Why you must persist through 2020

Donovan Vogel
3 min readOct 19, 2020
Image courtesy of John Towner on Unsplash

I’ve been unemployed for the past seven months.

2020 hasn’t been easy. My heart goes out to others as I’m aware of the reality of the situation we are living through. The job market and economy are at their lowest points since the global financial crisis of 2008–2009.

I have applied for job after job and received many rejections. I’ve made it to the last round of two interviews to be passed on by candidates who had more experience.

I’ve never heard back from hundreds of the places I applied to which is problematic for HR departments and recruiters. Where’s the human element today?

I’ve spent time preparing for interviews, only to get my hopes smashed.

I’m not sure which industry is right for me. I’ve narrowed it down to finance, marketing, and copywriting but am open-minded. I may not have enough experience to qualify but it’s hard to gain experience when so few are willing to employ and train new hires.

I’ve been told, “You should be proud though. This is a great resume compared to others I’ve seen today. Thank you for being so specific.”

I’m a team player. I’m a hard and smart worker in the right environment. I constantly show up.

I’m left wondering where someone with five years of post-college work experience belongs?

I will be back to work in 2–4 weeks as I miss feeling like I have a purpose.

Tomorrow I will get out of bed, pick myself up again & keep moving forward. That’s all I can do.

I posted the above on LinkedIn last week and received an outpouring of support, appreciation, help, connections, and resources. It’s funny what happens when you put yourself out there and relate to so many others who are growing through the same challenges this year. So far, that post has over 2,245 views, countless likes and impressions, and 16 comments.

One of many themes for me the past seven months has also been rejection. Something you’ll never learn fully in a classroom or school.

Rejected. Rejected. Rejected. Rejected. Rejected. Rejected. Rejected. Rejected. Rejected. Rejected. Rejected. Rejected. Rejected. Rejected.


This is just life. And it’s funny because we tend to learn more in these moments of failure than we ever do from success. I promise you will win, as long as you don’t quit. Keep going. Keep moving forward. And stay the course is a life motto I tend to live by.

Try. Try again. Try once more. Try differently. Try again tomorrow. Try and ask for help. Try to find someone who’s already done it. Try to fix the problem. Try to come up with solutions. Keep trying until you succeed.

You must have an I will until mentality.

Thankfully that has worked out for me as I heard great news on Friday, October 16, 2020. I will be back to work full-time and, working remotely, starting November 16, 2020.

Thanks to the world's largest staffing and recruiting company, Randstad, I’ve found a home with them and will be back to working with Vanguard again as a Retirement Associate in the Participant Services division.

I am looking forward to this opportunity as it comes right as my extended unemployment benefits are set to expire. I am excited about my passion for financial services and helping others understand the complexities of finance, money, and wealth to return yet again.

It’s not going to be easy to start working again after not having done so since February 2020 and the beginning of the global pandemic but it’s going to be worth it.

I will continue to learn and grow along the way. This journey is only continuing and I hope my story can relate to others and bring a sliver of joy, motivation, and encouragement to others.

You may be jobless right now but please do not remain hopeless. Be open to expanding your horizons and mindset. Be willing to challenge yourself and grow. Believe in yourself and your abilities.

Be comfortable having some uncomfortable conversations with others. Get outside of your comfort zone because it’s the only way you’ll grow. And you must be willing and able to take action. That’s non-negotiable this year.

My Very Best,

Donovan E. Vogel



Donovan Vogel

Philadelphia based teaching financial literacy | Prospering all other hours | Writer | Lifter | Reader | Traveler | Freedom & Wellness