6 Outside-Of-The Box Ideas To Find A Job Or Stay Relevant Post COVID-19 - Forbes

6 Outside-Of-The Box Ideas To Find A Job Or Stay Relevant Post COVID-19 - Forbes


6 Outside-Of-The Box Ideas To Find A Job Or Stay Relevant Post COVID-19 - Forbes

Posted: 29 Apr 2020 09:21 AM PDT

There will be great damage wrought on the job market in the wake of COVID-19. We have already witnessed 26 million jobs lost with an anticipated millions more to come. Many industries will suffer badly for years to come.  

You'd be doing yourself a disservice to presume that your job is safe and sound. If you've lost your job or are concerned about the safety and long-term viability of your career, you need to plan ahead of time and not wait for the ax to fall.

Here are six outside-of-the-box things you can do to stay in the game and keep the momentum of your career going.

1. Make Yourself Indispensable

It's reasonable to presume that once companies restart there will be hiring freezes and downsizings, as management won't have any clarity as to the future of its business prospects.  You want to be the one who's asked to stay on. Start right now by making yourself indispensable. Stay in close touch with your boss and other leaders at your company to determine what they need to succeed and how you can make their lives easier. Do everything in your power to effectively get things done and become the go-to person when there's a problem. Let the powers that be know you're the person who takes decisive actions and makes things happen. It's an aggressive approach, but tough times call for bold actions. 

If you've lost your job, you don't want to wait on the sidelines for too long. At first, employers will understand that you were impacted by the pandemic. After months pass, hiring managers will question why you weren't picked up when others were already rehired. They'll begin to doubt your abilities. Since there will be so many other people in the job market, they can easily move onto other candidates if they see that you haven't been doing anything for the last bunch of months.

2. Take On Contracting Roles To Stay Relevant 

These are usually short-or-medium-term  temporary roles. Companies will most likely hire more contractors rather than full-time permanent employees. There's less risk and obligations to hire someone on a short-term basis. It buys time as management tries to figure out how things will change and what its ultimate needs will be.

By working on a contract with a company, you will make new contacts, build your network and have the possibility of being converted to a permanent employee. It also shows prospective employers that you're industrious, picked up new skills and stayed relevant.

3. Pivot Or Reinvent Yourself

If you're in a career that was irrevocably damaged, you need to reinvent yourself or pivot to a new line of work. Sometimes a hot area becomes cold overnight. The opportunities dry up and you have to move onto something different. Use this time to start preparing a "Plan B" for the possibility of things going south. This may entail going back to school to learn skills for a new type of career, obtain accreditations and certifications or accepting a job at the bottom and starting all over again in a new field.

Pivoting is a little different. Find a way that your skills, experience and knowledge can crossover into another field. You may have to take a couple of steps backward financially, but you can start rebuilding and quickly grow your career again.

For example, after the financial crisis, Wall Street traders lost their well-paying jobs. Then, technology was implemented that further crushed the careers of traders. These high-flying guys (yes, they were mostly men) hated the compliance department—the internal police-type people who oversaw their actions and wrote them up when they violated the rules. 

The unemployed traders with little or no options became enamored with compliance. They'd say "Hey, I know all the ins-and-outs of trading and all the games that are played. I've seen all the tricks of the trades and understand the mindset. I'd be a great compliance officer!" They were right. Investment banks hired a large number of former traders in compliance and supervisory roles, figuring they could effectively deal with their former peers and have an insider's knowledge of what they're up to.

4. You May Have To Relocate 

You'll need to be open-minded and make adjustments to your life. There will be cities and states that fare better than others and offer more opportunities. If you are only fishing in one small pond, you're missing the entire ocean of fish. It's not easy to pack your belongings and family to leave town for another city, but it's something that you have to seriously consider if where you currently live doesn't provide you sufficient opportunities to find a new job or grow your career.

5. Remote Jobs Will Become More Prevalent

One of the more positive consequences of the coronavirus is that companies have recognized that people can effectively work from home. The chief financial officers realize that the company can save a fortune on pricey, big-city rent. The human resources professionals understand the benefits of having happy workers who are required to schlep into work on crowded buses and trains that take over an hour each way. 

