Trading in film gear for PPE, how a SoCal woman got back to work in new field amid COVID-19 pandemic

When it comes to jobs, the health emergency has caused an unprecedented crisis. One SoCal woman navigated the uncertain job market by pulling out an old card and getting back to work in a different industry.
Like many, Amber Gilbert's life was upended just two months ago.

"Emotionally, financially, especially financially. I'm an independent filmmaker so a lot of productions, it unfortunately they shut down," said Gilbert.

MORE: Here's who is hiring in SoCal amid coronavirus economic slowdown

Fortunately, she had another card up her sleeve -- a guard card.

"I went through Indeed and just found the listing of different security jobs that were open at the time since I have an extensive background in it," said Gilbert.

Citiguard CEO Sami Nomair says they've nearly doubled their staff.

"Our clients are calling in. Adding extensive hours of services," said Nomair.

MORE: Here's what you need to know if you're looking to get hired during COVID-19 pandemic
EMBED More News Videos

If you're looking for a job, here's what you need to know to give yourself an advantage during the coronavirus pandemic.


Gilbert works at a hospital that treats COVID-19 patients. She admits she was apprehensive at first.

"Once I started working here like my first week and knowing how everything is run, there's a lot structure, there's a lot of protocol to follow by. I feel completely comfortable," said Gilbert.

She's traded in film gear for personal protective equipment for now.

"Depending on if you have to go to ICU floor if need be, then you would suit up the whole entire...that is shown," said Gilbert.

Part of her inspiration to dive in is her mother.

"My mother is a nurse, and that's what inspired me to at least help out. I mean I'm not in that field, but I have the highest respect for all doctors and nurses, especially at this time," said Gilbert.

MORE: Indeed reports 1,000% search increase for telehealth nurse jobs
EMBED More News Videos

SOCAL JOB MARKET: Job site Indeed has seen a 1,000% search increase for telehealth nurse jobs and almost a 600% growth in working-from-home jobs in a six-week period.


"We're not taking in level entry security officers, unless it's a site where it has multiple guards," said Nomair.

Applying for a California guard card starts with an eight-hour course that you can take online and can cost about $30. The only thing you would have to leave your house for is to go get the fingerprinting done with the live scan.

If you're feeling discouraged, you're not alone.

"I know it's tough, but just to be positive. Just to have the faith that you know things will pull through," said Gilbert.

Looking for more information? You can find COVID-19 help, information and resources here.
Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.