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The choice of work from home jobs has never been greater as we enter the new decade of the 2020s. However, being aware of the trends and sectors that favor remote work goes a long way to helping you find a work from home job.
In this guide, we’re going to identify those jobs. We’re also going to explore where to look for work from home jobs, what you need to get those jobs, and what you need to know about the challenges of working remotely.
This is the first of several articles in our ‘Remote Work’ series to be published over the next few weeks.
These are jobs you’ll largely be able to apply for straight away or sooner rather than later.
Naturally, you won’t be able to apply for or do all of them. But the jobs on this list rely far more on your experience and soft skills, than on very specific university or college degrees.
Many of these jobs leverage what you have right now, will be shorter-term contracts or gigs, or you’ll be paid based on performance. So, if you need cash immediately, there are ample opportunities in these fields. However, they will be highly competitive, and there won’t be any guarantee of a high long-term financial return, so please bear that in mind when applying.
Plenty of opportunities for a number of organizations exist online for data entry. Requiring a keen eye for detail and excellent organizational skills, many of these full-time, part-time, or seasonal positions are happy for you to work from home.
What you’ll need: Most opportunities will ask for related experience and a high school diploma. You may also need entry-level skills in Microsoft Office software, particularly Excel. If the company uses its own custom CRM system, you’ll most likely undertake training online or at their headquarters.
From greetings cards to jewelry, tiny earrings to beautifully crafted furniture, there’s an infinite number of possibilities when it comes to selling on Etsy.
If you make and craft products for friends and family in your spare time, it’s more than worth testing the waters and seeing if there’s a market for your products online.
While various online selling platforms exist, Etsy should undoubtedly be your first point of call. It has very high traffic, listings, and payments are easy with their website. Its customers are looking for bespoke items, rather than wholesale.
What you’ll need: A product to sell and a deep understanding of your production line, as paying customers will expect orders on time. Naturally, you’ll need an Etsy account (very simple to set up), and learning some basics about keyword research, search engine optimization (SEO), and product listing copywriting will also go a long way.
Setting up any merch or apparel store requires an extensive amount of time and upfront investment. But, if you have the ability to create hand-made and/or digital designs and artwork, websites such as Redbubble take all the business costs and operations off your plate.
From there, all you need to focus on is your artwork and designs, and monitoring your online store.
What you’ll need: An eye for design and an ability to create multiple designs and bespoke artwork. Due to the need to upload designs, you will need to be able to create digital formats of all your artwork.
Redbubble is one of many of these types of websites. However, Redbubble is a great place to start. They have a high amount of traffic, giving your store the most opportunity at global visibility. Once you’re familiar with the setup, you can then look at other services that specialize in certain types of art, and get a little savvier with search engine optimization (SEO) and product listings.
If you yourself are a pet owner and have a wealth of experience in grooming and looking after animals, there are opportunities online to put your skills to use for other people.
Lots of dog, cat, and animal lovers have to be at work for eight hours. Your ability to care for their beloved pets while they are not at home is a service many are willing to pay for a contractual or part-time basis. There are also agencies out there that will assign you pet sitting jobs, although this will probably require you to travel.
What you’ll need: Experience caring for animals, and being able to show your respective client this, is vital. No one is going to leave their pets with someone who can’t prove they can look after animals. You can also attain a diploma in pet grooming from City and Guilds, among other organizations.
Finding a full-time photography or videography position online is difficult. Often, companies will want these skills as part of a larger role, such as content creator, or digital marketing executive. However, if you do enjoy photography or making videos, there are definitely ways to partner with brands and organizations on a commission-based or seasonal basis.
From nightclubs that need weekend photographers to restaurants that need food photographers, there are quite a few opportunities to get paid work. Take the initiative and email, or go in person, to places you believe you can add value with your skills. Hotel chains are a good place to start. Your goal is to, over time, build rapport with a particular company, or brand so that the work is consistent. Drone footage at present is also popular.
