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Unemployment options during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Finding Job during the COVID-19 Pandemic

As a freelance teacher, we feel as if it is necessary to, once again, write about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the gig industry.

In the past, Freelancing Buzz has helped individuals learn about top freelancing sites. While we have helped you improve your Upwork skills, we have also assisted you in finding the best freelance jobs. We have also given you plenty of work from home tips.

Since we have helped you get started on your freelance work from home jobs, we would like to continue assisting you by discussing what happens when you face unemployment as a freelancer.

Today, we would like to discuss a few options that you may consider if you are losing clients because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Consider changing your industry.

In the past, Freelancing Buzz has emphasized the importance of developing a niche within your industry. For example, we recommended that if you worked as a freelance content writer, that you try to find work in a particular sector, such as education, real estate, or gardening, which would enable you to become a niche writer.

While we stand behind that advice, we know that some of those industries right now are reeling because stay at home orders have disrupted their ability to earn money. If you are a travel writer, fashion writer, or interested in freelance sports writing, you are probably struggling to find clients right now.

Unfortunately, we don’t know when these industries will recover. Instead of waiting for new contracts to appear in your inbox, you may need to switch gears and refocus on a different sector that is not affected as much by COVID-19.

The good news is that even though you may know a lot about your particular subject matter, you are still a freelance CPA, freelance content writer, or freelance webpage designer at heart. This means that you are highly skilled in your area, and unlike other people who have worked for the same company for decades, you know how to be flexible.

So instead of working as a freelance travel writer, you may want to begin creating DIY content to help individuals who are stuck at home complete renovation projects. Instead of advertising your skills in fashion web page design on freelance job sites, you may want to help small business owners set up online stores.

Consider learning new skills.

When something terrible happens, it is incredible to watch how quickly some businesses scramble to provide support. Although some of the companies may indeed be philanthropic at heart, other companies know that showing support in a time of need is a great PR tactic.

Companies that offer online learning have recently opened up some of their content as a result of the pandemic. While some of the courses merely provide a diversion, others will teach you skills that can be marketed as a freelancer.

To find such courses, search for the knowledge you would like to acquire plus a “free online course.” You may also add “COVID-19” to your search to find classes that have been recently opened up to the general public as a result of the pandemic.

We know that training yourself a new skill is not going to be easy, but if you have worked as a freelancer, you must be good at figuring out problems on your own. Freelancers have a stick-with-it attitude that others may not have.

Consider collecting unemployment

You probably began your freelancing career slowly. In fact, you probably didn’t quit your day job until you had established several good clients.

Since you have been a part of the gig economy for a while, you know how many proposals you had to write before you landed your first job. And you know how many bad clients you had to work with before you found reliable, high-paying customers.

If you need to temporarily change your industry focus or retrain yourself for a different job, you may struggle to earn your regular income. In that case, you may need to apply for unemployment benefits.

The recently-passed CARES act expands unemployment benefits to those in the gig economy. To qualify for Pandemic Unemployed Assistance, you need to certify that you do not qualify for regular unemployment. You also need to show that you are able or available to work, but you can’t for one of the following reasons:

You have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms and seeking a diagnosis of the virus
A member of your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19
You are providing care for a family member or household member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19
You are providing care for a child or other household member whose school or care facility has closed
Check your state’s unemployment website to learn how to apply and other restrictions.

This article was originally posted at Freelancing Buzz.

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