The world has changed since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. Shops have closed, social gatherings minimised, and many people have lost their jobs. For many of us, furlough was a saving grace, providing us with some money in such uncertain times. And now furlough is ending, and everything is uncertain again. Your plans and opportunities may have changed. Your job may no longer exist or your travel plans may no longer be an option. Whatever happens, life will be different for many, but it will continue for all of us. Each individual will need to find the best way to navigate this new world. Below are some possible paths to take when furlough ends.
Re-evaluate your income, expenses, and investments
For some, a natural first step would be to re-evaluate their finances. How much money is currently coming in versus going out? If you don’t have any investments, is there potential to make some? Alternate revenue streams might be one of your only options. The only way to choose the best path for yourself is if you know what you’ve got, and what you need.
Find A Job
Money is tight, furlough is ending and you need income, fast. As some business will remain closed, many full-time jobs may not be available. Why not get a more casual job in the meantime, and help the economy. Work in a cafe, or a library. If you’re in Australia, the summer harvest is coming up, why not do some fruit picking? In times like these, everyone is struggling to some extent, but many governments are inputting job schemes and building infrastructure to help the economy. These projects generate labour jobs and is worth looking into.
Revamp your CV
One of the keys to success in the job market is a well thought out and updated CV. Taking time away from work means you now have the time to really look at your CV, determine what employers are looking for, and what you need to change. Even though it’s upsetting to think about, there is a possibility that when furlough ends, many employers won’t be able to afford to stay open. This means that many more people could lose their jobs. If this happens to you, you will thank yourself for having an up to date, polished CV to help get your foot in the door elsewhere.
Learn a New Skill
Whether it’s coding, piano, or macramé, learning a new skill can provide purpose, boost self-esteem, and add a little flair to your CV. Sure, macramé may not draw the eyes of a recruiter but the organisational skills that come with such complicated wool work, might.
Try an Online Course
If you want something more concrete, why not try an online course. It would be something solid to put on your resume and show your initiative in becoming more employable. From a short course to a micro-credential to an MBA there are countless vocational learning opportunities online to fit your situation, current education and time availability.
Become a Freelancer
Worried about money? There is also freelancing. In times of layoff and redundancies, many companies are turning to short term contracting to fill their work requirements. Even if freelancing is new to you, now is a perfect time. Websites like Upwork and Toptal allow almost anyone to set up a profile and advertise as a freelancer. There are freelance jobs advertising anything from proofreading to data entry at all levels of proficiency. Freelance allows greater flexibility over work hours, location, and what work you do. The only downfall of freelance is that it can take a bit of time to build a reputable profile, so start now.
Consider a Career Change
Similarly, you could decide a career change is in the cards for you instead. For many of us, certain careers are just not going to recover in the immediate future. However, skills are still skills, and transferable across careers. . Maybe you’ve always wanted to try something different. Maybe its been too risky to change professions in the past. That is the silver lining of all of this. No matter what you do now, risk is involved.
Go back to school
Perhaps the profession you wanted to switch to requires a speciality or a degree. It’s a big commitment to go back to school, but depending on the career you want to switch to, it could be worth it. Weigh up the costs versus employability and you’ll soon find your answer. Not to mention going back to school would help fund the universities that are also struggling right now. Helping the economy and getting a degree, killing two birds with one stone?.
Start your own business
Lockdown got us familiar with the feeling of boredom. So many of the things we used to do were closed. And when people get bored, they entertain themselves with stuff. Sometimes knowing your packages arrives tomorrow is the best part of your day in lockdown. It could be that you’ve found a gap in the market somewhere and have just the thing to fill it. Either way, becoming your own boss and making your own money has many benefits. Flexible hours, creative freedom, variety; the list goes on.
Do Some Charity Work
For some of you, money issues may not be your biggest concern. If that is the case, why not help out your community? Many charities and non-profit organisations will be scrambling to find volunteers, as fewer people will have time to work for free. Animal shelters have experienced an influx of rescues due to the misinformation spread of dogs carrying the coronavirus. They might need your help. If animals aren’t your thing, homeless shelters, sexual health clinics, and many other places will be seeking help too.
What you do in this confusing time will, of course, depend on you as an individual, and whether you have room to move about a bit. Whether you go back to school, become a freelancer, or start your own business, it will still be a step forward. And one step forward means the fear over money and the anxiety of the unknown, is one step behind.