Photo by Anthony Tori on Unsplash

If your inbox is like mine it’s full tips and tricks for coping with COVID-19 and being productive, but if your life has hitherto been about people and if your work has always involved contact with people and not computer screens, this is a New Normal, and it might be hard to make that switch to a computer screen.

Everyone is now discovering the joys of video conferencing, my dad has even become a zoom expert and is cajoling his old-timers on there too.

But if things continue, it might be worth looking at your skills and thinking about what online options will suit you best? This might just be a side hustle for now but may lead down an interesting road.

An exercise I recommend to candidates in transition is this:

Take a piece of paper, and split it into 3 columns. 

The first: What I LOVE doing

The second: What I’m GOOD AT doing

The third: What I DON’T ENJOY doing.

Now I LOVE painting but I’m not that good at it, and I doubt I’ll ever make any money from it, so bear in mind that this exercise is aimed at finding out what you can DO that will make you Money and make you Happy.

Be specific – especially about the tools you use and the content of your day.

Once you have your list, look at the skills in column 1 and 2 and split them into 3 buckets:

  1. Speaking
  2. Writing
  3. Technology

It might be clearly one bucket that wins, and that will tell you a lot about what you enjoy in your life. It might be in all 3, or just 2. In any case, think about what that says about you and your motivations and joy.

Column 3 – things you Don’t Enjoy might be vital components of your job, but it’s useful to look at them honestly and openly and analyze how much of your day is spent doing things you don’t enjoy. And see if perhaps there are other ways of doing things. Automation, for example, is amazing for the admin-phobes.

If your bucket is mainly Speaking – it would suggest that you enjoy people, so a performing/presenting based role might suit you best – online options here include Online Teaching, Sales, Coaching, Training, Recruiting, Public and Community leadership (online for now) and Social based roles.

For Writing there are loads of online opportunities to write for Social Media, Brands, Copywriting, Marketing, Editing, Academics, Tech writing and so on.

My brilliant cousin, Rosa Rankin-Gee who is a novelist and writes for brands suggests:

If you want to get into this field, look for bad writing. Work out how you’d make it better. Maybe it’s your local restaurant. Maybe you rewrite their menu descriptions and About Page for them, and it makes people smile, and want to go back again. Maybe you change their business. And maybe yours has just begun.

If you love nothing more than your technology and tools – this move online is unlikely to have affected you in quite the same way, but it might be the opportunity you’ve needed to push you towards setting up your own business and diving deeper into your skills.

Maybe write a course, set up a class, record a video, join a group, talk to the product makers themselves about collaboration. Everyone is talking at the moment, seize the day.

This too shall pass, but things are unlikely to return entirely to normal once we’ve all tasted the elixir of WFH. 

As we slow down, we can take stock of what we have, and be grateful.