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Rangely Garcia / Money

As the nation shuts down to combat the Coronavirus pandemic, millions of Americans are facing job loss.

Many are already looking to unemployment benefits to get them through the next few months, which can be complicated to apply for, and may not fully cover monthly expenses.

Almost overnight, remote work has become a crucial lifeline for the newly jobless, and those trying to make up for cut hours and wages.

Finding jobs during a lockdown can be daunting — especially if you’ve only ever worked in an office. So here's a list of industries—and websites—now hiring for online jobs you can apply to no matter what your background is.

Virtual assistant

Companies trying out remote work for the first time are facing new challenges. If you’re super-organized, attentive to detail, and punctual to a fault (basically, all the things that come in handy as a regular assistant or office manager) you can apply to help schedule and run Zoom meetings, create and manage budgets, or do research from home. Check out websites like Udemy and GabbyVille for open positions.

Data entry

If you’re a fast typer, and able to keep track of large quantities of information (skills you would need for just about any office job these days), you can apply for remote data entry gigs. These jobs cover a wide range of industries—medicine, higher education, manufacturing—and only require an internet connection to get started. Unfortunately, this means they can also be susceptible to scams, so check reliable websites like ZipRecruiter and Indeed, then cross reference by checking the website of the company that posted the ad to make sure the job actually exists.


There’s a reason so many writers are freelancers: it’s one of the easiest jobs to do remotely. From creative writing to content marketing, lots of writing gigs can be done from your home office (or kitchen, or bedroom). If you’re a writer who’s produced content for companies or done copywriting before, or are proficient in skills like social media management or SEO, you can advertise your services on SkyWord, Contently, Fiverr, and Upwork. If you’re just starting out, try WritersWork or Speedlancer (keep in mind, jobs sites for newbies tend to pay less, but are a great way to build clips and experience.)

Transcription and Translation

These are crucial supportive services for journalists, businesses, government organizations, and hospitals. Transcription requires fast typing skills and a WiFi connection; translation requires fluency in two languages, sometimes with specialized vocabulary. Websites like Scribie allow transcribers to connect with journalists and other professionals. For translation work, look to sites like Gengo, Translate, or Translation Direct.


The world may have shut down, but there are plenty of people still trying to learn English globally. If you have experience teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) you can find work immediately on websites like VIPKIDS, GoGoKid, and Magic Ears. You’ll need varying levels of experience (a TESOL certificate or a bachelor’s degree) but in most cases you can apply or audition to teach in a week. There are opportunities outside of ESL, too. A number of private tutoring companies are looking for instructors in subjects like math and science, modern languages, and even arts and music for a number of different ages groups. Check out TakeLessons, TeacherOn, Wyzant, and Skooli to see what's out there.

Remote sales & marketing

True, this field tends to see a number of scams (“Make thousands a week working from home!”), but plenty of remote sales and marketing jobs require nothing more than being personable, well-organized, and thinking fast while on the phone. Check out FlexJobs and Indeed for open positions, which include promoting business management software, selling apparel from companies to boutiques, and selling employee safety videos to hospitals. If you already have industry experience, go to specific company websites to see open positions. You can even do your part to combat the pandemic by taking a sales job for companies like Indiesource, which helps fashion labels with sourcing and production, and has now pivoted to making masks.


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