What you’ll need: A strong portfolio of your work, readily available to view online, is vital. Try your best to tailor your portfolio to their needs, too. If you’re pitching photography skills at a restaurant, make sure you have photographed food before. You will also need your own equipment, naturally.
If you take plenty of photographs and video in your spare time and have the files stored on your computer or on a memory card, selling your work on stock websites can be a great way to make some passive income.
What you’ll need: Quality work. You need to know what you’re doing. iPhone photos are not going to suffice on a stock website. Your equipment and ability are key to creating professional work.
You’ll then need a distributor. Shutterstock and iStock are two of many that you can use. Payouts vary, but, commonly, you’ll be paid an amount per download. Simply sign up, create an account, insert your payment details and then upload your work for download. Due to the competitive nature of stock, finding a niche is going to give you a much better chance of customers finding your stock to download.
If you own your home, renting out a spare room on Airbnb can start as a quick way to get cash, and over time, turn into a viable consistent income stream. There’s no shortage of people looking online for accommodation options.
For a full-time income, you will need to approach this as you would any business. Attaining 5-star ratings is vital for gaining trust online and getting consistent bookings. You’ll need to become well-versed in simple hospitality best practices and be willing to turn-over the room you’re renting out on a consistent basis.
What you’ll need: Rented properties are very strict against sub-letting, so owning your property is vitally important. Understanding the basics of Airbnb and how it works will also give you an edge when it comes to listings, reviews, and getting eyes on your property.
If you already have a sizeable following on the likes of Instagram or Snapchat, you can use the stats and numbers from your profiles to position yourself as an influencer in a particular niche. Brands in your niche can pay you for sponsored content.
What you’ll need: While the following goes without saying, either you need to go to the brands, or they’ll come to you. A simple spreadsheet and an email client, such as Gmail, is all you need to do email outreach yourself. Enlisting yourself on platforms specifically for brands to find influencers, such as Influence, can also go a long way to making you more visible.
While many companies will look to bring a graphic designer or content creator in-house, many online businesses or small businesses only need graphics and content for certain strands of their business.
Blog headers, Instagram posts, and Pinterest pins are just a few of the infinite number of visual elements bloggers and business owners need. Plus, any video-based content you can provide will open up even more avenues.
What you’ll need: A good understanding of the platforms required to design for is beneficial. WordPress is the most common CMS you’ll see for online blogs and businesses, and likewise, most need content for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, among others.
Working knowledge of Adobe Suite programs, such as Photoshop and Illustrator is vital, but if not, free tools such as Canva, which are limited but easier for beginners to use, can work just as well in the beginning.
Larger organizations and busy startups often have social media channels set up, but struggle to effectively and consistently manage them. Replying to messages, engaging with the community, and consistently posting are all part of social media management.
If you’re particularly savvy from months, even years, of socially using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, or Snapchat, among many others, your know-how can be put to good use for a company or organization needing someone solely focusing on social media.
What you’ll need: Experience managing accounts, and the ability to show growth, will put you ahead of your competition. If you have an account with a reasonable-sized following or post in the company’s niche, you’ll be in luck.
There’s no shortage of busy CEOs and entrepreneurs looking for people to help them manage and organize both their work and personal schedules and tasks. The virtual aspect, naturally, means all of this work will be done online, and communication achieved through video calls or instant messaging and emails.
What you’ll need: The ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously is vital to becoming an effective VA. You’ll also need to be prepared to learn, as you’ll often be asked to do things you’ve never done before, or use software native to the company you’re working for.
Tracking your progress and deliverables is also vital. Knowing how to use task management tools such as Trello or Monday will help you organize your workflow and document your completed tasks.
The rise in live chat software and 24/7 services means there are ample opportunities in the customer service sector. This will either be by phone or online via instant messaging and email.
Due to most SaaS services and e-commerce stores serving a global audience, the need for 24-hour coverage and support is vital. This allows for flexible working hours.
What you’ll need: A friendly personality and a willingness to solve problems people will approach you with. Scripts and templates will usually be provided, so you won’t need to worry about improvising answers. You’ll also need to understand the product/service well.
