New Job Market
The new year marks new beginnings in the job market, and as we emerge into a post-COVID-19 era, the professions once deemed improbable are becoming incredibly common. This new job market relates to new academic instruction as remote opportunities are necessary safety precautions to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Working from home is no longer simply a luxury but essential for numerous careers, however the one commonality described by a Harvard Business School article published in 2020 is that freelance work from home continues to skyrocket. A substantial number of college graduates recognize the competitive advantages of starting their own businesses or marketing their skills rather than applying for job listings and having their resumes and cover letters buried beneath a pile of other applications.
Common freelance careers include social media content creation, e-commerce businesses, and remote instruction such as teaching or fitness training. Social media platforms such as YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram continue to amass millions of users and some users are able to gain a wide enough audience from the content that they post. Achieving a certain level of digital fame along with consistent content can allow users to receive sponsorships, partnerships, brand deals, or become paid ambassadors for large corporations looking to work with them for marketing purposes. E-commerce business platforms such as Etsy and Depop serve as democratized opportunities for artists, fashion designers, jewelry designers, and other creators to sell their products without the hassle of setting up a shop or booth at a fair. On top of opening a business, this new job market allows people to pass on their knowledge as instructors via Zoom or other video calling platforms. Whether it be teaching a foreign language, how to cook, test taking skills, or how to get in shape, remote job opportunities have become in abundance.
One of the disadvantages of this emerging job market is unfortunately income instability as freelance work does not guarantee a consistent monthly compensation. Some months may be more lucrative than others, and the earliest months may not generate income at all as establishing a foundation is a gradual process. This can not only take a financial toll on someone particularly when it comes to building up savings for living expenses, but it can also take a mental toll as the motivation to continue a seemingly fruitless endeavor could decline.
Another downside of these new post-COVID-19 careers is the increasing competition in the freelance market as gaining traction of customers, followers, viewers, and sponsors is not an instantaneous process. Many argue that social media platforms have been incredibly oversaturated due to the collective desire to gain fame, therefore as more users post content the less likely they are to stand out amongst the herd. Likewise, competition exists when starting a business in which someone must decide their undeniable benefits in comparison to other businesses which may offer the same products or services.
For as many downsides that exist in this new job market, there are just as many upsides and beneficial reasons to capitalize on the new opportunities presented to each of us as we transition from the career culture that was once standardized. The first upside is the flexibility allowed to remote workers as setting one’s own hours, tasks, and deadlines are entirely up to the individual rather than an employer. This means that someone can make as much money as they wish and it is entirely dependent on how much time and effort is invested into a project. Another upside is that the profit one receives is completely their own as there is no other team member or external factor to take into consideration which would be the case if one was employed by a company. In essence–all that money is yours! On top of which, how one decides to divide up the profits for future business expenses is their own choice. Lastly, an upside of the post-COVID-19 job market is that there is immense potential for one’s freelance work to skyrocket into success. For example, teaching one student how to prepare a delicious dish may turn into five students enrolling into cooking classes, which may turn into tens or hundreds of students. From there someone can become the CEO of a major cooking class service with a fully operational website with employees working for them and gaining notoriety as a successful business owner whose enterprise began from just a laptop, a modest budget, and one student.