Okay, so this may sound completely crazy, but hear us out. If you have been laid off because of COVID-19 or you’re simply sick of your current job, maybe it’s time to start a business or find a new career. Okay, we said it. Now take a deep breath and listen to why this makes sense. First of all, disruption creates opportunity. Secondly, you have the time (and hopefully the will) to make a change and set yourself up for financial success in the future. Third, there are more small business loans and other resources available for free right now. FirstLantic shares three ideas to help get you started.
1. What do people need right now? They need delivery services, online goods, or maybe virtual business advice/financial guidance. One example of a service that is now in demand is one that many of us think has been extinct since the ’50s — milk delivery. The reality is that there are still companies out there that deliver farm to table fresh milk, eggs, and other products. But now those businesses are not just surviving; they are thriving. The uptick in new customers for home delivery is unbelievable,” says Ed Seabridge, owner of Suncrest Farms, a milk delivery service in Totowa, New Jersey. “We’re probably averaging somewhere around 90 to 100 calls a day,” says Seabridge. “It’s just nonstop.”
On the complete other end of the spectrum is a company called Tushy, which saw its’ bidet sales skyrocket when consumers began to have a collective meltdown about toilet paper scarcity. Tushy makes portable, self-installable bidets. In early March, Tushy’s CEO, Jason Ojalvo, said he had projected a possible bump in bidet sales due to concerns about health and sanitation. But when videos of frantic shoppers pushing carts piled high with toilet paper went viral, sales exploded. “The toilet paper hoarding,” conceded Ojalvo, “caused the really significant boost.”
2. How will COVID-19 change the workplace of the future? With so many people working from home right now, we might see that become the new reality even after the crisis ends. After all, there are more hours for work without the commute time, less unnecessary interruptions, (except for those of you that are trying to home school your kids right now), and less stress when you don’t have to deal with the chaos of traffic or the rigidity of a train or bus schedule. So, if more people work from home, how will that change the workplace as we know it, and what could you bring to the table to help with that transition? It’s a good bet that there will be more virtual meetings, wellness, or other online programs for remote employees, or perhaps businesses will need consultants to train them on how to keep their workers engaged and productive. For example, a new start-up called ouroffice.io, a technology platform for diversity and inclusion, is offering their engagement tool free of charge to help employers keep their workers connected and productive. As their CEO Sonya Sepahban states, “We are anxious to do our part to help companies deal with the ‘new normal’ of COVID-19.”
Another example is a multilingual web conferencing platform called Kudo. Since COVID-19, inquiries have skyrocketed, and they are now fielding more than 200 requests a day about their services. Their CEO estimates his business has increased 400% since COVID-19 spread to Europe and North America.
3. What types of companies need employees right now? As we mentioned before, delivery services are in demand. For example, Blue Apron and SunBasket are two companies that provide fresh ingredient and recipe delivery to help cooks at all levels create meals at home. While companies like this already had an established consumer base, they are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with the heightened demand. Other types of organizations that need more staff right now are in the home healthcare field, such as FirstLantic.com. They are helping seniors deal with the reality of self-quarantine and providing additional support with everyday tasks such as meal preparation, grocery shopping, and medication management. FirstLantic is actively hiring for home health aides/certified nursing assistants in South Florida, and there are other organizations nationwide that are facing the same shortages.
While we are not trying to minimize the extreme impact that COVID-19 has had on millions of people, there are some small silver linings. While it may sound counterintuitive to think that this is an excellent time to reevaluate your career options, it might be precisely the right time. So, take advantage of some of the resources below to help you get started. And most importantly, stay safe and healthy!
Score.org – a non-profit resource that helps small businesses with mentorship programs
Job opportunities that are in demand right now
Indeed.com – job listings site with currently available positions
Muse – Offering some scholarly content for free
Free at-home services for entertainment
Free digital content resources