Outbound simply means you going to the customer, and not them to you. These roles will require you to reach out to potential customers, from pre-set lists, or from your own research, and attempt to engage the customer with the product or service, with the goal being to make sales.
These roles can be salaried, but are often commission-based. This means you’ll make money for every sale you make.
What you’ll need: A hustler’s mindset, and a grasp of sales techniques and how to word or say your cold outreach pitch. Patience is key here, too, as commission-based sales is a numbers game. Forgoing a set salary is not for everyone, but if you believe in the product, you’ll have a much higher chance of converting leads.
All organizations are looking to expand their reach, particularly if they don’t have a large ad budget. An outreach specialist uses email or phone to contact people and engage them with the organization.
An outreach specialist doesn’t necessarily focus on sales. Companies may want to connect with certain people or groups, look for partnerships, and many other reasons.
What you’ll need: The ability to approach cold leads in a warm, intriguing manner. Understanding of a CRM platform, such as HubSpot, or simple Excel spreadsheet tracking, will also give you an advantage when applying.
In an age of content, most businesses, from tiny shops to large corporations, are looking for punchy, well-written articles across a range of topics. There are many opportunities in lifestyle, travel, finance, crypto, and numerous other niches.
What you’ll need: Tools-wise, you’ll need Microsoft Office or a similar program like Google Docs or Pages. A grammar and spell-checking service, such as Grammarly, is also important. Your punctuation and grammar need to be on point.
Finally, naturally, you’ll need to be willing to research certain topics, and have a flair for writing quick and with intrigue. Basic knowledge of SEO-writing is a huge bonus here. Writing samples are also a must.
If editing content, rather than creating content, is more your thing, the gig economy is rife with jobs and contracts that need content across various sectors edited and checked.
What you’ll need: Editors and proofreaders will go through more scrutiny than writers, because there is little, if any, room for error. You need to be methodical and have a keen eye for detail.
Grammar-assistance software, such as Grammarly, again is a must.
Gone are the days where the gaming industry was the choice of a handful of gaming consoles. Courtesy of mobile, millions of games across a broad range of devices and consoles exist. And all of them need user feedback and rigorous testing.
If you love gaming in your spare time, testing is more than worth looking into. Often, you’ll be paid by the hour, or on a contractual basis over a certain set of hours.
What you’ll need: Naturally, a love of gaming. Video games testers need you to be thorough and leave no stone unturned, so you need to have a keen eye for detail and a methodical approach to testing. Access to the required consoles and mobile devices, also, will be a huge plus.
If you speak a second language, or even more, there’s no shortage of translation gigs and jobs online. Often, these will be paid per word, but over time, these gigs can transform into regular, consistent work.
What you’ll need: A strong grasp of grammar and the standardized form of your chosen language. You’ll need to be methodical, have a keen eye for detail, and use text editing software, such as Microsoft Word.
While professional voice-over actors stars in films and animations, there are plenty of people online who need recordings in native accents, jingles and sounds, recordings for public messages, and many other jobs. Again, it’s common to be paid by the word for these types of gigs.
What you’ll need: Experience is vital, so be sure to put together a sample portfolio. Breath control is essential, and an ability to speak clearly.
As mentioned, many of the jobs above will largely be on a gig, contract, or commission basis.
My knowledge of the remote jobs market, combined with research conducted across the most popular remote jobs boards, overwhelmingly points to a certain number of jobs and sectors where it is common to work remotely. Moreso, these jobs are far more likely to be long-term, salaried positions.
If you already have a skill set matching these jobs, then you’re in luck. If you’re willing to retrain and become more specialized, these jobs largely lend themselves well to remote work.
Undoubtedly the most common field to be employed remotely, and very much the pioneering sector when it comes to remote work. There’s no shortage of startups, SaaS services, and corporations that need software engineers to build, manage, fix, and maintain their websites, databases, and systems.
Coding, to the newcomer, however, can be overwhelming. There are so many languages you can learn, and so many paths to employment. If you’re a little overwhelmed, it’s easiest to break it down into three types:
To get employed, your own website with a portfolio of work, showcasing several types of things you have built, is vital.
