Although it’s been over a decade, the economic recession of 2008 really doesn’t feel like that long ago. Then, much like now (only on a much bigger scale today), people lost their jobs, markets took a nosedive, and people became worried about the future.
Even though much of the world was in despair (sound familiar?), it didn’t take long for people to start putting a positive spin on what has since been coined “The Great Recession.” Even Time reported on it, applauding the emergence of $1 DVD rentals, increase in backyard farming, and a general shift toward better mental and physical health.
Despite the horrors of Covid-19, you can choose to do the same—that is, see the positive.
As a freelancer, you can choose to look on the bright-side of this tragedy—there’s a lot of good happening for the freelance workforce around the world that may never have happened were it not for this pandemic.
Here are a few ways to look on the bright side as a freelancer during Covid-19:
1. There’s Been a Surge in Companies Hiring Freelancers
Yes, millions of people around the world getting laid off is a terrible thing. But as large companies downsize, they lay-off full employees and turn to freelance marketplaces like Fiverr to fill in the gaps with independent contractors.
If you’re a Fiverr freelancer or participate in any number of freelance marketplaces, things may be looking up for you. In fact, Fiverr reported double-digit growth in early 2020, despite an economy that should be shrinking.
With such a global tightening of budgets, I forecast the coming years will make the freelancing industry stronger than it ever has. It’s a massive uptick in work if you’re willing and ready to claim it. Start by joining Fiverr and setting up your seller profile.
2. Companies More Willingly Accept Remote Workers
How and where people around the world get their work done has changed a lot over the last few hundred years. But even considering massive work-style changes like the industrial revolution or the information age, there’s probably never been a more rapid and all-encompassing shift in how we work than in the first half of 2020.
The majority of people have been sent home to continue working where possible. And that means that people who never considered working from home have now been all-but forced to try it out.
What they’re learning is remote work isn’t that weird after all.
That bodes well for freelancers who, long after most people return to the office, may still want to work remotely.
As more employees work from home, geography becomes even less of a barrier, and freelancers are able to pitch services to companies in any part of the world. Not only that, but some big companies have told their employees they can work from home forever.
More companies will follow and, soon, the social differences between freelancers working remotely and full-time employees working remotely will become less and less apparent.
3. Freelancers Are Gaining Recognition and Rights
While it can be hard to believe that such an enormous group of professionals like freelancers and the gig economy has been neglected by governments in the past, it’s unfortunately true.
In fact, even though legislation eventually supported freelancers, when Covid-19 first hit, the U.S. government failed to include freelancers and independent contractors in their large stimulus bill.
The good news in all this? Organizations like Freelancers Union and others are fighting for the under-represented freelancers that make up a global community.
This is the beginning of deeper recognition and respect for all of us.
4. Freelancers Have Been Given a Chance to Innovate
Although the freelance lifestyle can be incredible, many freelancers suffer from feeling like there are never enough hours in the day to complete their client work.
And while you should still prioritize getting new freelance jobs during the pandemic, if you find yourself with a bit of a lighter load, you may want to follow the lead of many freelancers who are choosing to innovate and get creative about their businesses during the quarantine.
For some really great ideas from freelancers who are innovating now, read this: 12 Pro Freelancers Share How They’re Using COVID’s Downtime to Build for the Future
Keep your head up—things are getting better
The best news of all? We’re going to get through this. I promise. In fact, most freelancers who work hard can probably make up for any revenue lost during Covid-19 by the end of the year.
It’s not going to be easy. But freelancers will come out of this whole Covid-19 pandemic in a better place than we were when it started.
The question is: will you take advantage of this unprecedented moment in history? Author Richie Norton perhaps said it best:
“For the first time in history, every person can claim being the victim at the same time. Will you?”
Don’t be a victim. Choose to see the positive. And we’ll all get through this together.