The Covid-19 pandemic has left the job market in turmoil as many people struggle with their current employment or have been left unemployed. The lack of income has left those in this situation thinking outside the box towards other means of earning.
“I thought it would be smart to be here before Brexit as I have always wanted to come to London. So, moved here from Germany but the pandemic hit just as I settled down a bit” shares Sarah Pöhler, former fashion design assistant.
Pöhler now sells masks online and adds “I thought it would be cool to put some personalised masks on Etsy (content selling website). So, I tried it and it’s kind of exploded…however the demand behind masks are slowing down right now”
Utilising a niche area of creativity and expertise as a source of income has benefited many during this pandemic. Through this means they also enjoy the benefit of turning a hobby into a source of earning.
This is something that actress/model Libby Radford has done by starting her own Etsy shop ‘Libbylupindesigns’ she shares that “Before the pandemic I was working as an actor and model, if the pandemic had not happened my plan was to be filming and modelling throughout the whole year, and already had some films lined up”.
However, Libby already had plans to set up her shop and the pandemic provided this opportunity “At the beginning of the year (2020) I had thought about setting up my own art business to do alongside my acting as it is something I had wanted to do for a while, I just never had the time, so when lockdown happened I thought it was the perfect time to start up ‘Libbylupindesigns’ and very soon I got orders coming in and was able to make money off it”
Although online shops have proven to be great for some in showcasing their creativity and earning some money. There are others who have found other means through which they can monetise their hobbies, one such person is Ella Charlton whose love of dogs has provided more benefits than one.
“Furlough has left me looking for an extra income … this (dog walking) gives me a reason to get out of the house, makes a bit of an income and some puppy therapy”.
Despite the slight glimmer of hope there is still concern on the uncertainty of how long these jobs will be beneficial.
Pöhler does express these concerns by stating “it’s still not a full-time job and that’s why it’s not just enough to pay for everything but its good while it lasts”
This is something that Charlton agrees with when talking about how long she will be dog walking for: “In the long run I’m not really sure, but at least for the immediate future yes its good money and it gives me a reason to get up in the day”.