Writing for niches such as travel and lifestyle is far more common, hence the market is more competitive and the rates are much lower. However, there is a huge requirement for technical writers from various sectors, both to create content and to write internal or closed group publications.
Technical writing is built upon fact far more than emotion. A good example, right now, is writing about blockchain. It’s a new technology, and many in the tech world are eager to learn more about it, and how it can be implemented.
Some other examples include:
What you’ll need: A deep understanding of a more niche, complex topic or sector, and to research whether there is a market for it. Many blockchain developers, for example, have side-stepped into technical writing because of their excellent understanding of blockchain.
In addition to the technical skills, you also need to be a competent writer. A service such as Grammarly will massively help with your punctuation and mistakes.
While content writing in many niches can pay very little, conversion copywriting is a lucrative business.
Rather than writing to educate or inform, conversion copywriting is all about generating leads and making sales. It is heavily statistics-driven, and because of this, many corporations or services will pay more or hire a copywriter in-house. It is also common for conversion copywriters to negotiate a percentage of sales they generate.
What you’ll need: A deep understanding of conversion copywriting and the psychology behind it. You’ll be writing fewer words, but those words have to drive traffic on websites to certain pages or do certain things. Many courses exist online, and Copy Hackers is an excellent place to start.
You’ll also need to be able to work your way around a CMS, such as WordPress, or be able to design and generate your own landing pages, using tools such as Unbounce. Everything needs to be tracked, so your ability to track numbers and make decisions based on data is also vital.
While more traditional design, such as logo and print design, has moved to gig and freelance positions, an excellent side-step for designers and creatives is in UX/UI design. This largely involves designing the interfaces for websites, software, and many other services.
UX/UI designers use the skills and knowledge of design principles in tandem with user feedback. It is highly common for large websites, organizations, and SaaS companies to hire a full-time UX/UI designer. Whereas content and graphic design is often infrequent or a one-off, UX/UI design is something any website, app, or online service constantly needs.
What you’ll need: If you’re a graphic designer or creative by trade, knowledge of UX best practice, and software such as Sketch or InVision, will help you make the transition. Basic knowledge of front-end development is also a plus.
If you’re new to design, understanding the fundamentals and principles of good design, along with a variety of tools, is where you need to start. Adobe Creative Suite’s Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign should be your first port of call. Also, consider taking a course in design theory to better understand the use of space, color, and other elements in design.
And naturally, you’ll need a solid portfolio showcasing UX/UI sample projects for websites, apps, and the like.
Digital marketing is in demand for many organizations and services that want to improve their visibility and make more sales.
Digital marketing covers a vast area of different disciplines, and many roles will expect you to take on most of, if not all, areas of online marketing.
What you’ll need: An excellent understanding of the following:
Digital marketing is numbers-driven. For your portfolio, you need to show as many case studies and examples as you can of how your actions lead to more traffic, signups, conversions, and sales.
Often covered under digital marketing, content marketing itself has become an in-demand role for remote companies globally.
Content marketing is largely a combination of two factors:
It is rare a content marketing manager will create all the content, as it’s very uncommon a writer will also be a graphic designer, and also a videographer, and vice versa. However, you will have a hand in some content creation, while managing an overall content calendar with various freelancers, and a content budget.
What you’ll need: A background in content creation is vital. Writers often move into content management roles, but visual creatives and videographers can move this way, so long as they have the ability to write, as most content is still largely text-based.
Away from the creative side, you need to have an analytical side. Content needs to have a purpose, and whether that purpose is being fulfilled is almost always measured with numbers.
Particularly among remote teams, having someone in the center of all operations is critical to everything moving in the right direction. The need for project managers in SaaS companies and large companies that operate in different countries has also risen over the last few years.
What you’ll need: Project managers have to be able to multi-task, and managing many moving parts, all at once. Clear communication is key, as remote teams are all over the world and work on different timezones.
