Jobs you can do in a crisis

We all started the year with high hopes of what the new decade could mean for our jobs, careers and lives. But just three months in, many of us are scratching our heads and wondering not what big things we’ll achieve this year, but how on earth we’ll get through the next few months. And with imminent closures of borders, whole cities, and vast swathes of hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses, everyone has a right to be worried. 

As terrifying as the crisis is, it is temporary. China announced that, for the first time, they had no new coronavirus cases, meaning that the end is in sight for the rest of the world, too – at some point. But until then, we all might need to bunker down and do things a little differently. For those of us whose jobs are either at risk or, unfortunately, already lost, we’re going to have to figure out how to make ends meet for the next couple of months. Here’s how to do just that: 

Industries that are still hiring

The coronavirus is affecting the jobs market in unprecedented ways. Sure, there might be far less jobs in most industries, but some industries are actively hiring, and need a larger workforce than ever. These industries include: 

  • Online learning companies: Right now, schools all over the world are closing, including, most recently, in the UK. Early estimates are that over 30 million children are now at home in need of an education, and as a result, some online learning companies are experiencing their biggest growth period yet. Online teaching jobs are currently experiencing a boom, with over 1200 currently listed on
  • Grocery stores: It seems like people’s hysteria about not having enough groceries has spread faster than the virus itself, with supermarkets all over the world running out of essential items such as flour, toilet paper, rice, pasta and pasta sauce. Grocery stores everywhere are struggling to meet demand, and are desperately hiring staff (as well as, in some cases, bouncers) to ensure things stay in order. There’s currently over 1000 jobs at Woolworths alone, and local supermarkets are also flooding their Facebook feeds with pleas for help of any kind. 
  • Work-from-home technology companies: Most people whose jobs can be done from home are now working from home. But we all still need to communicate, so software that enables us to do so are growing at lightning speed. Work chat application Slack has numerous jobs available, as does their counterpart Microsoft Teams, which, on last look, had nearly 5000 jobs. Unsurprisingly, virtual meeting software Zoom is also hiring and offers a swathe of work-from-home positions.
  • Childcare: Love kids, but don’t have your own? Although schools and childcare centres remain open in Australia at the moment, experts have warned they may need to close, and even if they don’t, many parents are taking their children out of schools or care anyway. This means that in the near future, there may be a spike in nanny positions. If you enjoy spending time with children, this might be a great way to spend your next few months. 

Contract, ‘B Team,’ or Freelance opportunities 

For those of us that may not be interested or able to pursue work in the above industries, there are still a few options for work in other areas, but it just might not be as stable as we would otherwise have liked it to be. 

As companies become a little nervous about what the immediate future might hold, expect to see more contract opportunities. In addition to this, many companies are hiring for what they call their ‘B’ team – a group of essentially backup individuals who can do certain work, should their current team members all become unwell. 

And finally, companies may have specific project work where they’re looking for freelancers. Even if your job doesn’t lend itself to freelancing, if it’s something you’ve considered for a long while, now might be the time to net yourself a few gigs and see what extra money you can earn, just in case. If you don’t know what jobs can be done virtually as a freelancer, check out the comprehensive list on Fiverr.

Work less, save more 

In reality, some of us may find it challenging to find work in the next few months. But in the absence of work, there are still ways you can make money. For example, how about clearing out your house and having a garage sale, or selling items on eBay?

Alternatively, if you’re looking for ways to save money, consider canceling or pausing subscriptions. There’s also still heaps of one-off gigs on Airtasker. 

Get through – you’ll be fine 

The next few months will undoubtedly be tough on everyone, and you may need to do things you’ve never done before to get by. But when the current crisis does end, we’ll come out the other side better than ever – perhaps with a new set of skills and experiences, and more appreciation for our normal life and careers.

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