If you believe in silver linings, then you’re already among the millions of people who are making the best of their situation despite the chaos the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has caused over the last 10 months. While the world as we knew it no longer exists, there are several takeaways from the “old world” to help us circumnavigate this strange new, hyper-vigilant existence of endless hand-washing, sanitising, mask-wearing, trying to figure out how virtual meeting apps work; or for many unfortunate people, looking for a new job altogether.
Added to these are weary parents who are desperately trying to strike the perfect work-life balance while attempting to stay on top of the kids’ e-learning schedule, avoiding the inevitable over-snacking during binge-watching pretty much every series to ever exist, and the low-key depression the pandemic has also caused. However, to get past the gloomy days, we have to look through the current haze towards a brighter future. Even the slightest glimmer of hope is a powerful motivator.
Creative Thinking In A Time of Crisis
For those in one of the digitally-driven professional fields where working from anywhere is not just better but produces higher results than traditional office environments, you’re among the lucky ones. Writers, content strategists, project managers, communications professionals, digital marketing executives, graphic designers, and e-commerce businesses, have noted an uptick in freelance work and overall productivity. According to this article in the Sun-Sentinel, “As people try to climb out from pandemic chaos, they’ll be looking for consulting and professional services. Accountants, lawyers and financial planners will face pent-up demand.” Adding to this, careers in nursing, software and app development, coding and AI are on the rise as people search for viable career alternatives.
Whether you like or not, can do it, or can’t be bothered to learn, work from home (WFH), remote roles, or hybrid office schedules are here to stay. The key take-away is the ability to self-assess strategically and pivot towards industries where demand is on the rise, but talented candidates are in short supply. Those who spent their time in lockdown wisely and upskilled, their career outlook is much better vs those who weren’t able to figure out why they needed to acquire new skills. The worry is the people who have either been made redundant or let go may not be equipped to enter this new digitally enhanced working world or change careers quickly enough to compete for jobs in the future.
Still, this is where true innovation comes in, as there is an opportunity for people to open small businesses based on the business gaps the pandemic has exposed. For example, if your former career in office administration relied heavily on being physically present at your job, why not offer freelance virtual administration services? The work itself may require learning how to use new tools such as Monday, Slack et al, but you get to take on as many clients as you can and diversify your income.
Other alternatives could be making at-home visits if you’re in the beauty industry, and for event managers, creating micro-weddings, parties and meetings poses exciting new industry challenges that may prove just as fruitful. This article on Entrepreneur.com gives great insight into how to discover new business ideas if you need a little extra inspiration.
Finding The Balance
Figuring out a new career path is just one area we should be paying attention to. Even as life slowly goes on, the question arises, “Were you the same person you were before the lockdown?” I’d take a chance at guessing the answer is “no.” How can we be when we’ve been forced to limit our social interactions with the few people in our families or social bubble, with no choice but to stay at home and face the issues being once socially active aided in avoiding? These past few months would change just about anyone.
It’s safe to argue then, if you’ve changed, then your world views and mental capacity have also evolved. For many people, this may mean they’re back to the drawing board in terms of their career aspirations, which seems daunting, but it’s the best place to be for sussing out a new way forward. For others, the chaos may have crystallised the need to get into emotional and mental shape. Either way, you look at it, the path forward won’t be easy, but it is lined with many, many possibilities.