For many industries badly hit by the pandemic, those who are in danger of losing their jobs are left to wonder about what’s next. How do you find a new job when there is so much belt-tightening happening around? How can you shift to another talent or skill, when you’ve been doing “your thing” for most of your life? How do you find your blueprint in a virtual world with endless possibilities if you can’t even manage your own social media pages?
It’s not just the current work force that’s faced with these problems. There are tons of students who have just graduated, or are just about to graduate, and are now left hanging and finding themselves disconcerted with the whole situation. What do you do when your course does not meet the need of the times?
There’s definitely a lot of discernment that needs to happen. Don’t be afraid if you haven’t found anything yet—many of us are still looking for ourselves in the dark. Here are some things you need to keep in mind if you are willing to go on a mission of self discovery.
1. Keep an open mind.
Change can only happen when you are open to it. Try to imagine yourself in different roles. If you were given a chance to reinvent yourself, who would you be? How would that person look like? Is there anybody you want to be like? Is there a career you’ve always wanted to get into, but have always been afraid to try? Be open to the possibility of reaching beyond your comfort zones, even if it’s just in your head (for now).
2. Take a look at the market.
While some industries are losing relevance in the midst of this pandemic, there are also some whose significance is at an all-time high.
According to digital marketer Carlo Ople, a top e-commerce website has been aggressively hiring and posting job listings on the internet. He adds that there are a lot po of freelance work available from logistics companies and apps. “If you have a specific skill related to e-commerce you can also opt to go freelance. You can offer digital marketing services like ads, content, public relations, search engine optimization, etc. There’s a big opportunity in the gig economy versus full time jobs.”
Apart from the digital world, the number of home businesses are also expected to go higher, with more people wanting to minimize movement to prioritize health and safety.
3. What can you offer?
Like any business, you need to see where you can meet the needs of the world. Maybe through a talent, skill, service or a product. What other things are you good at? For businesses, how can you shift your services to be more relevant to the times?
It’s okay if you don’t know the answer yet, but it helps to experiment too. For example, if you’ve never cooked or baked anything in your life, this is the perfect time to try. Use this time to find your other interests. You may just discover a new talent.
4. What resources do you have?
Let’s be realistic. You can only work with what you have. How much are you willing to invest in the exploratory phase? How much will it cost to start a new business? How much are the online classes going to cost? If you plan on being a content creator, what is inside your home that you can use to create content with? Creativity helps in reimagining our work and home spaces. Think out of the box.
5. Who can you work with?
People usually gravitate toward the people they trust, especially in rough times. Evaluate your network and see how you can work with others to kick something off. Your social media spaces can be a good start. There are lots of communities being formed right now online—from Viber to Facebook. That latest webinar? It could be a way to expand your network. Your very own neighborhood can also be a good place to form connections. (Be wary though of those taking advantage of the times.)
6. Don’t be afraid to start small.
Let’s admit it. Change is scary. If you are afraid, you can do it in small steps and figure things out along the way. For example, take freelance work first before committing to a full-time job, or do something for free initially to give it a try. Being conservative is wise at this point, too. Little by little, you’ll get to figure out the things you don’t want to do, and which ones you’re willing to go for. For social media, it’s okay if you start with a small following. It’s more important to be clear with who you are, what you want to be known for and what your message is. Know your brand. A unique selling point will cut through the noise. Make sure you have the goods to back it up.
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7. Be a constant learner.
Remember that it is okay to make mistakes. Failing is a part of the process. Use it as a way to learn and get better. Use this time for a fun self-discovery. Getting feedback from those closest to you will help.
Don’t be afraid of being judged by others. We are all in a crisis. There are so many people like you who are also trying to reinvent themselves. If you don’t have ideas yet, it would help to go into YouTube or Facebook and take inspiration. There are also webinars that you can participate in that can supply those ideas. Having a growth mindset instead of a fixed one helps in breaking away from what you’ve been used to. Don't give up when your work doesn't get traction right away. Keep on innovating.
8. Write your own pandemic story.
Whether it’s reinvention, or doing something that is totally out of your line for now, remember that the pen is in your hands. You write your story. Don’t let this crisis defeat you. Years from now, when we look back at this pandemic, what story would you like to tell your children of how you survived and made it through? It's all up to you, really.
I hope this helps you in your journey.
For more stories from Gretchen Ho, check out womaninaction.ph.