Choices are sometimes conscious decisions and other times circumstances force change. Regardless of which it is for you, you do have choices!
I briefly commuted for more than an hour into downtown Los Angeles. It didn’t take me long to decide it was simply not worth it.
Many previously could not imagine choosing not to commute. Where they live most may live in one area and commute to another so it never occurred to them there are options.
But you can, by making a conscious choice about your career. And given the current situation with COVID-19, that may be the best choice available.
You do NOT have to have a J.O.B. (Just Over Broke). You could choose to work from home for yourself like I do.
Many of us collaborate and refer work to each other so that we can balance out our workload.
Or you could decide to earn less so you can live closer to your work. When you get laid off is a good time to consider relocating to a less expensive area.
This is wise if the available positions pay less than you were making.
The lower your pay the better off you will be financially by moving where housing costs and other expenses are lower.
You need a high salary to live in an expensive area. Or you can cut expenses by eliminating the need to own a car.
If you love where your live, consider changing jobs. (Don’t quit the one you have – find a new one first.
It is easier to find a job when you’re currently employed because you are considered more “in demand”.)
Expenses are not the only reason for shortening your commute. The high cost of gasoline is one reason, but saving time is even more important.
You could work and live in a community where you can walk or ride a bike to work. Or where there are car sharing programs. Or where public transportation is a short ride. Or work from home.
Besides saving time and money, commuting can impact your life, health, and career in other ways.
COVID Change Your Life? You Have More Choices Than You Think!
Now is the perfect time to re-examine your life. Do you really need to work full-time or commute? What might make you happier?
Here’s what one person who used to have an $80k / year career decided to do instead:
Ok, so you do have choices even if you don’t believe you do. Your life may look totally different already due to circumstances beyond your control.
So what are you going to do about it? We don’t know what will happen this fall much less in the years to come.
Don’t sit around waiting for things to go back to “normal”. And we sure don’t want to be stuck with the “new normal”.
That means you have to make things happen for yourself. If you need an income to keep a roof over your head and food on the table, act now.
How to Find Work in the Remote Economy
Experts estimate that by 2025, 70% of all people will work remotely at least 5 days a month. But if you can work remotely any time, you could do it all the time.
So what’s holding you back? Start working toward the future you want now. If your income went away or is substantially lower, find new income.
Use the infographic below to find more details on what kinds of employers are hiring for remote work.
1) Decide what kind of work you would like to pursue
You need to know this first because it will guide you in what kind of resume and portfolio you may want to create.
2) Create an Online Resume on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is an excellent (free) place to find work and the best place to create your online resume.
There are plenty of tips around on how to optimize your profile there. Start with 20 Steps to a Better LinkedIn Profile in 2020.
3) Create a Portfolio
Interested in pursuing creative freelance work such as writing, website building, video creation, etc.?
Create a free portfolio at Contently. Writers use it to gather their published content from across the web in one place.
You can see mine at https://gailgardner.contently.com/.
Julie Weishaar uses hers to show off videos, SlideShares, custom images, infographics and content.
Check hers out at https://julieweishaar.contently.com/. Then jump right in and create your own.
4) Create Job Searches
The two best places to search for both jobs and freelance gigs are:
They both have options to indicate what type of jobs you want and the ability to save your searches.
One drawback to both is that there is often no detail related to whether the listings you’re interested in pays decent or well or “you’ve got to be kidding me cheap”.
So it will take time to weed through interesting options. It is worth it as there are good jobs to be had on both of those sites.
5) Let Your Network Know What You Want
The key to getting considered for freelance work is often referrals from other freelancers.
Make sure you make yourself easy to recommend and that everyone who knows you is aware of what kind of work you’re interested in getting.
The best way to get established and land work that pays well is by collaborating with others who do what you want to do.
NOTE: Originally published 10/23/13; Original post sponsored by Workopolis, Canada’s most popular and largest site for finding jobs online.
Content edited 8/28/20 to replace missing video, add an infographic, and expanded and updated to be more current.
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