We’re currently undergoing a global experiment in remote work; never before have so many performed their jobs entirely at home and online. Given the nature of modern society, we can assume that this pandemic, while the first of its scale, may not be the last.
As you face the future and its unknowns, we at CareerFitter recommend that you structure your career to be both flexible and resilient. Whether that means adjusting your current job to be more online, starting a freelance side-hustle, or switching fields altogether, it never hurts to give yourself plenty of options.
Start exploring career possibilities now with this free career research tool that allows you to filter “Work From Home Careers”.
So You Want to Work From Home…
You’ve been begging your boss for two years solid to let you work from home, and gotten absolutely nowhere. But yesterday, somebody in the office coughed twice… and suddenly here you are, writing emails at your own kitchen table and taking conference calls in your bunny slippers.
Now that your boss’s germaphobia has trumped his desire to micromanage, you’ve realized that this is the life! After a few weeks of skipping the commute, you’ve discovered that work really can be pants-optional, and you’re determined to never set foot in an office again. You just need to figure out some way to make this butt-on-the-couch dream permanent.
Here are three ways of working from home forever.
- First, you can switch careers to a field that’s almost entirely remote work.
- Second, you can find innovative ways to continue your current career entirely online.
- And finally—especially if you need fast cash now—you can launch an online freelance career in hours.
But first, make sure you’re cut out for the pajamas-at-noon, my-coworkers-are-all-cats lifestyle. You may just be going through the honeymoon phase of discovering that you can, in fact, schedule your entire workday around naps; you should keep in mind that certain personality types don’t thrive at home, and actually perform better in offices and coworking spaces. So, is working from home really for you? Find out using CareerFitter’s career personality assessment.
Quite a few existing careers are already well-established as remote-work friendly. This includes such broad categories as:
If you’re already doing any of these…you should be golden! It’s becoming easier every day to find remote positions in these categories as many companies look to minimize their physical footprint. Search all careers here.
If you’re not already in one of these fields, but are determined to make the switch to working at home, you might consider venturing into one of these areas. These aren’t the only fields that offer remote jobs (as you’ll soon see below), but these are careers that provide some of the best chances of working at home.
Speaking more specifically, here are some of the best-paid remote gigs available:
- Computer and Information Research Scientist – Salary: $115,000 +
- Computer and Information Systems Manager – Salary: $140,000 +
- Speech-Language Pathologist – Salary: $77,000 +
- Web Developer – Salary: $69,000 +
- Medical Coder – Salary: $50,000 +
- Customer Service Representative – Salary: $39,000 +
- Software Developer – Salary: $80,000 +
- Accountant – Salary: $70,000 +
- Financial Manager – Salary: $80,000 +
Newly Online Jobs
Of course, it’s possible that you may be able to work from home doing your current job, even if it isn’t something you’d typically think of as remote work.
One of the most obvious examples is counseling. Once, an office and a couch were mandatory equipment for a therapy session. Increasingly, though, therapists of all types are offering online services, typically through online telehealth portals. This not only cuts down on operating costs, but also gives both the therapist and the client more scheduling freedom.
Another ‘atypical’ remote job is nursing. Naturally, many of the traditional functions of a nurse must be performed in person; however, nurses are increasingly working in support positions from home. A nurse might work remotely as a Telephonic Case Manager monitoring patients’ care plans, or as a Virtual Clinical Research Associate overseeing pharmaceutical research studies.
Here are some other ‘nontraditional’ remote jobs you might consider:
- Online teacher
Online teaching is a growing field: many ESL companies offer entirely remote work, as do some community college and university courses if you are qualified to teach those.
- Doctor. Thanks to the pandemic, telemedicine is taking off. For now, many telemedicine positions are part-time, but this may change in the future.
- Curriculum Designer / Instructional Coordinator. A curriculum designer might design lessons that are available for purchase by teachers, or they may specialize in creating courses for adult education sites like Udemy.
- Interior Designer. Remote interior designers might specialize in online 3-D representations of rooms, or they might work one-on-one online with clients to help them customize their space. Some travel may be required.
- illustrator / Media Artist. Whether you’re a digital or traditional artist, there are plenty of opportunities online to illustrate books, comics, magazines, games, products, and more! Of course, digital illustration and graphic design skills do ease the transition into remote work.
