foyle that by the end of February a number of bookings had to drop-out because of growing fears around the virus.

The 57-year-old closed her business and had to write her first job application in a quarter-of-a-century

'Letting go of my baby'

Ms McVeigh told BBC Radio Foyle's Breakfast Show how the Covid-19 pandemic slowly drained her of clients and eventually lead to the closure of her shop.

"It became a bit more serious, a bit more serious and then everything was put on hold," Ms McVeigh said.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Many businesses in Northern Ireland are closed due to coronavirus

She described closing her business as like losing a "massive chunk of your life".

Ms McVeigh said she had worked for the majority of her adult life and wanted to get back into work as quickly as possible.

"Work is my life," she explained.

'No idea'

Ms McVeigh said she had already informed the government of her business closing, so was unable to avail from the new self-employed aid scheme.

She then saw an advertisement online for a supermarket which said it was "desperate for staff."

"I applied online and I literally had no idea how to go about it, I just put all my information in and it also took a long time for me to remember what I did at school," she said.

Ms McVeigh described the difficulty putting all of her previous experience into a small box on the online job application.

She joked that she has not heard back and so she "mustn't have filled it out very well".

"It's a changing time, something may come up, nobody knows what lies ahead," she added.

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