Working from home as a student can provide you with job training as well as an income, all while you continue with your classes and studies.
While a traditional part-time job requires balancing your class schedule with work shifts, plus commuting and pay for those additional travel expenses, a remote job can be much more cost-effective.
Students working remotely have the opportunity to explore potential career options, including everything from marketing and sales roles to writing, editing or design options. The remote work options are plentiful and you can get creative with new technologies to accomplish more while at home. \
Understanding the responsibility of working while not being in a traditional work environment can be a challenge, but today’s students know how to manage technology and can easily coordinate professional responsibilities with educational requirements. If you are considering taking on a remote job while studying, know the pros and cons and what to look for in a potential work opportunity.
Types of Remote Jobs for Students
Remote jobs for students can cover a wide variety of industries and roles. While students, typically, do not have extensive professional experience, there are plenty of entry-level remote jobs that could offer helpful training. Some of the jobs you could look at include the following:
- Website Development: If you have technical skills, you can freelance as a web developer on your own time. If you do not feel ready to build full websites, you could instead offer assistance in troubleshooting and debugging existing code.
- Web and Graphic Design: Graphic design skills can be useful for full website design or for smaller projects like logo design.
- UX: User Experience is a rapidly growing market where you could offer your skills as a UX Engineer or Designer, or get an introduction to the industry through being a UX Tester.
- Writing: Use your writing skills for freelance projects that could range from website copy to blogging and many more options.
- Editing: Offering editing services to your fellow students can be a great entry opportunity to the editing industry.
- Marketing: If you are already studying marketing and intend to work in the industry, then you could start with remote marketing work to get more experience. This could include social media management, email marketing campaigns or writing copy for marketing agencies.
- VA: Virtual Assistants work in every type of industry and can offer you insight into a variety of work options. VAs can do anything that is done online or by phone, such as answering emails, updating website copy, editing photos or even planning travel and arranging personal services.
- Translation and Transcription: These services can be great part-time options for students, with translation being a more lucrative option if you are fully bilingual.
Finding Work Online
To work remotely, you must be able to offer the services required in the time required. This means having access to the technology you need as well as the availability to complete the tasks in the time allotted.
If you are ready to take on work assignments, you can find work online through a variety of job posting boards. These sites will list a variety of opportunities for which you could bid or offer a proposal. Think of this as a brief job application, which can also be great practice before you graduate.
These online job listings can be highly competitive and low-paying, but they also offer a variety of options to get started and build a portfolio of work. Once you have experience, you can start charging higher rates and choosing better assignments. But getting started often means doing whatever work you can at the rates offered, no matter how low.
Another option for finding online work is your own personal network. Using social media effectively can offer you connections for online work, especially using sites like LinkedIn. Always remember to stay professional on social media and to use those networks to let your friends and family know the type of work you are doing. Getting started and gaining experience can usually be done through those close connections, allowing you to build a portfolio of work along the way.
Working from a Home Office
Working from home as a student typically means working from a dorm room or a cramped apartment. If you have the luxury of a home office, then be sure to use it effectively to be productive during the work hours you schedule.
If, like most students, you do not have a separate office space, then it becomes much more important to practice self-motivation and organization. These skills will serve you well in your studies as well as any professional career you pursue.
Try to set up your own type of home office, even if it is only a space at a desk or kitchen table that is designated for your work. Good lighting and a comfortable space can make getting your work done easier and more enjoyable.
Getting work done remotely means being in charge of your own schedule and ensuring that you meet whatever deadlines or requirements are set by the job. Make sure you leave enough time to balance your classes and studies, so being careful to stay organized and to plan ahead will serve you well.
Watch Out for Scams
Working online can, unfortunately, also mean watching out for scams. Always be careful in searching for and accepting jobs online and do your due diligence to research the company or client before taking on any work. A wise business plan is to require at least a partial payment up-front before you begin work on any assignment.
You should also look into services for a legal contract and for professional invoicing. These documents can help if you run into any trouble with a company not paying for your work or other conflicts.
Be careful with the amount and type of personal information you offer to anyone online, including copies of your driver’s license or passport for any client. These should not be necessary for you to be hired and paid for your work. Similarly, bank details or other financial red flags should make you leery of online transactions. Only provide the information necessary to receive a payment and make sure to have contracts signed to cover your legal bases.