Tips for hourly workers impacted by coronavirus

Coronavirus has been declared a global pandemic by the WHO, and with confirmed cases continuing to rise across the world, organizations are making hard decisions about events, work-related travel and requiring employees to work from home in an effort to slow the spread of the virus and minimize exposure for employees.

While these decisions have implications for all workers, hourly-wage earners are proving to be the most hard-hit. What happens for workers in fields like hospitality, restaurant and food service, and maintenance and repair where a work-from-home option isn’t a feasible reality?

Here are four tips to consider as you look for new or additional work to ease any job loss or hours-reduced related to the coronavirus.

1. Use transferable skills to find a new hourly job that allows you to work from home (even if temporarily)

If your main source of income is waiting tables, prepping food, cleaning hotel rooms or any other on-site hourly work, you might look for opportunities to utilize those skills in other capacities. Do you interface with customers frequently? Remote customer service or call center jobs might be available to you. Are you organized amid chaos and good with details? You might dip your toe into fields that require logistics and many moving parts, like project management. These opportunities might be temporarily work-from-home or serve as a temporary solution, but any potential reframing of your current experience should rely on skills you already use daily.

2. Look for contract work and opportunities fueled by the gig-economy

There are many employers that want to use or already utilize remote workforces on a contract basis. From freelance designers to consultants, consider how your skills might be useful to organizations in a temporary capacity or for remote, one-off projects. Use job boards to filter positions by remote opportunities, and/or temporary or contract work, to find open roles. As more people work from home, and the rhythm of everyday life is interrupted, services like food and grocery delivery, and using rideshare companies, will only increase.

3. Your skills could translate to salaried positions that may allow for work from home – and ultimately progress your career

What have you done in the past that might be attractive to a new employer? Hiring managers are moving away from strict title matching based on past experiences, and they want to see how candidates navigated situations and projects with skills they have cultivated. Think about what you learned in previous roles, the knowledge you executed to accomplish tasks and how you worked with others to complete projects, and describe your experiences in a new way to connect to a current job opening’s description.

4. Search for opportunities within industries responding to coronavirus

If you’re looking to switch careers, or have previous training or experience in certain industries, consider high-growth sectors that are constantly looking for employees, especially during the response to coronavirus. These include truck and delivery drivers, home health aides and nursesweb developers, and customer service representatives.


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