I’m a 32-year-old IT business analyst in Tennessee who’s been out of work since March

a screen shot of a person: Shauna Web Scott. Courtesy of Shauna Web Scott; Shayanne Gal/Business Insider

© Courtesy of Shauna Web Scott; Shayanne Gal/Business Insider
Shauna Web Scott. Courtesy of Shauna Web Scott; Shayanne Gal/Business Insider

  • The Unemployed States of America takes readers deep inside the decimated American workforce.
  • Shauna Webb Scott is a 32-year-old IT business analyst based in Nashville, Tennessee. 
  • She was laid off on March 31, just three weeks after finding out she was pregnant. She also lost clients for her small business as a wedding planner as celebrations were canceled or postponed.
  • Scott says it’s been difficult trying to find a new position because many employers don’t want to hire someone who will need to take maternity leave in November.
  • This is her story, as told to Business Insider.

I found out I was pregnant three weeks prior to losing my position as an IT business analyst. It’s been stressful dealing with pregnancy and losing my sense of occupational purpose along the way. I also own a small business doing wedding coordination and planning, and lost most of my clients due to wedding cancellations or postponements. 


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Right now, my husband is able to support us both through his full-time employment. Still, with less money coming in, we’ve sacrificed the plans we had of buying a safer car. We closed on our first house on January 25 of this year, so major renovations were also put on hold.

My biggest worry is that my small business will never rebound and I won’t be as marketable as a new mom and after having a large employment gap for nine months.

I’m currently keeping in touch with recruiters and applying and interviewing for roles, but most positions need a six-month temp or don’t want to hire someone who will be out for eight to 12 weeks for maternity leave. Business analysis work is project based and many times ad hoc. I plan to deliver my baby in November and start looking for positions again in January 2021. I’m also thinking of continuing my education to make myself more marketable.

If it wasn’t for the additional pandemic stimulus, we would have been struggling.

Tennessee’s unemployment payments are among the lowest in the country. I did receive unemployment, but I had to file a legislative ticket to get it sorted out. I don’t think you should have to work with state representatives to receive benefits that are necessary for families during this time.

It’s been hard not knowing when unemployment benefits will actually come. I’ve lost income in my small business that I’ll never get back, and being pregnant has added to the stress and anxiety of trying to stay safe while job seeking.

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