The work-from-home life has always had an appeal. Not having to commute saves time and stress, and in most cases working remotely allows you to choose your own hours. Many people choose to work remotely simply because it suits their career and lifestyle. In 2020, however, people are working from home for a different reason. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses across the world have closed their offices and asked as many employees as possible to work remotely.
Unfortunately, many people who were unable to work from home were simply laid off. If this is your situation, you may be thinking of looking for work in a career that allows for working remotely. This might be an easy transition for you, or it might require entering a new industry entirely. Either way, with the right skill set, it is more than possible to develop a career that allows you to work entirely from the comfort of your home. With that in mind, here are 10 great careers that will allow you to work from home in 2020.
Though there was a time when remote customer service was performed in large call centres alongside dozens of other customer service representatives, today much of the industry has allowed employees to work from home. As long as you have a strong enough internet connection, taking calls and answering emails will not be difficult to set up.
Customer support is a great career for people with strong communication skills and a desire to help others. As a remote customer support worker, you will likely be responsible for assisting customers and clients with account management and billing, as well as helping to use and troubleshoot software or other products. Customer support roles usually do not have strict education requirements, so this is a great career to step in to if you are focused on finding a remote role quickly.
There are several dedicated online customer service platforms, such as Liveops and Working Solutions, where you can apply to work as a remote customer service representative. These companies will assign you to one or more of their clients to handle customer support. Many companies also hire remote employees directly to do customer support. Shopify, for example, has a large remote customer support team and a great remote work culture.
English proficiency is an important skill, and a strong command of English can lead to many personal and professional opportunities. As such, many people throughout the world are looking to improve their fluency. If you are fluent in English and have strong communication skills, a desire to teach and help people, and the patience that teaching requires, teaching English is a great career that can now be done from home. Job requirements vary by company, but it is likely that a bachelor’s degree or a TEFL certification will be preferred.
If you are interested in managing your own clients, this is a career that you can do as a freelancer. Advertise your services online and find clients that way. To get started more quickly, however, you may want to apply at one of the many online services that offer English lessons remotely, such as VIP Kid, English First, and Go Fluent.
Software, whether it’s websites, apps, or games, is always in development, and programmers are always in demand. This is a job that can be done freelance, choosing your own clients and setting your own hours, and many companies allow their developers to work remotely.
There are many platforms that offer online bookkeeping and accounting services to businesses remotely. If you are good with numbers, have a good eye for detail, and like digging deep into a spreadsheet, bookkeeping and accounting are great careers that can be done entirely from home. A certification will help you get hired, although it is not mandatory, and familiarity with accounting software like Quickbooks is a must. As a bookkeeper you will be responsible for recording and classifying expenses, payroll, receipts, and invoices, usually for several clients at a time. Companies such as Bench and Accountingdepartment.com hire remote bookkeepers, and if you’re looking to grow your own bookkeeping practice you could join a marketplace such as Xero for Bookkeepers to help you find clients.
All businesses need writers, whether it is for copywriting, blog posts, grant proposals, product documentation, and more. A strong writer can be what makes an ad campaign successful, or a product manual understandable for end-users. If you have a strong command of language and can write great, readable prose, you may want to look into working as a writer.
A great place to start would be to work as a freelance writer. This way you will have lots of control over what kinds of things you write and what kinds of companies you work for. Many writers work freelance their entire career, preferring to bid on contracts and pick the work that most appeals to them. If you prefer stability, you may instead want to apply for an in-house writing position, where you will be able to complete writing projects for a single employer.
Do you have strong organizational skills, good communication, and an eye for detail? You may be interested in becoming a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants are employed by entrepreneurs and businesses to perform administrative tasks like booking appointments and meetings, organizing calendars, taking phone calls, and managing inboxes. Virtual assistants may also be asked to manage social media accounts, do some bookkeeping, and other clerical work. This role is integral to the workings of any business, and it can all be done from home. If you’re interested in a Virtual Assistant position and are based in the US, check out Zirtual.
Transcriptionists receive audio and video files and transcribe them into text. The content of the files will vary widely. The file could contain doctor’s notes for a patient’s files, legal notes for a law firm, or interviews by journalists or researchers. Many transcriptionists also caption videos or live-caption an event being broadcast in real time. In all cases, it is important that you are a skilled typist and can type quickly and accurately. Precision is integral, as is a strong grasp of spelling and grammar.
As a transcriptionist you can work from home and set your own hours, finding the routine that works best for you. Some companies hire in-house transcriptionists, but most transcription is done through services like Aberdeen and Transcribe Me.
Are you fluent in multiple languages? This is a great skill that can be leveraged into lucrative work that can be done from home. As the economy becomes more global, companies are focusing more and more on localization and ensuring that their product language is translated to suit each locality. Product documentation, websites, ad copy, software, and more all need to be translated to suit each demographic they are going to serve.
As a translator, you will receive content in one language and translate it into another, depending on your specialty. This is a job that requires fluency in at least two languages, as well as the ability to write well in a tone appropriate to the context. Many translators offer their services freelance, advertising online and selecting their own clients, and many work at translation and localization companies like Acclaro and Lionbridge.
For some quick part-time work that does not require a lot of experience, you may want to consider working as a website tester. Businesses are always updating their software, and as they do so they are interested in seeing how users will interact with the changes. This feedback is so valuable, in fact, that they will pay you for it. As a website tester you will be asked to interact with a website, usually while recording your screen, and giving your opinions on what you like or dislike about it, what you find intuitive or unintuitive, and how you find the experience. You can become a website tester using platforms like User Testing, What Users Do, and Userlytics.
Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are large parts of many businesses’ brand strategies. It is integral that a brand’s social media presence is visible, engaged, and reflective of company values. As such, social media managers are integral parts of any marketing and customer engagement team. And, as social media is entirely online, it is a job that can be learned and performed from the comfort of your own home.
As a social media manager you will be responsible for monitoring social media for users engaging with the brand, including making complaints online, and responding when necessary. This is partly a marketing role, as you will be monitoring engagement and working to improve it, and partly a customer support role, as you interact with users online and connect users to the appropriate department. You may also need to interface with other brands and expand the reach of your posts.
Whether you’ve just been laid off or are simply looking to shorten your commute, there has never been a better time to start working from home. The internet has allowed more and more industries to hire remote workers, and more businesses than ever are allowing employees to work from home.
If you want to develop your skills before starting your work-from-home journey, we have a useful list of online education resources here, and if it’s time to start working on your resume, VisualCV is offering a free Pro subscription to people impacted by COVID-19.
Ben is a writer and customer support specialist with 5 years of experience helping job-seekers create their careers. He believes in the importance of a great resume and the power of coffee.
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