With unemployment rates soaring in the US, the fallout from the pandemic has left many families struggling with the question: What do we do next?
Both moms and dads lie awake at night, wondering what awaits them after the dust from COVID-19 settles. Some still have their jobs but find them unfulfilling while working remotely.
Others have opened their eyes and feel like it’s time to make a change. If you’re one of them and you desperately want to make a change to your career, you might be wondering how to pull that off during these difficult times.
Here’s what you need to know to be successful with reinventing your career both during and after coronavirus.
Recognize the Opportunity
Now is one of the best times to explore that new path you always dreamed about while tethered to your desk at your corporate office.
Take a Look at Your Dreams
It’s just like that age-old question your career counselor in high school asked you – what do you dream you could do for your career?
Think about what you’d love to do, that dream career, and go for it. The low unemployment rate isn’t going to last as people shake themselves off and move forward so take steps that lead you in the direction of your dreams.
Be Self-Aware of Your Skills
For those of you that know you need a change but can’t figure out where to go from here, take a deeper look at your skills.
It helps to ask your spouse what he or she thinks they are and even enlist a few friends. It’s so easy to overlook your own talents and an honest chat with a friend could bring them to light.
Then you’ll be able to see what kind of job your skill sets would match.
Here are a few resources for you to get inspired:
Do you have an area in which you excel over your rivals that can be exploited for profit? Is there a service you can provide your new contacts that you hadn’t thought of before?
By regularly asking yourself these questions (and others like them), you should be able to find ways to continuously grow your business from strength to strength.
Starting your own site is a good first step to understanding how much passion you have for a particular topic or hobby. It is also quite doable and doesn’t require any technical skill (here’s a good guide on that)
Try a Slight Twist to Your Current Path
If your job involves attending and orchestrating conferences, you’ll likely be sidelined for a while. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a new way to twist your career and expertise together to adapt.
Try looking for new market opportunities based on the trends out there, for example, digital marketing.
Consider Starting Your Own Business
The first step in building a successful home business is coming up with a solid plan of action. You don’t necessarily have to develop an actual business plan in the traditional sense (though it would probably help), but it is very important that you have your goals, promotional strategy and costs mapped out clearly for use as a personal reference.
At this stage you should also check what the legal requirements are for operating your particular business model, as you will most likely need to register your business or acquire a license of some sorts in order to operate.
There needs to be absolutely no unresolved details left to figure out once you start trading. If this is your first business, it may well prove helpful to find someone more experienced to mentor you.
A mentor doesn’t necessarily need to be someone who has worked in the same exact market you’re planning on entering, but it should be someone who has a record of running a successful home business, who can at least give you the basic advice you need to succeed.
If you don’t know anyone locally who can act as your mentor, then it can be well worthwhile looking for someone online. A good place to look is SCORE, a website dedicated to supplying advice and support to small business start-ups.
SCORE can also help put people in contact with other similar businesses both locally and nationally which they can lean on for advice. If you can’t find a mentor through Score, try looking on forums that relate to your specific area of interest, as there’s bound to be at least one or two out there that will cover the things you need to know.
Use the time before you launch your business to reach out to as many successful businesses, government agencies, trade associations and communities related to your niche as you can. Ask plenty of questions and learn everything you can about the industry you’re about to step into.
Finally before throwing yourself full time into any new business, make sure you’ve got enough money stored away to see you through at least six months of bare essential household bills. It takes time for businesses to start generating a reliable income , whilst poverty and desperation is one way of staying motivated, being able to pay your bills without having to worry about it, will lead to much greater success.
Diversify Your Income
Finally, don’t ever make the mistake of putting all your eggs in one basket. Whilst it can be tempting to snap up a nice juicy contract from a well paying client, sit back and focus all your attention solely on them, if you do that your entire income could disappear at a moment’s notice.
For your own protection it is always advisable to try and secure several different clients, so that if one project comes to an end, or if something goes wrong for a particular contact, you still have other sources of income to fall back on.
If you are at a loss as to where to start, try your hand at freelancing first. Sites like Fiverr gives you an easy path to trying your hand at providing a service, as well as creating an alternative source of income.
Who knows, maybe a temporary freelance gig will turn into a career! That’s what happened to me!
Some easy options to start include freelance writing, voice-over and editing services. Consider starting with writing gigs: These are easy and will let you research many diverse topics.
Text Optimizer will help you with both writing and research: Run the tool for every topic you are researching, and it will suggest you neighboring and underlying topics and guide through radio:
Another option to try is to create your own digital product and try your hand at selling it. There’s a solid selection of platforms allowing you to sell a digital product.
There’s also an option to start selling your DIY projects. You may be enjoying some crafts which can be sold online, so try selling it through Etsy.
Take it Slow as You Make the Transition
Make sure you have a little something saved up as you move into your new career plan.
While you might make less initially, when you’re doing something you love, you’ll wind up happier, which is priceless.
Of course, happiness doesn’t pay the bills and with a family to support, that uncertainty can be daunting. It will be a challenge, but it will be worth it if you ease into it.
Whether you’re one of the millions of unemployed Americans in this pandemic or you’re unhappy in your current career, don’t be afraid of the change.
Take the time to make measured steps and you will walk right down the path of success regardless of what is happening in the world today.
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