MIAMI, Fla. — When the pandemic hit South Florida, small business owner Leslie Schwimmer was forced to close up shop, leaving behind her massage business and her sense of security.
But more than a year after becoming unemployed, the 58-year-old is back at work and loving the path life has taken her on.
"I really am happy. I love the day-to-day of what I do," Schwimmer said.
When we first met Schwimmer in March of 2021, she was worried that her age was keeping her from finding a new job.
"I try to mask my age during interviews as much as I can," she said at the time.
After being forced into bankruptcy, Schwimmer thought she'd lost everything. But after countless interviews last year, she landed a job selling medical devices for a small company in Florida and is now back on her feet.
"I loved what I did before but I really like this new challenge," she said.
While Schwimmer misses running her own business, she does not miss the stress that came along with it.
"I really enjoy getting a check every two weeks and not worrying about paying everybody else," she added.
As for the two million, or so long-term unemployed Americans out there still looking for a new job, this single mother of two says don’t give up.
"When I look at the jobs I didn’t get, I have to admit I cried over some of them," she said. "Now, I think I’m where I should be."
This is part of a series of stories examining the question, "How are you doing?" where we check in with people from different walks of life to see how they’re handling the pandemic.