- Photographer. This isn’t so much of a work-from-home job as it is an office-optional job–after all, you will likely still need to travel to take those photographs. But if your primary goal is just avoiding a cubicle, then this is a great option.
- Paralegal. Remote paralegal jobs are available, although they also tend to be temporary.
- Attorney. In addition to a growing number of remote or flextime jobs in firms, attorneys can offer legal services and counseling online.
- Human Resources. Fully remote positions are available, particularly for those with extensive experience in HR and related fields.
Of course, it’s also possible that you’re sitting on your couch in the aforementioned bunny slippers, contemplating the letter of termination you just received…or the reduction in hours…or the pay cut you’ll be getting during the quarantine. If such is the case, then you don’t have time to delve into a new career. You need remote work you can do now. Online freelancing work can keep you afloat while you search for a new job…or you may discover that self-employment is, indeed, the career route for you!
There are quite a few freelancing websites: some of the largest are Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer. Each has its own benefits and detriments (which we won’t delve into now), but they all offer a huge variety of freelance jobs, most of which are performed entirely online. It’s worth exploring each website to discover which system works best for you.
Naturally, if you already have graphic design, software, or marketing skills, you’ll find it relatively easy to transition into freelance work. If you don’t, however, here are a few fields even novices can break into—that is, if you are willing to put in the time and effort. There are no free lunches…not even working at home!
- Voice actor. This requires some initial investment in equipment and time to hone your skills. However, voice-acting work is in high demand and can be quite an entertaining way of making a living.
- Article/blog writer. Pay varies widely for content writing, but if you already have well-developed writing skills, you can work your way up the ranks.
- Virtual assistant. Competition in this field can be fierce, so the best approach might be to develop a niche for yourself, such as being a top-notch organizer or researcher. You might also specialize in providing assistance to people in a particular field, like publishing or medicine.
- ESL tutor. As mentioned above, there are a number of ESL tutoring companies that operate purely online. Even basic, unqualified tutoring can earn you money, but if you have at least a bachelor’s degree and, ideally, an ESL teaching qualification, you can make significantly more per hour.
- Proofreader. Only for the detail-oriented! As with content writing, many clients will offer you absolutely bottom dollar, but you’ll soon find those clients who know a good proofreader is worth their weight in gold.
- Transcriber. If you can type quickly enough to keep up with the audio track, there is plenty of work available for you.
- Social media manager. Once you prove your skills and build a portfolio, you can charge a pretty penny.
- Beta-reader. This is more of a hobby than a job, but some novelists need, and are willing to pay, for people to read their novels and give honest opinions.
- Product tester. This isn’t always a remote job, as companies like Microsoft and Nike might ask their testers to work on-site. However, many companies are willing to ship products to your house. Some product testing is paid, some aren’t, but you generally get to keep what you test.
If you’re venturing into freelance work for the first time, here are some tip tips from us at CareerFitter:
- Build your portfolio as quickly as possible. Clients don’t want to hear you talk about what you can do, they want to see what you can do. If you don’t have any work samples yet, then create your own examples, or ask a relative to “hire” you.
- Always deliver on time. Set a deadline for the deliverable, and meet that deadline no matter what–even if it means staying up all night. Flake out a few times and you’ll quickly get a reputation for being unreliable. This also means that when a client pushes for an unrealistic timeframe, you stand your ground. Better to ask for a longer work period and get the task done on time, then agree to rush and then fail to meet that deadline.
- Be professional. A polished, grammatically correct cover letter with working links goes a long way toward impressing potential clients.
- Always ask for (good) reviews. If your client is satisfied with your work, never fail to politely ask for them to post a review. This is particularly applicable on sites like Upwork and Fiverr. You’ll find that most clients agree to review your services when asked.
Never has it been so easy for you to work in pajamas…and given current trends, it seems like it’s only going to get easier. If you’re ready to hop on the trend–and avoid those germs–then CareerFitter is here to help! Use our career research tool to see more information and career videos. Or, start with our career test and see what you’re career personality is best suited for (still no pants required).
Good luck out there, and stay healthy!