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Coronavirus in the UK: this woman’s story about getting a job at Tesco teaches us a powerful lesson

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Kayleigh Dray
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Coronavirus in the UK: You need to read this viral LinkedIn post about getting a job in Tesco

Holly Maxwell’s story has been read by over 60,000 people – and counting.

When’s the last time you went to the cinema? Or the pub? Or your favourite bistro? Or a professional football match?

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, life in the UK has largely been put on hold – and it has hit businesses and their employees hard. Indeed, many sectors have already seen widespread redundancies, with firms warning thousands more jobs could be wiped out.

In a bid to spread a little hope in the age of Covid-19, though, LinkedIn user Holly Maxwell has decided to share her own redundancy journey with the world. And, judging by the reactions her post has received, it’s certainly touched a nerve.

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First, some context. As per Maxwell’s LinkedIn profile, she was a Commercial Sales Manager at Watford Football Club for over four years. That job came to an end, however, when she was made redundant in January.

Due to the current economic climate, Maxwell has so far been unable to find another job. And so, last week, she decided to grab hold of her own destiny.

“I went to my local Tesco and noticed the shelves were bare,” Maxwell writes in her now-viral post, “so I asked if they had any jobs. I was told interviews were taking place if I wanted to go upstairs.”

She continues: “I sat for two hours, without an appointment, in order to be seen. I even drove back with all my paperwork that same day to get me signed up. And I didn’t even ask how much I was being paid.

“Yesterday, I started my induction and training on the tills. My first shift is tomorrow.”

Coronavirus in UK: Tesco workers in empty store
“I went to my local Tesco and noticed the shelves were bare,” Maxwell writes

Maxwell goes on to admit that she was, at first, slightly embarrassed to tell people that she is now working in a supermarket.

“I had a great position at a great organisation and, after being made redundant in January, I am now temping,” she says.

However, during her induction, Maxwell met so many people who, like herself, are out of work. Some have been made redundant, others have been forced to close their own businesses due to the coronavirus. All “have set their pride aside, because they want to earn money in this difficult time!”

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As such, Maxwell has decided to readdress her thinking. And, rather than be ashamed of her new job, she’s decided to celebrate it in a very public post.

“I’m proud I put myself out there, I’m proud I’m starting a new skill, and I’m proud I am helping the economy in this difficult time,” she finishes.

Maxwell’s message has, in the 24 hours since she posted it, been read by over 60,000 fellow LinkedIn users, and attracted some 3,000+ comments.

“I did exactly the same thing today. I start tomorrow at my local,” read one such comment.

Another person, who has also started working at their local supermarket, wrote: “It would be easy to feel sorry for oneself but never forget in any position that no job is beneath us. Right now, getting food on a shelf is significantly more important than ensuring an A350 leg fairing door gets delivered to Toulouse!”

Others reminded Maxwell that there is no such thing as an “embarrassing” job.

“Holly, never feel ashamed,” wrote one. “It’s an honest day’s work and everything happens for a reason. Stay proud of yourself.”

Another added: “I can think of many who would benefit from what you are doing now, including myself. Things will get better and I promise you that when you go for your next interview, they will be impressed by the innovation you have shown.”

Still one more said: “During this uncertain and scary time, you are doing one of the most important jobs… feel proud.”

And our absolute favourite read: “Well done Holly. It’s those of you working in supermarkets, hospitals, driving the trains and buses, working in our call centres and delivering parcels that are keeping things slightly normal. Thank you.”

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Here at Stylist, we are so grateful for the work that supermarket employees are doing in their communities. With this in mind, we recently penned an open letter to every single one of them and their tireless work.

Why? Because it’s crucial now, more than ever, that we recognise the work they are doing to provide us all with essential food and goods. And we want everyone reading to know that, without them, society would fall apart. 

So, please, say thank-you to the person serving you at the till, or the driver who delivers your groceries. Let them know that you appreciate them. Because we really are all in this together, and a little gratitude can go a long way, especially now.

You can read Maxwell’s full post here.

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Main image for illustrative purposes only. The person shown in the picture is a model, not the author of the LinkedIn post mentioned.

Image credits: Getty

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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