We've listed the top things that you can do to stay motivated and productive whilst being stuck at home

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The most exciting aspect of the creative and digital sector is its flexibility to respond in creative and innovative ways in times of adversary.

As government legislation, industries and consumer habits have changed across the globe, there has been an unprecedented knock-on effect on many freelancers and creatives up and down the country.

But, as the way we work changes, new roles and opportunities are arising. To help you take advantage of these, we've gathered together our top tips to support you to work on your craft, level up your side hustle, manage your time at home and get productive.

1. Finding industries that are rising in demand

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Whilst many of us have seen events, performances, and work cancelled, other industries have seen a surge in demand. With such demands comes a greater need for temporary staff and an opportunity for freelancers and those out of work to make an income.

These include:

  • Delivery and courier services; services such as Deliveroo and Citysprint have seen an increase in bookings
  • Companies such as Kry, Onfido, UKtutors that offer remote online products and services have seen a rise in usage since January. Many platforms are currently recruiting for a variety of roles including customer service representatives, administrators plus front and back end web developers
  • Increased demand for online banking and Fintech is also driving the use of its tools. There are a range of roles you can find, from customer service advisor to finance executives at companies and platforms such as Monzo, Efinancialcareers, Starling Bank, Revolut and Habito
  • Both off and online food retail companies have seen a spike in demand that has led to mass recruitment of positions, including engineering, web design, delivery, operations, customer service, and relationship management. Companies such as Ocado, Tesco, Lidl, Aldi, Marks and Spencer and most other UK supermarkets are now recruiting more than ever

2. Upskill yourself – perfect your craft or learn a whole new trade

If you are self-isolating at present and have more time on your hands than usual, organise your day and think of ways to get creative.

Learn a new skill to up your craft or learn a new craft altogether. Here are some places you can find free training resources:

3. Make a list of what you want to create and achieve during this time

This is a perfect time to get creative and focus on what you want to achieve. We all have a checklist of things we want to work on but start small and break it down. Split up your day and allocate your time so you can focus on a task and boost your productivity.

  • Create a mood/vision board- you can do this on your bedroom walls with magazine cut-outs or using apps such as Pinterest
  • Make your goals SMART; Small, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Targets – in other words, keep it short and sweet
  • Have an accountability partner, set goals together and check in once a week on Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, House Party

4. Join online communities that focus on your work interests, talents and passions

Staying at home or not seeing your usual community at events, will leave many of us feeling slightly isolated and out of the loop. Use your social media platforms such as Twitter, Medium, LinkedIn and The Dots as tools to stay connected and up to date.

  • Follow at least five blogs that are focused on your current/dream sector
  • Follow at least two podcasts - platforms such as Spotify and Soundcloud make it easy for you to search buzz topics and hashtags
  • Block out any trigger words or negative language to help keep your social timeline positive and motivating
  • Find communities online by searching a hashtag related to your sector

5. Using social media to leverage your freelance work

As well as following blogs and platforms on social media to stay in the loop, social media is also a great way to find opportunities and promote your work.

Do the following:

  • Use your social media bio to advertise your portfolio/links of your work
  • Follow company CEO, hiring managers and event organisers. Many companies and representative post opportunities directly to their LinkedIn and Dot profiles
  • Post your work, A LOT- be that person. Create a thread of your work on sites such as twitter and repost the thread as much as you can, you never know who might see it

6. Take a break – work out, stretch, take a walk, meditate, pray

Whilst we want to be proactive, it’s also important to be kind to yourself. Setting aside time in your day to clear your mind and relax is important. Many of our everyday releases may seem to be out of bounds. For now, these are a couple of things you can do at home:

7. Use The Dots and LinkedIn to find and apply for opportunities

The Dots and LinkedIn are great platforms to find new opportunities and stay connected to your community. Both platforms work like most social media sites, you can post your experience and find new opportunities.

Here are three ways to make the most of the platform:

  • Keep it up to date, think of your profiles like a public resumé as well as a social media platform. Access resources on how to improve your Dots profile here
  • Upload your work both The Dots and LinkedIn allow you to hyperlink and display work on your profile. Showcase your best three pieces of work; remember you're only as strong as your weakest piece, so be selective. Find out more information on how to level up your LinkedIn here
  • Follow hashtags relevant to your industry/role, hiring managers and companies you aspire to work for. This will ensure your timeline is full of opportunities and information you find useful

8. Dress the part

It can feel hard to stay motivated at the moment. But small things such as getting ready in the morning will help you to feel inspired and productive. This will enable you to continue to work on you and improving yourself. It helps put you in a different mindset and prompts you to really start your day.

  • Wear your favourite outfit, don’t feel afraid to glam up or down as long as you're comfortable
  • Put on your interview clothes, organise your space to help you get in the mood to work
  • Why not make/listen to a playlist to get you pumped whilst dressing the part, we've made one just for you on Soundcloud

9. Utilising Freelance platforms like People Per Hour and Fiverr

Freelance platforms such as Fiveer and People Per Hour offer a great way for freelancers and those who are self-employed to market their service. You can post work as well as request work where you think your skillset fits the brief. Things to remember:

  • The more you post and engage the greater traction the adds you post will get find out how to create a “gig” (an add for your services/product) on Fivver here.
  • Make your ads clear and highlight your Unique Selling Point (UPS: the talent, flair and skill could your bring to the job - tell them your superpower). People Per Hour have a step by step guide on creating the perfect ad here.
  • Make your responses to briefs tailored and concise. You want to ensure your letting the hirer know you have what it takes to fulfil the brief/job spec

10. Keep applying

Many companies have seen a recruitment freeze, however, this just means we need to change where we are looking.

Keep applying, look at new roles that allow you to utilise your current work experience and skillset. Employers are looking at new and creative ways to work and many roles have now gone remote.

Set a daily application goal and reward yourself in small, meaningful ways after reaching it, such as watching your fave show on Netflix, maybe Power etc…

  • Create an excel doc to track what you are applying for, insert your deadlines, organisations, and maybe if you want to be extra organised - add a bit about the company in the doc
  • Use this time to write out examples of all the jobs you’ve done using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) and CAR (Context, Action, Result) method, so you can really paint a picture of what you’ve done, include this in your cover letter too
  • Apply for work that matches your experiences/qualifications. Use this time to update your CV, cover letter, LinkedIn and The Dots profile

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