Whether it’s something we WANT to do or HAVE to do, a lot of people are making the switch to working from home. On March 26, when all non-essential businesses closed, many people had to make that pivot. For those who have office jobs, working remotely through technology definitely makes it easier with high-speed internet, cloud based storage, and video conferencing.

But what do you do if your job is no longer available from home? If you’re suddenly unemployed and need to produce income quickly to feed your family? 

Here’s the thing – a lot of people don’t have the hard skills for the jobs that will allow them to work from home.

When I think of hard skills that would allow you to work from home, I’m thinking skills like graphic design, content creation, digital marketing, video editing, programming, telesales, bookkeeping… Skills that really don’t tie you down to any physical location and that can allow you to communicate and send deliverables online.

Most people who have these skills still have their job. We haven’t laid any one off at any of my companies, we simply transitioned to working from home and rather than having meetings in our boardroom, we communicate through Zoom meetings, email and slack. It’s the people who lack these skills who are finding themselves in the unemployment line without work. 

I know COVID-19 has put a lot of stress on the economy. I recently read that AMC theaters may be permanently closing down. Logan’s Roadhouse recently filed for bankruptcy, closed 261 locations and fired more than 5,000 employees. The companies that are going to be affected by this most are the companies that rely on patrons visiting physical locations like retail and hospitality. The companies that are able to make the transition to working online will endure this crisis a lot longer. 

I think a lot of Americans need to see the silver lining with what’s happening globally. One of the things I firmly believe is that growth comes from adversity. While most of us are at home sheltering in place, we should be investing this time to learn new skills that will allow us to level up. There are many benefits to doing this. Not only do the careers I previously mentioned allow you the ability to work remotely, but they are some of the highest paid professions around. I know many people in each one of those roles earning 6 figures a year.

There are so many resources online for people to choose from. There is really no excuse not to get started. For example, Lynda.com offers unlimited access to thousands of expert taught courses on subjects like business, graphic design, programming, digital marketing and they give you unlimited access to all of that for free for the first 30 days. You could literally sign-up for free today, start learning photoshop, and in just a few weeks become an expert graphic designer before your free trial expires. You don’t need to go to college anymore to learn high paying, in-demand skills. You just need a $25 Lynda.com subscription and an internet connection.

If you’re interested in learning more about digital marketing, a friend of mine named Justin Brooke has a company called AdSkills (click here) where he guarantees you a job working from home after you complete any of his courses.

Now, where do you find work? Well, If you can’t find a traditional full-time job through job listings sites like Indeed.com or Monster.com, you can turn to freelancing sites like Upwork.com, Freelancer.com and Fiverr.com. These websites are platforms that allow businesses all over the world to connect with freelancers and independent contractors. So, if you took a photoshop course and now learned logo design, you may not get a full-time job with a company, but you could find dozens of companies on UpWork or Freelancer looking for someone to design them a logo and you can stay quite busy doing that.

If I can leave you with one piece of wisdom to take from this pandemic, it’s this: The best investment you can make is in yourself. Use this time to invest in yourself and level up. Tough times make tough people.