CORAL SPRINGS, FL – The phone call offering a job finally came last month for a Coral Springs woman who had been out of work since March.

“It was such a relief and so exciting,” said Fran Thomas, who landed a job in human resources, her area of expertise.

In a TAPinto Coral Springs profile on Sept. 15, Thomas, 48, described the financial and emotional challenges of losing her job at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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With no income coming in, she had gone into roughly $15,000 in debt, taking out a line of credit to pay off credit card bills. She had no health insurance for months.

Thomas, who lives in Ramblewood South, estimates she filled out more than 300 job applications and got call-backs from only a few handfuls of them, most considering her for work paying significantly less than what she was making before being laid-off.

But a few weeks after being featured in the news story, a recruiting agency found her resume on the Indeed job website and contacted her about a human resources job. It was a contract position for up to a year with limited benefits.

After negotiating her salary, she started work on Oct. 5.

“It’ll be nice getting off credit,” she said.

The unemployment rate in Coral Springs has steadily dropped from its peak at the beginning of the pandemic.

In August, the latest month available, it was 8 percent – down from 11.8 percent the previous month – as more businesses reopened from the coronavirus shutdown and workers returned to their jobs.

In all, 5,760 people were unemployed in Coral Springs out of 71,692 in the labor force in August, according to Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Thomas encourages those without jobs not to give up. She said she kept filling out applications, often five or more a day, no matter how discouraging it was competing with potentially thousands of people for the same openings.

“Keep going. It’ll happen. The odds are in your favor,” she said.

For her, the strategy was to stay firm to a clear salary range. She said she could have gotten lower-paying jobs, but, in the long run, they would not have helped her career because she could have likely gotten stuck there for years.

That’s an approach, she acknowledges, that may not work for others. In her case, she doesn’t have children and her husband’s income has been enough to pay for their home, food, and other main expenses.

Like an out of shape athletic competing again, Thomas is now adjusting to working once again. She’s waking up just before 6 am to get to work in Boca Raton by 8 am and heading to bed by 9 pm.

It’s going to take a year to get her finances back to normal, she said.

But at least she’s earning money again.

“It’s been really hard and tough,” she said.

 

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