Start searching for job listings that offer that work-from-home arrangement. Even if a job listing doesn't say that the company is open to work-from-home options, ask anyway. You have nothing to lose.

6. Start A Business

If you have a bit of an entrepreneurial streak in you and you've lost your job, you can create your own job. Start a small business with a corporate LLC designation and hang out a shingle saying that you're open for business. You can offer the advice, guidance and counsel you gave to your former employer to an array of businesses that need help, but don't have the financial wherewithal to hire. 

Either you can make a go of it and make some money or it's something smart to have on your résumé. When you go into an interview, if the business doesn't work out, you can say, "After working X amount of years in Y field, I built up an expertise in the space. I've always dreamed of starting a business and thought this was the right time to take a chance and do it. After running my company for a while, I've learned a lot and helped many businesses. However, I now realize that I prefer working at a large organization. This was a great learning experience and I grew from it and would like to return to what I really love doing, which is this job that I'm interviewing for."

The keys to navigating the new post-COVID-19 world entail working hard to show your value so that you keep you job, preparing to reinvent yourself, pivoting to another career, taking on short-term assignments to stay relevant, having an open mind to moving where the jobs are and trying to ask companies if they'd allow you to work remotely. Lastly, you can always create your own job by starting a business offering your experience, skills and knowledge.

Treat the special mom in your life and support small business this Mother's Day - TheChronicleHerald.ca

Posted: 28 Apr 2020 12:08 PM PDT

With Mother's Day fast approaching and most small businesses still closed, families may be scrambling for ideas for that perfect gift for mom.

With it likely happening in quarantine, it's extra-important to make sure this day is extra-special. As mothers, we take care of others, tending to and nurturing those we love, especially during times of crisis like COVID-19, says Halifax artisan Lori Lewis of Petal and Crow.

"We must care for and support, more than ever, those in our families, our neighbours, our communities, our local artists, our local small businesses, and especially female entrepreneurs," says Lewis. "Just like our mothers, our priorities should be close to home."

To help make shopping easier, a variety of small businesses from across Atlantic Canada who feature local products were consulted for their top Mother's Day gift ideas.

1. Petal and Crow: artisanal zippered pouches, Halifax

Lori Lewis designs and makes artisanal, elegant, versatile, reusable zippered pouches using premium cottons and linen that are as beautiful on the inside as on the outside. Pouches come in a variety of shapes and sizes (small, medium, and large) and are designed primarily as makeup bags. Other uses include carrying and organizing a multitude of items, such as medical devices, baby needs, computer cables, special undies, chocolate - whatever the user desires. Also available are makeup 'wallets', which work very well as makeup brush holders, coin/card purses, wristlet clutches and tote bags.

Prices vary from product to product, reflecting the level of skill and the quality of the workmanship used, as well as, the aesthetic uniqueness of each piece. Custom orders available.

Free shipping within Canada, and hand delivery available within the Halifax region.

Price range: Starting at $25

2. Sand Dollar Silver: handmade personalised jewellery, South Shore, Nova Scotia

Rachael Jessup of Sand Dollar Silver makes handmade, personalised jewellery using your loved one's hand, foot, finger, paw prints and even handwriting. She also has a line of jewellery called Reflection in Nature, where she uses actual leaf or seed prints captured in silver.

Jewellery includes necklaces, charms, bracelets, earrings and key chains for men, women and children. Each piece is made to your exact requirements, and can include birthstones, charms, beads. All pieces are made to your requirements and are totally unique.

For the pieces, all that is required is a photograph of a hand, foot, paw or handwriting sent via email or text. Fingerprint kits are sent to you but may not be processed in time for Mother's Day; however, they can be a sweet "I owe you" for mom.

Items can be shipped anywhere, with free delivery to Lunenburg, Bridgewater and Mahone Bay.

Price range: Starting at $25

While fingerprint jewellery kits won't be ready in time for Mother's Day, it makes a sweet
While fingerprint jewellery kits won't be ready in time for Mother's Day, it makes a sweet

3. Prince Edward Island Preserve Company, Best Ever Mum Gift Box

According to Bruce MacNaughton, owner of the Price Edward Island Preserve Company, the most popular item this time of year from their New Glasgow, PEI-based store is the Best Ever Mum Gift Box set.

