Thank you so much for sharing all of this. I hear that you probably feel lost right now, but you will find your way. You will.
I’m sorry you lost your job with covid. Being in this position feels terrible. I too had graduated, then lost a job that I loved (before covid), a job that made me feel like I was doing something meaningful, that life had a direction. It hurts when it feels like our plans change suddenly, that we end in a situation we didn’t envision at first. Things doesn’t always go the way we want, but it’s a hard way to learn it. My heart goes out to you, friend.
I want you to know that you are not a failure because of the situation you’re in right now. Really, there’s no shame to have. When it comes to jobs and careers, it can be pretty chaotic, full of uncertainties and unexpected obstacles. So feeling anxious is absolutely normal. It’s human. But you are not defeated, okay?
In your title you ask if it’s too late to change profession at 26, and I can only answer: no, it’s never too late. That probably sounds cheesy, but really, it’s never too late. Just an example/little story: when I was studying for my second graduation, I’ve met a woman who was twice my age. She was a childcare worker but because of a bad ear infection she became deaf in one ear, which impacted her capacity to work with group of children again. So she had to start again with something new, but kinda similar too: social work. She was married, she was a mom and asked to have her classes expanded in 4 years instead of 3, so she could compose with both getting back to studies and having a family life. We get along pretty well and as I was myself older than the rest of the students, we often talked about how weird it was for us to be surrounded by young people who have interests in things we didn’t even know, lol. All of this to say… this woman graduated and now she’s looking after a job too. She started again and she reached her goal. Yes, there was a bit of shame of discomfort for her at first… but she did it. And that was truly inspiring.
Now I can’t help but wondering too, while reading your post: do you really want to change profession, or do you think about this because it’s hard to find a job right now? I’m asking because I think those two things are different. And… I’m a very anxious bean too who struggles (and stil struggle) A LOT with the anxiety that goes along with the whole job hunting process. Like, job interviews? Hell on Earth to me. But what sucks with anxiety is that it can make us feel stuck and tempted to find an alternative way… EVEN if it means to sabotage ourselves or miss opportunities. If I listen to my anxious mind, I’d never live and probably never work because I’d keep going to universities and get new graduations in order to maximize my chances to get a job (wrong idea though, as being overgraduated can be intimidating for employers too).
I guess what I’m trying to say is: what do YOU want to do? Let’s imagine that we’re in a world where finding a job would be easy. Would you keep looking after a job in your current field, or would you change for something different? Between those two options, there has to be alternative paths too, without necessarily giving up on your first choices, but also without ignoring the fact that maybe you’d need to diversify your resume (volunteering, online classes to add on your resume…). Just a few thoughts, not telling you what to do by the way.
In any case, you got this friend. If you need some extra help while looking for a job, maybe it would be good to look after a therapist/counselor? I know you mentioned having no money right now - but eventually your parents could help? There’s no shame to have, really. The situation IS, objectively, difficult. And as you mentioned anxiety and what feels like the beginning of a depression to you, then it could be good to be supported for that too. Just because when we’re depressed, it’s not a matter of motivation to do the things. I have a chronic depression yet I want to do a lot of things. But it’s hard to do those things. And being aware of this helps me to be more gentle with myself.
It’s a struggle to find a job and it can push us to reconsider all that we envisioned at first. But I’d say: take your time. Meditate on what is the product of the circumstances and the product of your anxiety/how you feel about yourself or your future. Because the only way to work on the second one is to do things while being anxious. It’s hard. It really is. But it’s also worth it, as it allows you to live your life fully.
You’ll find your way. I believe in you. We all believe in you here. Without any pressure. Only a huge amount of love.