No other industry has been halted in the past year the way the arts and entertainment industry has been hit. Some cities have not allowed any businesses in this space to reopen.
“In the past 15 plus years, I have built a career in the arts industry,” said Anup Aurora.
Aurora had been working at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City for 8 years when the city began shutting down last March.
“March 12th, around noon, we were all called to stage and told the performance was canceled that night,” said Aurora. "At the moment, they said the performance will be shut down for at least two weeks.”
However, weeks turned into months, and now, it has been almost a full year. At first, Aurora enjoyed some qualify time at home with his family but then began to worry the longer the shutdown lasted.
“I actually, at that point, pursued working with a life coach,” said Aurora.
It was then that he realized it was time to make a career switch.
“What I realize that I really liked connecting with people, and so, it was back in August that I began training to become a life coach,” said Aurora.
At the start of this year, he began his practice and taking on clients, helping people set and reach new personal and professional goals.
“This pandemic has been hard on everybody and life coaching has been a career that has been growing in recent years,” Aurora added.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for life coaches and other similar counselors is expected to grow 10 percent over the next eight years, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.
“A lot of people want freedom, and this gives you freedom,” said Mary Marsella.
Marsella lost both her jobs last year in a catering business and as a substitute teacher. After months of unemployment, she has now begun training to be a life coach as well.
“We have been talking about the story of work what work is going to be like in the future,” said Marsella. "It is not going to be what it was like in the past. We have got to re-create our own future we might as well be in control of that.”
Marsella and Aurora see life coaching as a way to start a new career and, once certified, a new business. One that gives them full career control. More career control seems to be something many more people want as well because IRS data show business applications skyrocketed in 2020 and into 2021.
In January, there were 58,000 new business applications filed. That’s up 45 percent from December. Many of the applications are likely from people who are choosing to create jobs for themselves after months of frustration in looking for one.