It was one year ago this week that the U.S. went into lockdown mode to combat the spread of COVID-19. Beyond the tragic toll of human life, there was also a tragic toll on the workforce, many of whom were downsized, laid off and let go. In total, it’s estimated that over 10 million jobs were shed in the U.S.  leading to a record unemployment rate of 14.7% in April 2020. Canada fared no better, losing between three and four million jobs. U.S. and Canadian employers simply could not continue paying their employees’ salaries without the steady revenue they once depended upon.

It’s a fact that COVID job casualties were widespread, affecting every industry and economic sector. One year later, how have we fared?


While the U.S unemployment rate currently back down to 6.2%, and Canada at 8.2%, the carnage of the past year is beyond evident in the entertainment, hospitality, hotel, and restaurant businesses. The energy sector was another big loser. Already on the ropes because of over-leveraged debt and a volatile price war, thousands of O&G executives were cut loose. How did these newly downsized workers react? For many, the first inclination was to replace their lost jobs with another opportunity in the same industry. But many of these workers—and those in other hard-hit industries—quickly found out that lateral moves and similar salaries just weren’t available.

A note for the downsized? There may not be a better time to reevaluate your career and transition to entrepreneurship. More than a few saw this option as the only solution—and a great deal of them are much better off now. The stress of deciding to shift your career focus is never easy, but it doesn’t have to overwhelm you.

Many downsized employees are fortunate enough to have access to career transitioning resources, which happens to be an excellent lead-generator for FranNet’s services. If you’re still currently on the outside looking in, and you’ve spent enough time and effort on job applications, it wouldn’t hurt to explore the options you do have. If entrepreneurship is a route you’re willing to consider, take these tips to heart:

Consider a Match

If you’ve had a successful career to date in a particular industry, where might you direct your efforts to find a suitable business ownership match? Review your previous roles and determine whether your management, oversight and experience might be put to better use running a business of your own. Take a moment and research the possibilities!

Reach Out and Explore

You can seek the advice of a mentor, perhaps a business owner you already know. Find out what an entrepreneurial life might look like for your particular situation. Take in a national webinar or local seminar, of which FranNet presents regularly. Look for resources such as SCORE, a nonprofit organization, and a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Their primary goal is to help small businesses get off the ground and grow successfully.

Assess Yourself

If you haven’t been able to re-secure a job worthy of your talent and experience, consider taking FranNet’s Entrepreneur and Readiness Profiles. They take moments to fill out, but the results will reveal franchise ownership concepts that are matched to meet your experience, lifestyle goals, and financial capabilities.

After participating in the entrepreneurial surveys, you can easily set up a no-cost, no-obligation meeting with one of our qualified FranNet consultants, who both live and work in your community. A note for the downsized COVID job casualties? You do have options. You just have to do something about it!