Submitted Date 04/07/2020

Following "stay at home" orders and practicing social distancing are currently the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19. And while many businesses and workers are suffering from the effects the Coronavirus is having on the US and global economy, there are some essential services that are still operating and in need of workers. Plus, new avenues of income can open up and keep you afloat from home.

So what can you do to bring in income when you're involuntarily out of work and stuck inside the house?

1. Search for Work
Searching for remote or at home work can still be done through traditional channels. Job search engines, job boards, and networking can turn up good positions in well known and less conventional industries. Search for the "best" or "top" job search engines for more options, and avoid ones with low ratings and bad reviews . Reputable job search engines like Indeed, Career Builder, Linkedin, Glassdoor, Simply Hired, Zip Recruiter and Facebook.com/Jobs have filters for remote positions.

2. Avoid Scams
Work-at-home job offers on Craigslist are often scams, so be discerning and proceed with caution. There are some legitimate opportunities but they are mostly gigs. Full time remote work is few and far between.

3. Secure Payment
When working directly with a client, meaning not through a company or work portal with insurance and processes to guarantee payment, always sign a contract. Contract templates can be found online. They can be printed, signed and scanned, electronically signed in pdf format, or sent as emails with acceptance responses. It's worth it to also get paid a portion of the fee up front, but most clients will refuse flat out or until you build up a rapport.

4. Don't Work Anonymously
Make sure to get your clients' full names and any details they wish to divulge. Use a traceable payment method like PayPal or Venmo. And it doesn't hurt to video chat with them as well.

5. Assisting Essential Businesses
PPE (personal protection equipment) assembly, sewing, sending, etc.

6. Babysitting/Child Entertainment
Zoom, Skype, What's App, FaceTime etc.

7. Writing
Writing, editing, proofing and transcription are always in-demand online industries. Whether working freelance on a marketplace like UpWork, contracting for a well known brand, or becoming an employee with benefits and all, the written word isn't going anywhere. Scramble up some samples, put together a portfolio, and perfect that profile.

8. Audio/Visual
Multimedia design and editing is also a booming industry. It requires more technical knowledge, but much of this can also be learned online for free.

9. Content Creation
Make something for the masses. Entertain your neighbors and the world with an advertiser friendly YouTube channel, compelling podcast, blog opinion pieces or journalistic reporting. Or vlog to vent your feelings and inspire your audience.

10. Focus Groups
Market research companies are still looking for feedback from average Americans like yourself. It's not guaranteed income, but if you sign up with a number of reputable companies and take the opportunities they present, you may walk away with a few hundred dollars per month for just a few hours of your time. Only fill out forms on secure sites (with the little lock icon on the address bar), and clear out your junk email folder.

When we're ready to recover from this pandemic there is no guarantee the job you left will be there when you return. So now may be a good time to venture into a new career or create a supplemental income stream.

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