A recent Business Times article revealed that 8663 businesses folded in April 2020, which is more than double the number of cessations in March and the highest number in recent years. This number is slated to grow even as the impact of Covid-19 on our economy increases.
Honestly, I feel very blessed that my job is mostly unaffected by Covid-19. I know that many around me are not as lucky and may face many difficult months ahead. Apart from encouraging all those who are largely spared during this pandemic to have a positive and grateful outlook, I would like to share some tips that may help those who are affected during this time.
1. Take up a new skill. Diversify your talents!
A new skill is akin to a new weapon in your arsenal these days. If you can write, great! But imagine if you are a good writer and possess skills like graphic design or Photoshop too. That sets you up for jobs that pay more because you are able to “bao ga liao” (do everything) and it also opens up more job opportunities when clients know that they can come to you to complete a full project. It’s always tougher if they have to approach different people to get one piece of work done… not to mention that it’s also more challenging to achieve creative cohesion when two different people are working separately on one piece of work.
It doesn’t matter which skills you are interested in. It could be photography or practical skills like cooking and driving. Having more is definitely better.
For me, apart from writing and Photoshop, I also offer translation services to spice up my portfolio.
2. Do a side hustle.
As a freelance writer, I can attest to the fact that this job was and perhaps still isn’t sustainable as a full-time job. However, the entry point is much less daunting when you do it as a side hustle. When I first started and clients didn’t know me, it was indeed tough to land jobs that paid enough to even warrant my efforts. However, as time passes and clients start to know you and like the work you produce, they will come back and hire you for more jobs. At that point, you can negotiate for a better rate since you have a good track record and a portfolio.
The downside? It is tiring.
I’m not going to lie. Doing a side hustle will mean that you sleep an average of 6 hours daily, with no extra entertainment time like Netflix/drama/whatever on a weekday. I usually aim to complete my stuff on weekdays and I only use half a day of Saturday for the side hustle, leaving me with 1.5 days of rest weekly.
The upside? You can keep your “secure day job” and still earn about $600 more monthly. If you get fewer side jobs that month, you just take it as more rest time but don’t have to fret too much about the drop in income.
3. Go online! Use technology to your advantage.
In this day and age, you are truly missing out if you don’t utilise the online platforms available to you. The world is so big now and is much more interconnected than you may realise. I have been using an online freelance platform that allows me to bid and do freelance jobs that I prefer. The platform takes a 20% cut from the fee that the client pays but it opens me up to job opportunities from all around the world. Using such a platform effectively exposes you to a much larger client pool and buffers the impact when unexpected things like the Covid-19 pandemic happens.
Separately, branding is an important skill to master. Using social media effectively to push out your message and brand creates more job opportunities as well. Just look at all those influencers who have created full-time jobs for themselves simply by mastering this skill!
All in all, I hope that this sharing has been insightful and is helpful to those seeking to diversify your income during this time. Pls also help to share this article to your friends if you’ve found it helpful 😊 Stay safe and Covid-19 proof!