Career definitions are changing as the Gen Z outlook on life is different from that of their earlier generations. Long gone are the days of doctor, engineer, lawyer, government jobs, etc. being the only career options. The young proudly say they are a content creator, YouTubers, blogger, musician, tutors, and so on. You may also notice that they are happy with their career choices, are making money, and are happy to do it at their chosen times. In many ways, it’s like a semi-retired life, where they are learning to put themselves, their passions, and happiness ahead of other things in life. They are basically, converting their hobbies to earnings.
The best part about this is that it also opens up avenues to senior citizens who want to explore their passions. It never is too late to start a second career! Only, this time, make sure that you pick something that gives you joy and helps you give back to society. All those years of life and professional experience should come in handy to help you earn through your post-retirement second career. What can you do?
Assess Your Skills
The first thing to do is to take stock of your skills, whether professional or otherwise. There is a demand for almost all sorts of content out there in the wide world. For example, people need coaching to speak English, write emails, cook, face certain life situations, or input on tech topics.
Knowing in which area you can create content is important. For example, you may be a good speaker or a writer. Good speakers can learn to create videos and upload them on YouTube. Those who can express themselves better through writing can start blogs or contribute to relevant websites, and content aggregators, or start a freelance writing career. Those who have skills like cooking, making crafts, etc., can also learn to create videos and upload them on YouTube and other social media platforms. If you are good in a few subjects, you could look up a few online teaching platforms that offer part-time or full-time teaching options. It may take a while to establish a following in visual mediums. However, teaching can take off easily if you tie up with these existing platforms.
Almost every online entity will be looking for content creators. Remember content can be art in any form. All those memes and illustrations you see are created by someone. Even videos other than the in-person videos will have a storyboard creation behind them. Storyboarding is nothing but an illustration of the story that comes out in the videos. It can be done with a PPT if you are a good visualizer by using free pictures on the Internet. So, the first step is to reflect, explore and figure out what you want to do, and align it with your passions and the skills you possess.
The next step is to do trial and error at home and share your content with friends and family. You will get some valuable feedback, especially if you have a young crowd in your network. Also, remember that content should be presented with the audience in mind. Hence, if you want to tell bedtime stories to children, it should appeal to kids of that age. If you want to teach cooking, present recipes simply and crisply. If teaching something complex, bring in a structure and methodology to put it across.
Start small by asking for reposts and forward requests in your network, if you want to be an independent creator. This will give you some visibility through which you can gain subscribers. Remember that content creation can be taxing as people expect you to bring out content periodically. It could be daily, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly. But you would need to prepare a calendar and follow it. The avenues could be YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and so on.
If you want to establish yourself as a freelancer, you could start by requesting referrals from your immediate network and build a portfolio to showcase. There are many freelance platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr, and more. Even LinkedIn and other career portals like Naukri and Monster, etc. have listings for Freelance jobs. Many organizations give out freelance work to be done from home. Identify your avenues, explore and persist. It may take a while to establish yourself as a freelancer.
Upskill and Keep Learning
It looks easy, but it is not so. To keep earning from content creation, one needs to be tech-savvy and updated. You should be prepared to upskill to gain an edge over others. For example, learn how you can create error-free content, which free tools you can use, and how you should design your content to attract the audience, etc. If your content is about specific topics, follow relevant trends in that topic. Even if you want to be a movie critic, get a hang of all that goes behind the making of a movie to be able to accurately review it. Learning will be a continuous process and it will keep you mentally sharp.
Stick to Commitments
Whether as an independent creator or a freelancer, stick to commitments. Manage your time to ensure that you complete accepted assignments on time. Discipline is a must to succeed. If you are opting for a teaching position, you would have to put in a minimum of hours every week as agreed. Plan your schedules and ensure you only accept assignments that fit into them.
The Popular Avenues
Here are some popular avenues you can explore.
Content writing: LinkedIn, Upwork, Internshala, Freelancer, Fiverr, etc. A simple Google search will throw up umpteen freelance writing jobs. Apply and pick up and start small, learn, and grow your network till you establish yourself. Start a blog, if you are confident about your capabilities, and learn to drive traffic to your blog and earn through Ads.
YouTube: Create videos and upload them on YouTube. Share in known networks, and request reshares to pick up subscribers. Ensure content is good, easy to understand, and adds value to the viewer. YouTube ads are a great way of earning.
Teaching: Edtech is the future of education. You could establish yourself as a tutor, create your videos or tie up with any of the entities like Byju’s, Vedanta, Unacademy, Udemy, eAgetutor, EnglishonPhone, IELTS training, and many more. There are also Maths-specific platforms like CueMath and public speaking classes through Planet Spark, etc.