Updated: Sep 7
Guest Post by Chelsea Lamb
Being between jobs, or consistent income, is challenging at the best of times. Mid-pandemic, it’s even tougher to get by. Receiving an interview or new invitations to be retained may not be as simple as initiating an introduction or networking as usual. But all is not lost. Enclosed are four ideas to keep your household afloat with your skills, focus and expertise.
Seek Opportunities Compatible with Family Life
If you have kids at home, it can be particularly challenging to schedule virtual meetings and handle high-stakes client calls during the day. Consider opportunities compatible with your stay-at-home parent lifestyle and how best you can set up your home office for those Zoom calls —we can be resourceful with what we have and invest minimal capital into new technology equipment.
Be open to a flexible opportunity, such as online contract work or writing, congruent with your current schedule and lifestyle. Some assignments, like childcare or pet sitting, involve little to no overhead costs. For example, in many American states, providers are exempt from licensing requirements if they only watch children from one family. Most of all, maintain forward momentum each day in an accountability system that works for you.
Start a New Career with Existing Talents Being without work or something to look forward to isn't ideal, so now might be the perfect opportunity to explore new income paths. If you have skills or passion for a different field than your previous role, investigate what it would take for you to make a transition. Steps like starting new projects, reconnecting with past associates, and consulting with a trusted advisor can help you branch out in proactively shaping your future.
Take the time to update your resume and add a value proposition of why someone should work with you or how you can personalize or scale their vision or mission. If there’s room in your budget, you may even pursue certification or online courses to stay relevant. Then, prepare to study each week, learn new skills and market your expertise in new ways. Attending a virtual interview will happen soon enough in this time of pause.
With many industries relying on telecommuting as a new trend, you can be ready for online meetings. That means having a semi-professional wardrobe and presenting yourself with the best lighting. If you’re on a budget but need refreshed clothing articles, consider shopping online with retailers such as American Eagle Outfitters. You can browse their clearance section, choose pieces to add to your closet that suit your style, and top your savings off with AEO coupons. Who doesn't love a coupon?
Begin a New Business Online Opening a bistro or retail store may not be the ideal small business venture right now. But many types of businesses are growing and even starting from scratch amidst current concerns. Small Business Trends notes that generally, the most profitable businesses include services such as website design, tax preparation, bookkeeping, cleaning services, and online tutoring. The good news is these businesses fill real needs in the marketplace now and are expected to grow in demand.
Other ideas for making ends meet can include providing services in your community, such as food delivery or grocery pickup. You could become an independent contractor with food delivery companies like GrubHub, Instacart, or Postmates—or you could start your own company with entrepreneurial spirit! While it may feel humbling at first or at times, you are keeping your household afloat and will feel a part of a team that needs you.
An online-only store is another way to take advantage of consumer shopping habits during this window. Many people are shopping online and ordering all kinds of items, so choosing a drop-shipping model might work well for you. The possibilities are there for you to explore!
Market Yourself (or a Creative Service) Online
If you have a service you can provide online, starting or updating your website may be a great way to advertise for new customers. For example, if you enjoy photography, web design, or fashion design, creating a website and developing a strategic "done for you" offering could be increased global sales from your home office.
From hosting your own vlog (video blog) to podcasts about any number of subjects you are familiar with, there is a genius zone in you waiting to emerge — it won’t cost much startup capital to begin online to showcase your practical knowledge. In fact, Google offers free websites for businesses, explains TechRadar, and they’re one of many companies to extend this tool to the public.
Choosing an alternative, even if temporary, income stream will not only help you through this or future pandemics, but it could bring about new business relationships. Developing new allies and opportunities can equate to more open doors as well as that lifestyle change you may have always wanted. The best part is there is still a demand in our market for your gifts, talents and energy even if you have to now create it in our new gig economy.
In closing, a friend of mine provided me this inspirational quote, "Don't think about making profits too much. If you survive this year, that is your profit."