Did you lose your job during this pandemic? Or maybe you have a good job…but you want to prepare for another lockdown. It’s time to invest in yourself.
Have you talked to people that said, “Staying home hasn’t really affected us–I work from home anyway”? That needs to be you!
But, given the mass lay-offs, canceled conferences, and slim job pickings, it might seem impossible to devote time and energy to better your career.
The good news is that there are opportunities to upskill, network, and invest in yourself—if you’re looking in the right places.
You can improve your job prospects and marketability even if you have no job, are short on funds, and stuck at home.
How can I start an amazing career now?
Point yourself in the right direction first. Don’t get passionate about a new career direction you’re going to hate in 90 days. There are many free tools that can help you find the perfect career.
- There are good and free career tools that allow you to discover careers and learn details about how to get started, what salary they pay, and whether that career lets you work from home. There are even free career videos you can watch that show you what it is like work in that career.
- Think outside the box. For example – new “work from home careers” now include being a doctor. Who knew? You’re not going to be operating on anyone yet – but doctor teleconferencing exploded during this pandemic.
- You can search all the careers for free–but if you decide you want to be a psychologist and you are wondering if you can handle helping people solve their COVID anxiety for hours a day you should opt to take a career test or career quiz that has an option to tell you if that career fits your personality.
How do I find my ideal career with NO money?
With free tools!
- First, research careers for free to discover what certifications and credentials are required. (See link above)
- Then check out these sites, which offer free courses:
- Coursera. Certificates/diplomas require payment, but you can take any course for free. Financial Aid is available to some students.
- CodeCademy. Learn coding in 12 different languages! The basic site is free, and the “pro” version is $19 a month.
- edX. This is a non-profit that offers free courses, with inexpensive certifications available.
- Alison. This site offers classes in 9 categories: Technology, Language, Science, Health, Humanities, Business, Math, Marketing, and Lifestyle. Some classes are free, and many offer inexpensive certificates or diplomas as well.
- Don’t forget old-fashioned book research! Worried about leaving the house? The Libby Reading App helps you get free e-books and audiobooks from your local library.
How do I find a new job WITHOUT leaving the house?
- Find out which companies are thriving and expanding during COVID.
- Make and/or regularly update your LinkedIn profile. This will also help you network and keep you up to date on your field.
- Every day spend 30 minutes reading or watching industry news online. You have to stay abreast of developments.
Is now really a good time to change careers?
COVID is actually a great time to switch tracks, especially if you’re looking into resilient fields that are surviving–or even benefiting from–the current crisis.
- Consider this easy-to-answer questionnaire to help you decide if you should change jobs. Check it out.
- Make sure you’re headed in the right direction, consider what industries are likely to emerge stronger post-COVID.
I want to explore new options…but I also need to find work RIGHT NOW. Can I do both?
You certainly can! As the gig economy soars, more workers are turning to freelance and short-term contracts as a way to:
- Make quick money from home
- Gain valuable experience
- Explore new skills
- Network with clients and companies
First, research your preferred career to see if it’s open to freelancing.
Remember, COVID has really expanded the remote work possibilities–even traditionally in-person workers, like teachers, now have a wide variety of work-at-home options.
When you’ve done that, create profiles on these top freelancing sites:
Not sure you can succeed as a freelancer? Read how one newly-minted freelancer made over $100,000 in his first year.
Is there anything else I can do to improve my career?
Yes! Aside from everything above, there is one other thing you can do that will vastly improve not only your career but your life satisfaction in general: invest in your whole self.
If you think this option seems hokey…think again. Competition is fierce in this new COVID world, and you need every advantage you can get.
Clean and organize
Studies have demonstrated that workers who operate in clean, uncluttered environments are not only more productive but also more creative. Since more companies are turning to remote work, “investing” in your immediate environment could pay off big-time
Move around on the regular
For many of us, office chairs have done our backs—and our backsides—no favors over the years. It’s difficult to work through chronic pain; even mild discomfort can blunt your edge.
Now’s the time to invest in establishing an at-home exercise routine that will make you feel good and think better. Not everybody needs to be ripped, thin, or “super fit”: the goal here is to loosen up your joints in order to fire up those neurons.
Fuel your body right
Most of us have put on weight in the past few months and under the circumstances, it’s totally understandable. But gastric distress, malnutrition, and even subtle food allergies can inhibit your productivity more than you think.
The key here is to find which foods consistently make you feel good; whether you’re going raw vegan or eating a steak every night doesn’t particularly matter from a career point of view. The critical questions to answer about your current diet are:
- Are you getting the nutrition you need?
- Does your diet account for chronic health conditions?
- Do you enjoy steady energy throughout the day?
- Do you generally feel alert, intelligent, and creative?
A “no” to any of those means you probably need to rethink your food choices.
Time is precious in the pandemic; you don’t want to waste weeks barking up the wrong career tree, so to speak. You need a coherent action plan, and that’s just what the CareerFitter career test offers:
- Learn what careers you can excel in, including Work From Home Jobs
- Get the latest research on that career, including salary information and required skills
- Learn which companies are hiring—even during the pandemic