How do you prepare for and recover from, the loss of income from a job, business revenue, or investment income… maybe also the loss of access to credit?
What a wild ride – no one knows where we’ll end up post Covid19 but the best defense is a strong offense. But, what if you kept meaning to save enough to cover basic living expenses for six months, but somehow after the first or second rent/mortgage payment goes out, the coffers are looking pretty bare? Even if you’ve got the next month or two covered, almost every type of business and career is going to change after this modern pandemic plays out.
It’s time to improvise. Finding a source or multiple sources of income is now our top priority. That side-hustle that’s languished? The gig you let slide while focusing on your passion project? Even a previous career you thought was over? All are back on the table now. It’s time to be flexible, creative, resilient.
- 1. If you’ve been laid off or furloughed from a job, full time or regular part-time, your first move is to apply for unemployment insurance. With millions of others already in the system, expect a delay in getting your claim processed. If you’re not sure if you or your employer paid into the system, you may or may not be eligible but you’ll only find out after you file for benefits so this is your first task.
Expect to be frustrated, expect to be asked for documentation, expect to be rejected. But still, you must cross this hurdle first.
- 2. Next up, see what jobs are being advertised in your geographic area. Collect the data – where and how to apply, the titles and wages being offered, skill requirements – for ALL the help wanted postings. Rank them by matching your skill set and preferences then start at the top and apply for as many as you can each day.
Gather your ID and references. Update your CV, revamp your social media presence (almost all employers do some online sleuthing on prospective employees). Recheck the job listings each morning to see if any new ones have turned up. Keep a spreadsheet with the dates of your application and documentation supplied.
Don’t expect to find your dream job now, but before you can be picky, you’ve got to have an offer. Even now, with warehouse and delivery jobs mushrooming, the hiring process can take weeks so you must get your application system geared up.
- 3. Next, we’d usually discuss what assets you could sell – CD collections, designer purses, that extra bike in the storage unit. But, with so many people holed up at home and everyone watching their discretionary spending, it’s unlikely you’ll find any buyers for your extra stuff. Take a few pictures, make some quick postings, but this is a bonus if there’s a buyer for your unwanted assets before you need to make the next rent/mortgage.
- 4. Once you’ve applied for jobs, it’s time to look at gigs. Particularly work that can be done remotely or around your other obligations. Consider these options:
Teachers are the newest and most in-demand remote workers as the quarantines and shelter-in-place send masses of students home to complete their schooling. Even if many classrooms open in the fall, remote learning is here to stay. Pay varies depending on your subject and grade level but the demand for people who can and want to teach or tutor remotely will continue to grow. Some online platforms hiring now include: Outschool, K12, Prof360
Other remote and flexible jobs still looking for workers (according to AARP) may include one of the following. Apply for any you may be even negligibly qualified for.
Click on the job title to see the original AARP article with links to online applications.
Do what you can to salvage your pre-virus business but finding new sources of income, now and into the brave-new-world future, is your top priority. Our new reality requires resilience and flexibility. It brings new opportunity too, but you’ll be in a better position to recognize and take advantage of the realignment if you’ve got money coming in regularly.