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I dislike TED talks for a number of reasons. #1 on that list is that TED has become a mouthpiece for curated, narrow neo-liberal thinking while pretending to be a brand that embraces and champions the full spectrum of knowledge.
But recently, I watched a cool TED talk by the CEO of Expert 360, Bridget Loudon, who provided a refreshingly apolitical analysis of our work culture, its origins and its possible future.
She pointed out that it wasn’t until 200 years ago, during the industrial revolution, until we started putting rigid structure around how work could – and couldn’t – get done.
“We had a standard language. A way in which work and workers could come together. And we called these neat little units of our economies and our lives, jobs”, said Loudon.
The world of work is changing. Granted, it was already changing prior to the pandemic – driven by advances in technology, global competition, and changing expectations among younger generations of employees.
After several months of forced experiments in remote work, the work landscape looks nothing like it did prior to the pandemic.
Employees, in droves, have been working from home (WFH) in numbers never before previously imagined.
All signs point to this trend continuing even after (or if) the pandemic subsides. CNBC reports that job searches for remote work in the United States rose 460% in the two years before June 2021.
“Interest has tapered, but remained elevated even as the U.S. economy reopens, suggesting the trend has staying power,” they say.
Closer to home, the Australian Institute of Family Studies found that two-thirds of Australians are currently working from home, with many learning to enjoy the increased flexibility.
Are you curious in exploring work from home options?
Today we will take a look at the best evergreen opportunities for work from home careers, as well as some of the best work from home jobs that have emerged since the pandemic emerged.
Many of these jobs can be performed for a single company or as a contractor for a wide range of companies. The WFH environment makes it relatively easy for you to, in essence, subcontract through your own brand and businesses.
The jobs below have been the staple of the WFH sector for some time. Already in demand due to their flexibility, they’ve seen a huge rise in demand since March 2020.
Each of these roles offers the benefits of flexibility both in terms of hours and locations worked, the work/life balance that comes from working in an at-home environment and – at least for now – a decent supply of available opportunities.
1. Virtual Assistant.
The role of virtual assistant has grown significantly over the past few years and is not likely to slow any time soon.
Virtual assistants help out with administrative tasks that might include scheduling, creating, and editing documents, managing databases and spreadsheets, and more.
Keep in mind that jobs in the VA sector are prone to offshoring.
If this is where you want to focus, and if you want to make a good wage, ensure that you’re able to add value in ways that go above and beyond the basics.
For instance, upskill yourself with the ability to use industry-standard CRMs like Salesforce and HubSpot.
Read business magazines like the Harvard Business Review, CIO and Human Resources Director to improve your understanding of business strategy. Get a firm grasp of analytics and data by completing courses on Udemy.
Bookkeepers handle daily transactions like sales and bill payments – and are focused on accurate record-keeping. Accountants operate at a higher level – and are responsible for preparing legal financial records.
As with VAs, accounting and bookkeeping jobs are also subject to offshoring. To be competitive, ask yourself – what additional value can you provide, beyond basic number crunching?
Do you have evidence of how you have helped other organisations save, or make money based on your recommendations or actions? Have you helped organisations put processes in place to minimise risk?
Be specific and clear about how you have made measurable differences.
3. Content Creator.
The demand for quality content is on the rise. Content writers will find ample WFH opportunities on freelance platforms like UpWork and People Per Hour and UpWork. Typical hourly rate ranges between $30 and $70 per hour.
A word of caution – the Internet doesn’t need another mediocre content writer.
If you don’t enjoy writing at a level where you get a buzz out of getting your sentences ‘just right’ – and do so to tight deadlines – this job isn’t for you.
The demand for great salespeople is currently very high.
Technology has disrupted a lot of sectors, but sales has remained bulletproof – because people almost always want human interaction when purchasing high-ticket items.
As Digiday points out, “people who get into sales are driven, creative thinkers who are making the most of remote and digital selling opportunities.”
In addition, sales is a profession that is very well suited to work from home environments. You can sell anything from business software to home office furniture to resume writing services from the comfort of your own home.
Money is good, too.
Expect to make well over $100,000 per year. Hone your skills, pick a good niche (I’m looking at you, medical devices), and you can walk away with $500,000.
5. Resume Writer.
Our company has written over 4,000 resumes over the past 9 years, and we have hired over 50 resume writers during this time, so we know a thing or two about doing this job from home.
