Author: Craig Brown
U.S. unemployment continues to rise in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and many economists predict that it could reach 15 percent by the end of April. For millions of Americans, this statistic is all too real, as many have been laid off in recent weeks. If you’ve found yourself in this situation and you are looking for ways to pay the bills, consider these tips for how you can use your expertise to make money until you get back into full-time work and make your ends meet.
These days, you can freelance almost any job you can think of, and there are more resources available to make freelancing more practical than ever. Unless you and your employer ended on bad terms, you could ask them about the possibility of doing freelance work for the company, whether it’s by the project or at a part-time capacity. That way, you may already have projects, connections, and potential clients in place.
Even if going through your former employer isn’t realistic or ideal, freelancing by yourself could be an option. No matter what your industry—be it writing, admin support, or data science and analytics, among many others—you might be able to acquire some work and earn income. One of the best ways to get your name out there so that you can work from home is to sign up on an online job board like Upwork. Creating a profile is a simple process, and not only will you be able to find potential clients, but they can also find you.
Take on some odd jobs
Along with considering freelance work, be on the lookout for odd jobs in your area. Whether it’s going through a temp agency for an office position, asking work crews (e.g., construction, landscaping) if they need extra help, or washing cars on the weekends, there might be alternative ways of making money. Ask around your network of family, friends, and former coworkers to see if they know of anyone or any place that is looking to hire part-time.
Cut out the luxuries
During financial hardship or uncertainty, the first things that need to go are all your unnecessary expenses. For instance, you may have to temporarily cancel your Netflix and Apple Music subscriptions, put a hold on buying equipment for your hobbies, and/or learn new recipes so that you can cook more often. It’s important to remember that this is temporary; once you have a renewable source of income again, you can start to bring back some of the comforts you’ve grown used to.
Look into unemployment benefits
Another practical step you can take while between jobs is to check to see if you qualify for unemployment benefits. In most states, you should be eligible if you have worked a certain number of hours in the last year and the loss of your job was not your fault. However, if you don’t qualify for unemployment benefits, you may need to consider applying for a small personal loan to get you through the next several months.
Keep a healthy perspective
It’s easy to feel discouraged after suffering job loss. But the truth is that millions of other people are in the same boat, and it doesn’t mean that you’re not a great worker. This moment can actually be an opportunity for you to try new things and perhaps find a new career path that is more fulfilling. Remember that this is temporary, that you will get through it, and that this might be more of an opportunity then it is a curse.
If you’re one of many who have lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to figure out ways to make ends meet. Remember to look into freelancing, and see if there are any odd jobs available in your area. Also, eliminate any unnecessary expenses, see if you are eligible for unemployment benefits, and try to keep a good perspective of your circumstances. As challenging as this time may be, remember that it could also be an opportunity for something greater.