Earlier this year when I quit one of the long-term projects I was working on to focus on some of my pet projects. I had no clue that the Coronavirus Pandemic will hit India this bad. I was well aware of what the situation in China and some other countries was but never thought it would be this big and I guess none of us thought this way. But when the cases started arising in India in early March, the way the numbers started growing, and when we went into lockdown mode, I knew all hell was breaking loose.
Being a freelance content writer and brand strategist, I work with multiple organizations and clients in various sectors. As a result of the lockdown, whatever work I was doing with these organizations has been on hold indefinitely. The other hat I wear is of being a Social Media Influencer/Content Creator and a major part of the work I do here depends on brand collaborations which also stopped happening.
Being a freelancer, most of my work is done from my home office so working from home wasn’t anything new for me, but I knew that there would be many out there who would be facing a lot of problems working from home and there would be many who would feel anxious and stressed out in this situation.
I decided to help people through my write-ups, sharing with them various ways they can follow to cope up with stress, various activities they could do to keep themselves engaged. I made vlogs sharing my experiences of being locked down and what I was doing. I was doing all this to tell people that they are not alone and they should not losing hope.
As a content creator and influencer, I changed my content strategy on my social media. I knew there would be many people who would be cooking for the first time so I started making vlogs and IGTV Series sharing with them simple recipes they could try at home. This helped me get back to my passion for cooking which I had not done in a long time. Another thing I did was connect with my hobby of music. I play the guitar and I bought a ukulele 2 years ago which I was not able to learn properly. But throughout this lockdown, I made a point to take lessons from youtube and learn some basics of the ukulele.
One of the best things that happened during these 3 months is that I got back in touch with so many old friends I had lost touch with. We obviously can’t meet each other in person, but video calls are great!! Many times people have asked me, who would I call a real friend; and my answer has always been that it is someone who accepts you for who you are instead of what you have, and even if you lose touch some time you can get back to them and pick up from where you left.
I’m glad I have such friends around me! Now that I think of it, we were caught up in our fast-paced lives so much that we just did not have time for each other and this was probably that much-needed break many of us were looking for.
In the end, I just want to say that while all of us are looking at what’s happening with a negative perspective, there are so many positive takeaways that we should be looking at. Over the past three months, I have worked on learning new skills and enhancing my knowledge; I have learnt how to live a minimalist lifestyle which I’m sure many of us are not used to.
As a freelancer, I have realized that you have to constantly keep on updating your skillset to keep up with the ever-changing situations around you.
In the brand and content sector, the present situation is of course is a bit slow. But, the future, probably 6 months or a year from now, shows some signs of hope. Everyone is going digital and every brand now is focusing on enhancing their digital branding strategies. Those who have been laid off from their jobs during the past 3 months or are facing termination from their jobs have a great opportunity to tap into the market and start-up on their own to take care of the new demands from the customers that have popped up due to this pandemic.
From an organization’s perspective, since most of them are looking at downsizing their workforce, hiring freelance professionals is the best option for them to get the work done on a contract or project basis.