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Stretch Your Dollar: How to get back to work during the pandemic

Stretch Your Dollar

(GMA) — Many people found themselves out of work or underemployed in the pandemic, and now, almost a year later, it may be time to rethink your strategy.

When Julie DeLong left her job as a professor in Texas to be closer to family in Illinois, finding a new gig wasn’t easy,

“I was really struggling,” she said. “Probably applied for over 100 jobs and just really nothing was taking off.”

So she decided to pivot

“I thought, ‘Well, you know, I know how to tutor. I bet a lot of parents are going to want help right now.'”

She created her business “The Traveling Tutor” and started using Facebook to build a clientele, and it took off.

Even if you think you lack the education to be a tutor, consider what customer service representative Caitlyn Causey did: She completed online training to become a certified ESL teacher through Teach Away — a company that also helped her find teaching and tutoring jobs remotely.

“It’s a great way to supplement my income right now,” Causey said. “Like, I think everyone has seen some sort of effect from covid and, you know, like I’m just trying to help my family and stuff.”

This pair isn’t alone when it comes to switching up their careers due to the pandemic.

More than two million Americans have started freelancing in the last year, according to Upwork. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, people are launching businesses at the fastest rate in over a decade with business applications up more than 25% compared to this time in 2020.

But people aren’t just using their current skillset in new ways, they are also building new skillsets to make money from home.

Jenna Postiglione works in commercial real estate but learned to sew and embroider during the pandemic.

“I didn’t really have the job security in an industry that’s rapidly changing because of COVID-19, so I was thinking of ways that I could get creative and perhaps make some money at home.”

She created an Etsy shop where she makes custom embroidered designs.

“In less than a few months, I’m already at almost 300 sales.”

There are creative opportunities out there. It’s just about finding out what’s needed in your community or in other parts of the country and putting it to work online.

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