With unemployment skyrocketing over the past few months, millions of Americans are looking for work in an uncertain economy. While stimulus checks, expanded unemployment, and other benefits are now available, it’s still worth looking for a new job as soon as possible.
Many industries have been hit hard by COVID-19, but others are mostly operating as usual or even experiencing growth. In this article, we’ll cover some of the first places to check if you’re looking for a job during the pandemic. For now, make sure to do some research on coronavirus relief programs and unemployment benefits in your area.
1. Grocery Stores
Grocery stores already deal with high turnover, and more and more employees are leaving due to COVID-19. On the other hand, demand for groceries has actually increased in recent weeks, leaving many stores short-staffed. If you’re willing to work in public, you should be able to find work at a grocery store in your area.
Unfortunately, grocery employees across the country have reported insufficient protection while working. It’s important to take your safety seriously, especially in such a dangerous situation. Before getting started, make sure to ask what the store is doing to keep workers safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
While working in a grocery store may not earn you much more than minimum wage, some chains and individual stores are providing bonuses, extra time off, and other benefits to workers to help them manage their responsibilities during the pandemic. You’ll also be providing a critical service to people in your community.
2. Freelance Clients
Gig economy and freelance workers make up a larger portion of the workforce than ever, and this is the perfect time to consider switching to a freelance career. Although fields such as web development and graphic design require technical skills, freelance writers can earn good money with no formal education or professional writing experience.
Fiverr, Upwork, and other freelancing platforms have made it easy for freelancers to create a profile, upload their portfolio, and connect with clients who are interested in their skills. Freelancers often make $50 or more per hour depending on the field they’re working in.
Furthermore, freelancers have far more flexibility than grocery store employees and many other workers. While they still have to deal with deadlines, meetings, and other routine obligations, much of the work can be done at night or over the weekend. Since you can do freelancing work from home, this is a great way to earn money while social distancing.
3. Amazon Flex
Amazon Flex allows drivers to work individual delivery blocks around their schedule. The platform pays $18 to $25 per hour, although your actual profit will likely be lower considering gas, maintenance, and other vehicle-related costs.
While some industries have been heavily impacted by COVID-19, Amazon delivers groceries, medicine, masks, hand sanitizer, and other critical supplies. Demand for Flex drivers varies widely from one location to another, but delivery blocks are still available in many cities.
It only takes a few minutes to sign up for Amazon Flex, and there are only a few requirements for drivers. Along with passing a background check and being at least 21 years old, you’ll also need an iPhone or Android running at least iOS 13 or Android 6.0, a valid license, and a mid-sized or larger car for most deliveries.
You’ll be able to schedule as many blocks as you want after being approved, and there’s no minimum delivery volume or frequency for Flex drivers. You can sign up as a driver at any time and schedule your first shift whenever you have some extra time.
Amazon pays for the block of deliveries rather than a set hourly rate, so you may earn more or less than the estimated rate depending on your speed. Don’t forget to take the costs of driving into account when comparing Amazon Flex wages to other opportunities.
Walmart is another major chain that has experienced increased demand for a variety of supplies. After hiring an incredible 150,000 workers in March and April, the company announced that it was planning to hire as many as 50,000 additional employees to help distribute food, drugs, and other important items.
Like Amazon, Walmart operates throughout the US, although it’s less prevalent in major cities than in rural and suburban areas. Stores are currently open from 7 AM until 8:30 PM, so new workers won’t be asked to work overnight or early in the morning.
Full-time hourly Walmart employees earn an average of $14.26 per hour, although wages can vary depending on your location. Although Walmart is currently looking for temporary workers based on the urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic, new employees may have the opportunity to transition to permanent employment later on.
5. Rideshare and Delivery Services
Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare apps still need drivers, although demand may be lower than usual in some areas. You can put a plastic barrier between the front and back seats of your car in order to reduce the risk of transmitting or contracting COVID-19.
Alternatively, if you’d rather avoid hosting riders in your car, you can become a driver for a delivery service like Ubereats or Seamless. These platforms tend to pay relatively similar rates compared to rideshare businesses, although you will spend more time waiting for restaurants to finish preparing deliveries.
Becoming a driver gives you a significant degree of flexibility when it comes to scheduling. You can work as rarely or as often as you want as long as there are riders in your area. While most drivers use their own cars, Uber and Lyft also offer rentals for drivers who don’t have a vehicle.
States around the country are beginning to reopen, and driving is a great way to earn some money while applying to new positions or waiting to return to your old job. There’s no long-term commitment, and you can get started in as little as a few days after passing a background check.
6. Online Tutoring Platforms
Students around the world need help in virtually all school subjects, so there’s consistent demand for qualified tutors. While some sites and fields require formal qualifications, most people can get a job tutoring English online on some platforms as long as they’re a native speaker.
TutorMe, for example, provides online test prep for the ACT and GRE along with tutoring in a wide range of subjects including English, math, programming, and foreign languages. All tutors earn at least $16 per hour, higher than the minimum wage in any American city.
Furthermore, tutors can set their own sessions, work around their schedule, and even work from any location with internet access. TutorMe requires a university degree (or current enrollment), but that doesn’t mean there aren’t options available for people who have a high school diploma.
TutorMe and many other platforms provide prep materials for tutors, so you don’t need to develop a lesson plan to be an effective mentor. Tutoring online gives you the opportunity to make a difference in a student’s life while working from home for a decent wage.