Finding Work During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Young people are experiencing considerable and sustained losses not only to their education—the COVID-19 pandemic has also caused substantial damage to many students' employment prospects. 

In 2017, 43% of all full-time undergraduate students and 81% of part-time students in the US were working while enrolled. Most of them do it to pay for the cost of their education, which keeps on rising, and provide for themselves. However, in a survey conducted last April 2020, 38% of college students already reported that they lost work due to the pandemic.

If you’re a student who lost employment due to the COVID-19 crisis and wants to find work, here’s a list of jobs that you should take a look at. While we hope for things to go back to normal, these are existing alternative solutions that you may want to consider.

Why Work While Studying?

Many students may find it difficult to balance the demands of school with earning. However,  despite the stress, working while studying is worth it when you have your own goals. 

Without a doubt, working alongside study helps you earn money. This is one obvious reason why students would want to get a part-time job! They need money to help offset their tuition fees and cover the cost of their food, accommodation, and more. 

But working while studying is about more than the money. It also gives you the opportunity to gain experience as you immerse into the world of work. Whether it’s remote or in-person work, you get an idea and understand the dynamics in a working environment. You even gain crucial soft skills like good communication and decision-making, which could be helpful when you establish your own career. A couple of months or years’ worth of experience in a workplace is also good to add to your professional resume and increase your marketability. 

So what work can you do as a student? You can find a lot of opportunities, whether online or in your locality, to work while studying. Some of them are as follows.

Remote Work Opportunities

Even before COVID-19, remote work was already available. But it gained more attention when people became confined to their homes, and business owners decided to hire remote employees. 

Remote work has changed the workforce radically. It allows for more work options and promotes inclusion and diversity in the workplace. More importantly, it gives you the freedom to move anywhere you want. If you want to earn from home and keep your schedule flexible, this kind of work is for you. 

One remote job you can try is data entry. With very little specific knowledge needed, you can easily get started with it. What you would do is to enter and update data to different notes and documents for a company’s specific needs. Data entry can also cover transcription and captioning, as well as data management. So if you have superb typing skills and attention to detail, you can definitely do this work.

Or you can be a medical transcriptionist, which is also called a healthcare documentation specialist. Typically, you would listen to recordings from a doctor or other medical workers. Those recordings need to be interpreted and transcribed into patient history, operative reports, referral letters, exam notes, and other written reports.

Additionally, with the rise of digital marketing and the need to communicate things better, many companies are looking for content creators. If you’re into writing or you have extraordinary skill in video making and editing, you can also venture into this field.

Amazon (Shopper, Driver, Warehouse Assistant)

Amazon offers a world of opportunities. As a consumer, you can save money using an Amazon promo code that gives you cash back rebates online. You can also earn by applying to the different positions the world's largest online retailer is opening. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon has actively hired employees to help satisfy a surge in e-commerce demand. It’s also adding more warehouses and increasing its fleet of airplanes, vans, and trucks to increase the capacity of its in-house logistics operations.

Depending on what would be a good fit for you, you can work at Amazon by shopping for people’s groceries, delivering their packages, or working in their warehouses.

Grocery and Essential Stores

Markets, pharmacies, hardware stores, gasoline stations, and other essential stores are probably in need of additional workers as cashiers. As such, you would help process payments from customers who purchase goods and services. Additional tasks could include checking people out.

Becoming a cashier requires no formal education. And you don’t need to worry if you’re unsure of what you should do. Cashiers are trained before they do the actual job.

You should definitely check with your local stores. These establishments may also need more people to help with stocking supplies, delivering orders, cleaning up, and keeping things clean and organized. Some of their regular employees might have to stay at home to care for themselves or a family member. 

Grocery delivery services like Instacart can also be an option. You only need to check out their job posting if there’s any and be prepared to send on whatever’s needed for the application.

Local Restaurants

Although not all restaurants are fully operational, many are opening with alfresco, takeout, and delivery options. These dining places and other chain restaurants hire new people to package and deliver orders, as well as to fill in spots left by those who need to take a leave. In addition to your hourly minimum wage, you may also receive a decent amount from cash tips that you can take home.

How about third-party food delivery services? You have probably tried hiring Uber Eats or DoorDash so you know how it works. Using the Uber Eats app, customers order their favorite food from a restaurant, which accepts and prepares the order. As an Uber Eats courier, you claim the order on the app, pick it up from the restaurant, and deliver it to the customer.

Tutoring and in-Home Childcare Opportunities

Not every parent can cope up with the need to homeschool or teach their children with the current remote learning setup. It’s either they already have a lot on their plates due to work and responsibilities or they don’t know how to do it. This is where students like you can come in. You can check with your neighbors or advertise on personal social media to offer your service.

Take-Home Tips

As a working student, you should note that work-life balance is also important. While there are many benefits to working while studying, you should learn how to manage student work well without compromising your family, social, and study life. Make sure to take only the work you know you can handle. Your study is still the priority at this point. 

Also, the risk of contracting COVID-19 still exists. You should always observe healthy protocols to protect yourself and others if you opt to work outside your home. Above all, stay safe!

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