It’s clear that “stay-at-home” requirements aren’t going to disappear overnight. Some find themselves inundated with work, barely able to take time to sleep. While others are in a holding pattern, trying to make sure they look useful while their companies weigh options regarding furloughs, layoffs and paying staff during this business time-out. Then there are those who have lost their jobs, had their jobs put on hold or have had to close their business.
Many, if not a majority, of the people who have been laid off, furloughed or cut off from their livelihoods do not have the reserves to continue to pay their bills. Though the unemployment and emergency aid is helping many, for a large population, the financial support is not enough to cover their cost of living or they have gotten sucked into a blackhole of paperwork, hold times and unanswered questions to even receive the aid promised to them.
What do you do in the meantime? You hustle. This is about how to use your time to figure out how to get back into the work world. This can be easier said than done if you are inexperienced at finding work. That can be for a myriad of reasons. Maybe you’re too young to have seen an economic downturn and don’t have a support system that can help you figure out what to do. Maybe you’ve been in the same job for a long time and just lost touch with the employment hustle. Possibly you were banking on your employer being back up and running sooner than what has unfolded. You really don’t want to have to take a different job. Or maybe you’re in so much shock and depression you can’t see how to move forward.
Regardless of what may have led you to desperately needing work, you are faced with two choices. Let the situation dictate your outcome or take the reins of your life back and create a path through for yourself. Below are some hustle career tips to help you get work to support making a living during the pause button COVID-19 pandemic has put on the economy.
Know that this is temporary. Your goal needs to be mitigating how much permanent damage is done to you because of this temporary situation. Taking a new job during this time does not mean you can’t return to the career you were in the middle of building at a later time. Doing work that is not aligned with your long-term goals can be an opportunity to diversify your skills and gain perspective you would not have otherwise been able to get from your previous role.
Put glitter against glue. If you don’t have that proverbial nest egg or family financial support to help you ride out this storm, you can’t afford to be picky right now. Apply for anything and everything that might put you back in the seat of earning a living is your best strategy to finding work as quickly as possible. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big advocate for going after what you want. But I also want to eat and have a roof over my head in the interim. Go after every possible opportunity until something starts to work out.
Use all available resources. If you look around, you’ll see that while many industries have come to a crashing halt there are others that are booming. There are many jobs cropping up across the globe for remote work if the increased demand in grocery, delivery and healthcare is not a fit for you due to health concerns. But as I speak to people looking for job assistance, an astonishing number have not even thought it was worth looking for work during this time of stay-at-home.
The practice of discipline. Practicing the hustle of getting work is a strong discipline that will support your future confidence when taking career risks, reaching for new positions and negotiating pay. You are teaching yourself that you can do anything that you put your mind to, even when the odds are against you. You are practicing control of your choices vs. being reactive to the current situation. That will pay off many dividends throughout your life.
Know that you are resourceful. If fear and anxiety have been your main emotions, you are probably missing opportunities. Your mind is primed for closure vs. openness when in panic mode. Trust that you have the tools to navigate this chapter. The more you focus on what you are going to do to work through this, the more you call upon your mind to look for opportunities. This includes searching for information, being willing to ask for help and even coming up with innovative solutions that you hadn’t thought of before.
None of this means it’s easy. But it also means you have options. They may not be as good of options as you had a month ago or as some of your friends have, but you have them. It requires that you allow yourself to go after them with determination even in the face of the complete unknown. But that is where we all learn how to trust in our capacity to be resilient.