How European workers are reinventing themselves during lockdown

“There is going to be an increase of online work, but it won’t all be of good quality and with enough protection, especially not in times of shock,” said Thomas.

Some workers have already started looking for ways to make a quick buck. AppJobs, a gig work platform, saw an increase of 300 percent in jobseekers on its site globally in March.

Others have been forced to think outside the box about how to reinvent themselves professionally.

The European Commission is in the process of setting up a pan-European unemployment reinsurance scheme worth as much as €100 billion. But until then, people will still need to make ends meet.

POLITICO spoke to people around Europe about the ways they are branching out in order to stay active and keep revenue flowing.


When the coronavirus hit, Johannah Jolson was stuck on a cruise ship. Jolson and her partner work as musicians, often spending long stretches of the year performing at sea. As the coronavirus crisis progressed, gigs and bookings on land and further cruise ship residencies were canceled.

Jolson is in the process of buying a house, and wanted to find money to help cover costs. She got lucky at her local Tesco five minutes down the road from her house in Devon, U.K. The supermarket was in desperate need of temporary workers to fill in for workers having to self-isolate.

Jolson took a job as an online order picker, at the height of panic buying. “If you

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