If you have a temporary disability, you may find it difficult to find work. You may not be able to work at your traditional job, or even your previous industry. You also may not want to transition to an entirely new career, since you could return to your normal work after you recover from your injury or illness.
Fortunately, there are some strategies that can help.
Establish a Financial Cushion
One of your biggest priorities should be establishing a financial cushion for yourself. During this tumultuous period, you may be floating from job to job, and you may be without stable income. Hopefully, you have an emergency fund in place already; if you do, tap into this fund as needed, and try to replace what you withdraw whenever you can.
Otherwise, you may need additional help. If you’ve been disabled due to a personal injury, you can file a personal injury lawsuit, and tap into lawsuit funding in the meantime. Lawsuit funding provides you with immediate capital in exchange for a fixed fee whenever your case is settled. You may also take out personal loans or tap into a line of credit—but these options aren’t ideal.
Consider Your Limitations
Think carefully about the nature of your injury and your true limitations. For example, if you’ve broken a leg, you may not be able to stand for long periods of time, and you may find it difficult to work at a job that requires mobility. But you could work in most traditional offices, where you’re sitting most of the time. You could also work from home in a number of different roles.
If you’re suffering from an illness, you may have more limitations; you may find it difficult to concentrate or find it hard to work for more than an hour or two at a time. If this is the case, you’ll need to look for a different type of job altogether.
Set Your Long-Term Goals
Next, set your long-term goals. What are you hoping to achieve eventually? How long will it be until you’re no longer disabled? Do you know this answer?
If you know you’re going to recover after a fixed amount of time, you can start planning how you’re going to resume your career. For example, are you going to go back to your previous job? Or would you prefer to start something entirely new? This could be a valuable opportunity to head in a new direction, or you may be interested to get back to your regular work as quickly as possible.
Focus on Gig Work
The gig economy is thriving, and that’s good news if you’re temporarily disabled. Gig workers are independent contractors who complete various tasks on an as-needed basis. They aren’t employed full-time, so they don’t often get access to benefits like health care or retirement programs, but they often get paid well for the work they do.
Gig work is advantageous for several reasons:
- Flexibility. Most of the time, gig work grants you a lot of flexibility. You can take on only the jobs you want, work with a variety of different clients, and work on your own schedule. If your disability dictates how you can work, your gig-based career can easily accommodate it.
- Temporary nature. While some gigs last for years, most gigs are designed to be temporary arrangements. If you’re interested in getting back to a full-time career eventually, gig contracts aren’t going to stand in your way. You don’t have to make any long-term commitments or sacrifice other types of work.
- Ongoing opportunities. If you build good rapport with a client, they’ll probably have more work for you in the future. You can develop your side hustle however you like, growing it or expanding your own offerings.
- Variety. There are many types of gigs available. If you find you’re not cut out for one type of work, you can move onto something else.
There are many types of gig work that could be favorable to you, depending on the nature of your disability and your current skill set, including:
- Programming. Learn how to code and start creating small projects—or helping out with big ones.
- Freelance writing. Write articles or whitepapers for all types of paying clients, whether it’s for content marketing or reporting purposes.
- Photography and graphic design. Harness your eye for design with photography, graphic design, and other visual types of work.
Coping With Temporary Disability
Finding work is just one challenge associated with temporary disability. You may also be dealing with chronic pain, stress, or frustration with your current situation. Accordingly, it’s important to seek help however you can; call upon friends and family members to support you during this difficult time and find a therapist to assist you even further.