Losing your expat job during the crisis

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Published on 2020-06-04 at 07:51
Here is how French expat Valérie* dealt with losing her job amidst the crisis...

Tell us about you...

I was born in France and I moved to Canada in 2008 for an internship. I ended up staying there for 11 years. After becoming Canadian, I went on a long trip and landed in Mauritius where I had a great job opportunity. I've been living here for a year now.

How did you end up unemployed during the pandemic?

I work in events, a sector which with tourism has been directly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. When all events and meetups were banned in Mauritius, as elsewhere in the world, it was obvious that activities would not resume immediately. Three months later, we are still very unsure as to when things will pick up again. No more events, no more work, it's as simple as that.

How did you experience this ordeal?

It is my first time losing a job. It is all the more frustrating that I really liked this job, that I enjoyed the company that employed me and that this loss of job is absolutely not related to my performance. No one is to blame. It was very difficult making it through lockdown without working. But it's also a good time to think about yourself, think about the future. Fortunately, Mauritius is a country where solidarity is everywhere: I have received a lot of support from my friends, colleagues, colleagues and even my employers. It helps to move forward.

What are you doing to support yourself right now?

As the borders are still closed, I still cannot legally work on Mauritian territory. So I live on my savings while waiting to be able to join Reunion Island.

Do you have any ideas for the future?

I can see economic activity start again following the end of lockdown in Mauritius. I'm starting to get feedback from the companies I contacted during confinement. There are also more and more interesting job postings. I am fortunate to have a very diverse professional career: communication, events, journalism and teaching. I just got a small contract for a distance English teacher. It's encouraging.

Would you like to continue living in Mauritius in the future?

A few months ago, I would have answered yes without hesitating. Today, taking into account the global economic situation, I think it makes more sense to broaden my options. If I can come back to live in Mauritius, I will be very happy because I love my life here. But maybe other professional opportunities will open up elsewhere and lead me to other adventures.

What advice for expats who find themselves in this situation?

Easier said than done but staying positive is the best advice I can give. Wherever you are, do not hesitate to contact your networks and be open to opportunities in other countries.

Fictitious first name*