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The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the U.S. economy, and tens of millions of people have been laid off or furloughed since the beginning of the crisis.
There are several ways to make money fast when times are tough, but finding a job is the most reliable option for sustainable income. Here's where to look and what you can do to stand out.
7 Types of Companies Hiring Right Now
While many industries have been hit hard by the coronavirus, others have seen increased demand from consumers staying at home, and they're looking for new employees.
Depending on your previous position, you may not be able to fully replace your lost income with one of these jobs—but it could still help you cover your necessary expenses.
1. Grocery Stores
Government agencies have urged people to stay home as much as possible, and many have taken that advice to heart by stocking up on groceries to avoid more frequent trips to buy food.
That, combined with restrictions put on restaurants, mean grocery stores around the country are experiencing incredible demand, and some have changed store hours and made other accommodations to maintain their supply.
Grocery, convenience and other retail stores are also hiring new employees to help stock shelves, run the checkout line, bag groceries and more. Depending on the store and its needs, positions may be full time, part time or temporary. Companies that are hiring include:
- Dollar General
- Dollar Tree/Family Dollar
- Sam's Club
Physical health has been a need for many people during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that's caused many national pharmacy chains to ramp up their hiring to meet the demand. Available positions range from cashiers and customer service representatives to pharmacy technicians. Jobs may be full time, part time or temporary.
Here are some companies that are hiring right now:
3. Food Delivery
Whether they're looking to avoid the crowds at the grocery store or simply wanting to support local restaurants, many have begun turning to food delivery services. There are plenty of opportunities to earn money by making these deliveries if you have your own car.
Many of these jobs are contractor positions, which may mean you get to choose your hours—but it also means you don't get any other benefits, such as health insurance. Also, you'll incur some costs in the form of fuel for your vehicle and you may need to purchase additional insurance on your car since you'll be using it for business.
That said, it can be a great way to earn money if you need some control over your hours, especially if you have kids at home all day. Here's a list of companies looking to hire delivery drivers:
Note that restaurant chains that have their own delivery services may also be hiring call center agents, cooks and more to keep up with demand.
4. Shipping and Delivery
Not only are people using food delivery more than usual, but many are also ordering other goods online to avoid leaving their homes. As such, many major shipping and delivery companies, as well as smaller couriers, are hiring to boost their fulfillment and delivery capacity.
These jobs can be temporary, part time or full time, depending on your area and the company you choose. Options include:
5. Hardware Stores
Being cooped up at home for weeks at a time can make just about anyone feel the urge to tackle a big home improvement project. Hardware stores have seen a massive surge in demand as homeowners look for opportunities to make some upgrades or repairs and stay busy.
Depending on the store and where you live, positions can be temporary, part time or full time, and can include stockers, cashiers, receivers, shift leaders and more. Here's where to look:
6. Teleworking Technology
As entire companies have been forced to work remotely, demand for software and tools to maintain business as usual has skyrocketed. In response, companies that support teleworking have been looking for new employees in engineering, sales, customer service, finance and more.
Terms and hours can vary depending on the company and your area of expertise. Here's where you can start your search:
7. Online Learning
Online schools and tutoring services are booming now that millions of children are out of school and parents are scrambling to find a balance between homeschooling and working.
Whether you're looking for something temporary or you want part-time or full-time work, there are a handful of companies hiring tutors, teachers and more. You can also create courses on your own terms to help people learn a skill that you've mastered. Here are some companies to research:
You can also create courses on your own time through platforms like Coursera and Udemy to help other people learn a skill that you've mastered—and earn some money in the process.
Tips for Finding a Job in a Challenging Economic Environment
While there are still companies looking for new employees, the competition can be stiff with so many other unemployed workers on the hunt. Here are some tips to help improve your chances of getting your next job:
- Do your research. These aren't the only companies hiring right now, so depending on your experience and skills, do some more research to find the right fit for you. Websites like Indeed, Monster.com, Hired and LinkedIn all provide job postings that you can search based on a few keywords. Also consider sites like Upwork, Fiverr and Flexjobs for gig opportunities.
- Update your résumé. Make sure your résumé includes your most recent employment and skills, and consider having a few other people look at it and provide feedback to make sure it's the best it can be.
- Prepare to interview virtually. Even if you'll be working onsite, you may need to go through the interview process virtually. Make sure you have a computer with a working webcam and microphone for video chats, and set up an area in your home that can serve as a professional background. Remember, too, that even though you don't need to leave your house, dress as professionally as you would while doing an in-person interview.
- Don't put all your eggs in one basket. With so many people searching for a new job, it may be tough to find the right fit for you. Even if you have your heart set on a certain position, it's important to apply for several jobs to improve your odds of getting one. If you end up getting the job you want, you can simply let the other employers know.
Getting a Job Now Can Help Meet Short-Term Needs
Losing your job in the middle of a pandemic can be extremely stressful, and future uncertainty can make the situation even more difficult. Fortunately, researchers and medical experts are working to stop the spread of the virus and speed up the process of reopening the economy responsibly.
While it still may take several months for that to happen, getting a job can help you cover your basic expenses, even if the work is not something you intend on doing after things go back to normal.