If the pandemic has made you rethink your career, you’re not alone. Covid-19 has changed a lot of things – including our ideas about work.
Last year saw millions of Americans voluntarily exit their jobs, with many other countries worldwide experiencing a similar trend. Research by Microsoft found that more than 40 percent of the global workforce are considering ditching their employers, while a survey from Upwork revealed that 20 percent of Americans are considering going freelance. In the US, the labor department found there were 1.5 jobs per unemployed person as of January.
It’s been dubbed ‘The Great Resignation’ and it’s set to shake up the workforce even more in 2022. In fact, we think it will be one of the defining shifts of the year.
So what do you need to know about this game-changing moment in history, and how can you use it for your own career change? Here’s a quick guide.
Why is the Great Resignation happening, anyway?
In the early days of the pandemic, people were frightened. We clung to our jobs and the security they provided at a time when many industries were being decimated.
But two years into covid, the mood is different. Many people were forced to pivot during the pandemic and find new income streams, which opened up different opportunities. Others found that working from home brought them a better work-life balance and decided they didn’t want to go back to the office.
And we’ve seen some big technological shifts. The widespread adoption of tools like Zoom has made it easy for people to keep working remotely (and hard for employers to argue that anyone really needs to be in the office for 40 hours a week). The advent of ‘The Passion Economy’, fueled by the growth of platforms like Linktree, Substack, Twitch and Patreon, has allowed creatives to monetize their passion in ways we haven’t been able to before. (But more on that later.)
Plus on a more existential level, the emotional toll taken by covid has prompted many people to reassess their priorities in life. Do we really want to live to work, or is it possible to work to live? And wouldn’t we all rather spend less time chained to the desk and more with our loved ones?
On top of that, many people – especially those working in industries like healthcare and hospitality – felt burnt out and ready for a change. Others wanted to do right by the world and find work that better aligned with their values.
All of this has put the power in the hands of employees: a tectonic shift in global work culture.
What if I want to stay at my job?
The Great Resignation might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reconfigure the way you work. But that doesn’t have to mean outright quitting your job.
If you’re happy where you are, this can still be a great time to talk to your employer about tweaking your current job so that it better suits the lifestyle you want. Maybe that means fewer hours, working remotely, or setting a different schedule to the usual 9 to 5. For some of us, the Great Resignation will actually be what NPR calls ‘the Great Renegotiation’
Savvy companies will be receptive to these requests. Executives like Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky have already spoken out in favor of remote work, while other global brands have already announced they’re switching to a four day work week.
You might also be considering an entirely new career altogether. Again, this is a good time to change lanes, as worker shortages mean many employers are happy to train a new hire in the skills they need. Employers in 2022 are looking for the right person – and willing to look past a lack of specialized experience. We like to call this one ‘the Great Reshuffle’.
What if I want to go freelance or launch my passion project?
But if you do want to shake things up and go in a different direction, there’s never been a better time. That’s because we now have the tools and platforms that can facilitate a freelance or creative career.
It’s down to what Li Jin has called ‘The Passion Economy’. In 2019, Jin noticed a rise of online platforms that allowed users to commoditize their creative skills without a middleman getting on the way. On Patreon, podcasters could earn an income from their listeners. On Twitch, gamers could make money off streams. On Substack, writers could charge for their newsletters. And on Linktree, creators could easily advertise themselves and bring together their online presence.
It had become, as she told Linktree, “uniquely possible to make a living off of one’s passion, in a way that it wasn’t before the internet.”
The Passion Economy makes it easy for you to start doing your own thing. There’s no longer any barriers to launching a creative career.
How can Linktree help?
Here at Linktree, we’re all about helping side hustlers. That’s why last year we launched the Passion Fund – a global grant program designed to support creators, activists and entrepreneurs in taking their passion to the next level. (Meet our winners for some serious side hustle inspo.)
We think Linktree can be a great way to sell yourself online. That’s because Linktree can function as your website or digital business card, and only takes a few minutes to put together.
Let’s say you’re a graphic designer who wants to showcase your job history, as well as selling custom illustrations and t-shirts that you design. Linktree makes it easy to bring together all the different things you do in one link.
Or if you’re a writer, Linktree makes it super simple to maintain an online portfolio of your work. That’s how this writer – hi, this is me! – likes to use it. It’s much quicker to update my Linktree than a personal website, so every time I publish a new piece I’m excited about, I add it to my Linktree. By keeping my Linktree in my social media bios, it gets seen by people who read my writing and reach out to offer me work.
You can even use Linktree as a CV. That’s how Emerald Leung nabbed a job as Linktree’s new Employee Engagement Specialist – she put content examples and case studies of her work on her Linktree.
“When you’re interviewing, you want to make it as easy as possible for your potential employer to see what skills you can bring to the organization – be it art, design, music, writing, film, or whatever your thing is,” Leung says.
“Using Linktree was a no-brainer for me. It provided a really simple and elegant way to showcase my communications work. The Linktree hyperlink never changed on my CV doc, which had the usual employer and education details, but I could add and remove Linktree content at any time without also having to also update my main CV document.”
And, Leung says, if you’re going for different jobs that require different skill sets, you can create multiple Linktree pages.
“Keep the link descriptions simple and self-explanatory. This way your interviewer knows exactly what they are to see when they click on them,” she adds. “I don’t think there is a need to go crazy with too much content, either. The reality is that your interviewer won’t have time to look at all your amazing work, so just include your very best.
Linktree PRO also has a bunch of nifty features that can help you level things up. Linktree PRO users also get access to user analytics which help you understand who your audience is and what they want. You can also use Linktree PRO to collect SMS and email subscribers or add a form to your profile so people can get in touch with you. These are all valuable tools that will help you level-up your marketing game. And you can customize the look and feel of your Linktree so it feels like ‘you. Additionally all Linktree users are able to collect payments, donations or tips – making it easier than ever for freelancers or business owners to showcase their work and get paid!
The bottom line
Whether it’s starting a side hustle, going freelance, switching careers or renegotiating your current arrangement, make 2022 the year you create your ideal work set-up.
The pandemic has shown us all what really matters. So what would life look like if work was on your terms?