According to their website, "Your mum will think of you with every sip from her new Dunoon Fine Bone China mug. She'll receive it alongside a box of our handmade butter shortbread cookies, a bag of creamy Earl Grey black tea with a perfect cup of tea measuring spoon, two jars of our preserves - raspberry champagne and strawberry rhubarb, a jar of honey and a bag of tea biscuit mix. All this beautifully packed in a nice box with a custom Mother's Day label."

Gift boxes sell for $79.95 and can be shipped anywhere.

To place an order, visit preservecompany.com or phone 1-800-565-5267.

Price range: $75-$100

4. Nick's Customized Apparel: Mother's Day T-shirts, Kentville, N.S.

Lloyd Boutilier of Nick's Customized Apparel in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, has been printing T-shirts in his home-based shop during the time of self-isolation. For each $20 t-shirt he sells, $10 is donated to local charities. To date, over $7,000 has been raised for local food banks, and $12,000 for the families of the Nova Scotia shooting tragedy.

In time for Mother's Day, Boutlier has created a comical Mother's Day shirt for $20. From this, $10 will be donated to Chrysalis House, a Valley-based shelter for women and children.

Price range: Under $25

Try sending mom a funny shirt for Mother's Day - as an added bonus, some of the proceeds go to various charities.
Try sending mom a funny shirt for Mother's Day - as an added bonus, some of the proceeds go to various charities.

5. Drawbridge Creative: Customized Prints, Halifax, N.S.

Colleen O'Dea of Drawbridge Creative is a graphic designer who creates a series of customized prints featuring, "Things I Love About You."

To create your own piece, send a list of words and phrases to canthony@ns.sympatico.ca in any format. Then, O'Dea will create the piece basing the final size on how much content you've gathered, making sure to use standard frame sizes so you won't have to spend extra money on a custom frame. Most finished pieces are about a 16x20, which is about 1,000 words.

The finished piece is sent as a PDF file with very specific instructions for your printer. It will typically cost just a few dollars to have it printed professionally and is less expensive than having O'Dea ship it. Plus, she says, you get it right away.

O'Dea says it takes 48- to 72-hours to have a draft version emailed to you.

"It's so hard right now for Mother's Day," says O'Dea. "I'm hoping this will help people tell their mamas how amazing they are."

Price range: $100

Whink, in St. John's, NL, offers up this unique gift basket for Mother's Day.
Whink, in St. John's, NL, offers up this unique gift basket for Mother's Day.

6. Whink: Customized baskets, St. John's, N.L.

Kim Paddon of Whink, described as an anything-but-typical gift store in Churchill Square in St. John's, N.L., is offering Mother's Day gift baskets.

Included in each basket are local chocolates from Jacobean, as well as local soap, lotion, a bath bomb, and lip gloss from East Coast Glow. Products made by East Coast Glow are made with ingredients ethically foraged from along the rugged coast and waters of Newfoundland.

Whink also features a selection of traditional Newfoundland items at whinkinc.com/collections/local. The collection features Duckstreet Collectables, local paintings, fused glass artwork and more, all exclusively available at Whink.

Gift items can be purchased online, curbside pickup and shipping options are available.

Price range: Under $100

Op-Ed: Supporting defence capability through Australian SMEs - Defence Connect

Posted: 29 Apr 2020 07:59 PM PDT

Australian small businesses are critical to our defence capability and we need to keep them strong on the road to the post COVID-19 environment, explains Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price.

To help keep the wheels of defence industry turning, we promised to fast-track invoice payments to Department of Defence suppliers. We're delivering on that.

Since 23 March, the Australian government has paid 78,000 invoices to a value of $4.8 billion. Of this, $3.3 billion has been paid early – and we know these early payments are flowing to Australian small businesses.

We have made great progress to limit the effects of COVID-19 on small business in our defence industry. But we need to continue our support in backing small business so that they can continue to supply essential capability for our Defence Force.

The Morrison government's investment of over $200 billion in our defence capabilities is creating and supporting thousands of local Aussie jobs and has opened new and exciting opportunities for small business.