Experience managing teams is vital for a remote company to take you on. You’ll also need to be able to pick-up and run with many software tools, such as Trello, Slack, Monday, and any custom software the company currently uses. Lastly, you need to be an excellent manager of people. You’ll be the one who sets deadlines, lays out the course of action, and makes sure everyone understands what is going on.
Similar in some ways to project management, product management deals directly with the ‘product’. Any SaaS or service needs someone to tie together all the different things that need to be done, from the product’s inception through to marketing.
Product managers a very common in tech and SaaS, where the ‘product’ is a digital software service of some sort.
What you’ll need: Experience in this field is vital. A product manager will be expected to deal with and lead on product development, justification of the product, forecasting, pricing, inception to launch, and marketing throughout the product’s life cycle.
Project managers can very much side-step in this direction. A background in coding is a huge plus for many SaaS companies.
Any corporation or B2B-focussed company needs someone to keep the relationship with their clients positive. Account managers largely speak to clients online or over the phone.
Tie that in with task management and tracking software tools, and account management is more and more becoming a work from home job.
What you’ll need: Account management can stem from experience in project management. You will need excellent communication skills, both written and verbal. The ability to organize tasks and data, with tools such as Slack and Trello, is also very helpful.
Many online schools are looking for English teachers to hold one-on-one classes, over the internet, with students. Likewise, if you speak a second language, it is common for language lessons to be taught, through a school, over the internet.
What you’ll need: Great verbal skills. To teach any language, you will need to go through a period of training and gain experience as a teacher, before taking on more students and seminars.
While traditional job boards operate under the assumption that their advertised jobs will be onsite, many have now started adding ‘remote’ or ‘remote possible’ to their search filters. There are websites, however, that specialize in work from home jobs and remote opportunities.
An excellent place to search for work from home jobs, and in our opinion, one of the most comprehensive. Their search options are in-depth, and you can filter by job sector and type.
FlexJobs also allow you to filter by contract type, such as full-time or freelance, and by ‘remote only’ and ‘remote possible’. This gives you the opportunity to find roles that are either fully remote or the potential to turn into remote opportunities for the right candidate.
These work from home job boards specialize only in jobs and roles that are solely remote. The categories are very defined, and most of these boards cater to companies that work in tech.
These boards also give you a good idea of companies that hire remotely. With these companies targeted, you could also reach out to them directly to ask about any future roles or opportunities they may have.
Gigs, freelance projects, and short-term contracts on these platforms are almost always solely done remotely. Initially, it will take time to land the projects you want. You will need to build up your profile and feedback score so that potential employers can trust you can do what you claim.
Upwork is the best place to start. However, you will probably have to take on lower-paid jobs, initially, to build up your score. Websites such as Fiverr and People Per Hour rarely offer longer-term contracts, whereas it’s easier to find longer or ongoing projects on Upwork.
If you’re specialized, try some other websites. Contently and Visually are purely for visual creatives and animators. NDash is just for writers.
Many digital nomad and remote work Facebook groups have members that post short-term contracts or freelance opportunities. Slack groups, such as Nomad List, will also have dedicated channels for freelance opportunities and jobs for digital nomads.
Some of these communities you can apply to join. Others you’ll need to be invited.
Working from home comes with a number of benefits:
While working from home is great, there are a number of challenges you will face. Understanding how to overcome these challenges is vital to you being able to work from home productively, and in good health.
The market for work from home jobs is only set to increase. More and more, opportunities will arise to work remotely.
Initially, you may need to take a lower-paid job or an opportunity without the financial or long-term guarantee. But there are always ways to make money working from home straight away. And there are always ways to work from home longterm. You just have to be willing to look, keep applying, hustle, talk to as many people as you can, and play the numbers game.
FlexJobs, as mentioned above, is one of the best places to start. Spend time crafting a resume that showcases your skills the best, and then get applying.
Use the remote job boards and online groups to expand your network. If you’re willing to take freelance opportunities, spend time on Upwork to begin with.
Hopefully, one of our listed jobs is a perfect fit for you and your skills. Best of luck in your search!
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