5 Tips for Earning an Income Remotely 

By Amanda Beardall, CPDC Career Coach

COVID-19 quarantine efforts have unfortunately led many workplaces to shut down and lay off employees, leaving many people out of work. While more in-person jobs at grocery stores and warehouses have opened up in response to the pandemic, these positions could put you at higher risk of getting sick. As an alternative, we recommend using these top 5 tips to look for ways you can earn an income while working from home right now.  

1. Filter for “Remote” Positions on Job Search Engines. Many job search engines have a filter you can use to find remote jobs. While some jobs may be listed as remote, they may require you to live in a specific region and expect you to travel throughout that area, so be sure to read the full job description. Many employers are also allowing employees in in-person roles to telecommute temporarily, so it’s worth asking employers if this could be an option for you.

2. Start Your Own Business. Do you have a skill you can sell to others, such as developing websites or painting portraits? If so, consider starting your own business! If you’re selling physical products, look into a digital storefront like Shopify or Etsy. Build your personal brand by creating a website, building pages on Yelp and Google, developing a social media presence, and networking to build your potential client base. Consider offering your services at no- or low-cost to your first few customers in exchange for their online reviews to get your name out there and build customer trust. Utilize the U’s Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to help you launch your business.

3. Consider Freelancing. Freelancing is similar to starting your own business, but different in that you will likely contract with companies rather than individual clients. To build your client base, look into using platforms like Fiver or Thumbtack. Freelancing will typically involve creating a contract to ensure both parties uphold their ends of the deal.

4. Look into Online ESL Teaching, Tutoring, and Other Educational Services. With many schools closed, there is a greater need for distance learning for individuals of all ages. Teaching English online is particularly in high demand for families in non-English speaking countries. To apply for these positions, you will likely have to conduct a mock lesson plan, so use best practices for online education to develop curriculum.

5. Help Others Edit, Transcribe, Organize, and Analyze Information. Do you have an eye for detail? Organizations need help making their data clean and easy to understand. Check out sites like TranscribeMe to get paid to transcribe audio. 

Please note, some fields are better suited for working remotely than others. As we transition to telecommuting more and more, also be sure to watch out for scams and other red flags. Legitimate companies will never expect you to pay money upfront or wire money to them. Use sites like Glassdoor and the Better Business Bureau to read company reviews before applying.