Almost 100% of the resume writers who work in this industry work remotely.
A word of warning – it’s not an easy job.
As a resume writer, you don’t simply write a person’s resume. You determine the course of their career trajectory – and their life. It’s a big responsibility.
To do the job successfully, you need to be articulate, smart, business-savvy, organised, curious, able to wrangle clients and – last, but not least – be a great writer.
Sounds like you? Before you take the plunge read about the most common pitfalls on the path to becoming a resume writer.
Newly Emerging Opportunities.
As the pandemic has lingered and employers have learned — often to their own surprise — that any number of jobs can be performed remotely, new work from home jobs have emerged.
1. School Tutor.
When students were sent home to learn in early 2020 — especially students at the Year 10 level — parents soon found themselves overwhelmed with teaching responsibilities on top of their own jobs.
Over time, concerns have also emerged about the loss of learning. In this environment, we have seen an uptick in demand for tutors at all levels of education.
Even as schools return to in-person learning, news outlets like the Australian Financial Review are reporting that the demand for online tutoring remains high.
2. E-Commerce Developer.
Over the past several years consumers have increasingly been drawn to the online environment; demand for online access to goods and services is likely to continue.
This burgeoning demand has significantly increased the demand for web developers as Computer Economics reports.
The ability to be effective in e-commerce development requires technical skills – and a commitment to continually improving those skills.
This is a competitive space where you will compete with both individuals and agencies.
Tools and technologies are changing constantly, requiring developers to be on top of new ways of doing their work, as well as constantly changing algorithms that drive traffic to websites.
The upside, though, is the ability to leverage your creativity, help businesses remain successful, and take advantage of a wide range of new and emerging opportunities.
3. Customer Support.
As retailers and other stores closed their doors in droves in early 2020 customers were left without the physical support they were accustomed to.
With no physical access, phone, email, and text access became the norm requiring additional staff to support the demand—staff that needed to be based out of home settings
Interested in filling these roles? You will, of course, have to have strong communication skills — both verbal and written.
In addition, you will also need to have problem-solving skills, the ability to deal comfortably with conflict, and technical skills in data entry, data analysis and the use of CRM systems.
Demand is high.
Indeed.com shows 15,882 jobs for “tech support and sales agents” in remote settings. Pay, however, is low – ranging between $15 and $20/hour.
Another downfall is the emergence of technology-enabled interactions (e.g., chatbots and artificial intelligence), which may reduce the demand for these positions in the future.
4. Manager (of all kinds).
Managers will remain in demand for the foreseeable future – especially managers who are able to successfully navigate and oversee staff in both physical and virtual environments.
Today’s managers are also increasingly required to be adept with understanding and using data to make decisions and support recommendations.
Organisations are increasingly realising the folly of simply promoting those with solid operational skills into leadership roles.
Today’s expectation is that managers will have experience in managing others as well as demonstrated competencies including the ability to develop others, vision, innovation, conflict resolution, and the ability to manage inclusively in an increasingly diverse work environment.
FlexJobs lists a number of executive-level remote job opportunities with pay ranging from $82,808 (for Director of Communications) to Chief Medical Officer ($299,922)—end everything in between.
6. Telehealth Professional.
The national average for telehealth job pay is at slightly over $90,000/year, with the potential to reach almost $200,000/year.
As with other professions, the pandemic has proven that even healthcare can be delivered remotely.
Behavioural health and primary care are the most common types of services provided remotely, but with advances in technology—e.g., remote patient monitoring (RPM)—more specialties may move to providing at least some level of care online.
As Andis Robeznieks, senior news writer for the AMA (American Medical Association) reports: “The use of telehealth has exploded as many regulatory barriers to its use have been temporarily lowered during the COVID-19 pandemic. The AMA is advocating for making many of these emergency policy changes permanent.”
And the list goes on. In reality, the pandemic has driven such awareness of the ability for a wide range of jobs to be done remotely, that just about any type of job that doesn’t literally require a person to be physically on-site (e.g., manufacturing jobs).
But, as we’ve seen, even service professionals that we would have two years ago said “couldn’t work remotely”—like teachers, yoga instructors and a host of others—now can and do, and are likely to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
In fact, Gartner research indicates that nearly half of employers responding to a survey in 2020 indicated that they would be willing to let employees work remotely permanently—82% some of the time.
The big takeaway: whatever you do, wherever you are, there is a wide range of work from home opportunities likely to be just right for you.