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Helping small businesses through this period and beyond is my top priority. That is why our government is continuing to inject much-needed cash in local Aussie businesses in our defence industry.

We need small businesses to succeed in Australia so that they can continue to deliver the capability our men and women in uniform rely on each and every day.

Businesses like Brisbane-based EPE. Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of announcing that EPE had secured a $10 million contract with Leidos. They're a small business that specialises in technologies to protect our soldiers from emerging threats, such as the risk of chemical and biological attacks. EPE will help Leidos deliver critical Defence capabilities in the area of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence.

In July last year, I visited EPE with my colleague, the federal member for Brisbane, Trevor Evans, to announce their $300,000 Defence Innovation Hub contract. To see their continued success since, including their partnership with Leidos, speaks to the quality of small Australian businesses that are contributing to essential Defence capability to keep Australians safe.

Maximising opportunities for small businesses to compete as part of the Australian Industry Capability (AIC) Program will mean more Australian businesses, like EPE, can contribute to the delivery of defence capability and drive economic growth.

The AIC Program requires tenderers to demonstrate that they have considered Australian industry as part of their tender response.

Last year, the Morrison government released the Defence Policy for Industry Participation. This policy extended the AIC Program to all Defence materiel and non-materiel procurements above $4 million, as well as construction projects above $7.5 million. Previously, AIC requirements only applied to material procurements valued above $20 million.

This significant change is an example of how the government is backing Australian industry, especially small businesses.

In times like these, we can be tempted to focus solely on business continuity, rather than pursuing innovation. But now more than ever, I want to commend innovative small businesses that are delivering and supporting enhanced ADF capability.

For example, Darwin-based SPEE3D are piloting cutting-edge 3D printing technology in the Northern Territory. This local business is working with the Australian Army and the Royal Australian Navy to allow high-quality metal parts to be printed on demand in the field or at sea. This will significantly increase the ADF's ability to access what it needs and when it needs it.

Many Australian small businesses have smart solutions and innovative ideas that could contribute to our Defence capabilities. Opportunities exist for a broad range of small businesses – not just those who have traditionally thought of themselves as a defence industry business.

Sea-to-Summit is a local WA business with one of the largest diversified suppliers of technical field equipment in the world. They have signed a standing offer deed to provide $30 million worth of field equipment to the Australian Army. This will include shelters, sleeping bags, hand tools, and personal protective equipment to support ADF personnel both in Australia and overseas.

Under this deed, Sea-to-Summit is ensuring the ADF maintains a leading-edge in field equipment, making our personnel safer and more effective.

This is another example of how a small business, which would have typically sat outside the definition of 'defence industry', can and is having a marked impact on Defence capability.

I also recently announced 11 Australian businesses had received a total of nearly $5 million as part of our Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities grants program to help them grow our nation's defence capability.

Some of these included Queensland-based Frontline Manufacturing, which received $710,000 to continue its work on armoured fighting vehicles.

Victoria-based Infinite Engineering received $1 million to increase the scale of manufacturing capacity and capability.

And South Australia-based Simbiant received $278,475 to design and commission a software defined radar advanced signal processing facility.

Our government has pressed ahead with this much-needed injection of funds in small business because we recognise their fundamental importance to developing essential capability for the ADF.

Our record $200 billion spend in Defence Force capability is not just buying us widgets, vehicles, ships and planes, it's building up a sovereign capability in our small business community.

Agility and capacity for innovation – hallmark qualities of Australian small businesses – are the attributes empowering business to successfully withstand the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19.

I know, through my regular engagement with industry, that the vast majority of defence industry businesses are feeling supported by our government at this time.

This was reflected in the recent Defence Connect COVID-19 Business Survey, which reported 79 per cent of business owners and 83 per cent of employees in the defence supply chain were satisfied with the government's response to the crisis.

We're working harder than ever to ensure businesses have what they need to succeed. But I can have confidence in our defence industry because I've seen what they can do.

Small businesses always have – and always will – play a vital role in building defence capability here in Australia. There are great opportunities on the road ahead. And I'm looking forward to helping them to get there.

Melissa Price is the federal member for Durack and Minister for Defence Industry.  

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