COVID-19 has created a tremendous amount of uncertainty. Since the start of the crisis, 22 million Americans from all walks of life have filed for unemployment. I became one of those millions just four weeks ago.
Heartbroken, I immediately struggled with fears of failure and future job security. Maybe like me, when you got this news, it was heartbreaking and brought about all sorts of fears. It can hurt your confidence in your abilities and make you feel like you somehow failed for something that was entirely out of your control. Believe me…I know. But you have to remember that you only have so much time you can spend being upset at things you can’t control. Simply put, at some point you need to get yourself in gear and remember that you should not just survive for the sake of getting by, but rather that you want to thrive and succeed no matter the situation. That was me.
Shortly after the day that will forever be etched into my mind, I realized I possessed a skill many companies need right now – public relations. I realized that this skill allows me to work from anywhere. I had previously dabbled in freelance in the past with some success, but due to having a full time job, I was never able to fully commit and didn’t have the time to realize the full potential of freelancing, and what one can achieve leveraging a gig economy that is now booming. Within four weeks, I gained 10 clients ranging across a plethora of industries. Things have gone so well that in this time of a Global Pandemic, a 29 year old female has a growing business, and I am now hiring my fellow coworkers that were laid off with me only a month ago. This is something that I never contemplated previously, and did not think was possible 4 weeks ago, but now is a present day reality.
What I realized quickly was that there are people still hiring and that there are people who still need YOUR help and expertise. Leverage your skills and find those businesses. I want to help you harness your known and undiscovered talents. The skills you have but never got to explore during your typical day job, and take a leap to the freelance world!
Here are my 7 tips to getting started.
- Remember that YOU did not fail. Before you can get started creating a side hustle or turning your side hustle into a full time job; it is vital to realize that your lay off does not mean you are a failure. It’s not YOUR fault.
- Take the time to create a list of what skills you possess and are great at and love doing. Often jobs will have us do numerous tasks. Some we are great at and other ones we wish were better at, however you may not have had the opportunity to hone in on your talents. Now you have the luxury of getting to just focus on what you are great at and monetize that skill.
- If you don’t have a skill that fits a WFH lifestyle; ask yourself what one skill you are ready to try at junior level. Often people feel like they are unable to freelance because their normal day job doesn’t translate to remote work. Don’t worry! Many freelance jobs are for beginners and many sites are offering courses that are free or at minimal cost so that you can gain critical knowledge to create your new side hustle.
- Register for freelance sites like UpWork, Fiverr, Freelancer, etc and take a scroll through the type of jobs on their sites, and finalize which area you want to focus on.
- Create a pitch about yourself. Many of these freelance sites will ask you to write about your accomplishments, skills, and share your job qualifications on your profile page. It can be awkward for some people to boast about themselves, however by not sharing all the amazing things you did, no one will know. Learn to be your very own publicist. Be sure to include on your profile page what you can do for prospective clients and show previous success stories.
- Draft a template cover letter you can quickly modify for different proposals you want to apply for and make simple edits per job posting. This will save you a wealth of time.
- Start applying!
Whether you want to try this till you find your next job, need extra income or are considering freelancing as your new full-time job, you have the ability to do this. As Christopher Robbins says, “you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”