By Holly Reisem Hanna
Many moons ago, I worked as a pediatric nurse on a med-surgical unit at a hospital. While there was a lot of flexibility with this job and it came with good benefits and pay — it also came with a lot of stress. I worked 12-hour shifts from 7 pm to 7 am. Not only is the night shift hard on one's body, but, you also have fewer resources and staff to assist you during the evening.
Over the course of a year, I had seven children crash on me. Seven situations where children were so sick, they almost died and had to be transferred to the PICU. This stress coupled with crazy hours put my body into a tail spin.
I went to the doctor to tell them about my symptoms, panic attacks, weight gain, lethargy, sleep issues, and gastrointestinal problems to find out that I had hypothyroidism. A chronic illness that I will forever have to take medication for and one that often wreaks havoc on my overall well-being.
Living with chronic illness can be a huge challenge.
The good news is there are many freelance and home-based business opportunities that allow you to set your own schedule, making it easier to earn an income when you have a chronic illness. When you work for yourself, you can work when you’re feeling up to it and take breaks when you need to.
If you're struggling to keep a job and earn an income due to your chronic condition, here are some of the best work-at-home jobs for people with chronic illnesses.
Blogging is a wonderful, flexible work-at-home career for people with chronic illnesses. It’s a great creative outlet, plus, you can share with others and improve their lives with your knowledge and experience.
If you’re a first-time blogger, it’s easy to get started blogging. There are plenty of resources online to help you set up a beautiful blog reflecting your personality and message.
Want some inspiration? Check out author and motivational blogger Jon Morrow, who has made millions despite having muscular dystrophy, chronic pain, multiple bouts of pneumonia and broken bones. And on top of all that, he’s unable to move his body, except for his face. If he can do this, you can do this too!
If you’ve got a way with words, but you’d like to publish on other sites or publications, there are many work-at-home opportunities for you! There are plenty of freelance writing opportunities online. Depending on your speed, skill, and experience, writers can earn anywhere from $12/hour to $100+/hour.
Some writing niches to consider are copywriting, resume writing, ghostwriting, magazine writing, grant writing, blog and article writing, web content, press releases, newsletters, technical writing, e-book writing, books, instructional design, and more!
With so many writers online, the proofreading industry is booming as well. If you’ve got a keen eye for catching mistakes and grammatical errors, proofreading might be the job for you.
To learn more about becoming a proofreader, you can check out the free Proofread Anywhere webinar to learn the basics and the scope of the proofreading profession. This course will assist you by providing the proofreading tools you’ll need to get started, as well as detailing the process of finding clients.
Fast typists with great listening skills may feel interested in transcription as a work-at-home job. With automation and digitization, the field of transcription has changed, but there is still plenty of viable work for those interested in transcribing speech to text.
If you’re interested in transcription, the three core areas to check out are: General Transcription, Legal Transcription, and Medical Transcription services. If you have a background in the medical or legal field, you’ll already be familiar with industry lingo. So, if you have prior field experience, transcription is a great job for you!
5. Graphic Designer
Graphic design is a rapidly changing and growing field. Designers are no longer limited to simply creating lettering and logos. Even self-taught designers are turning their skills into lucrative careers.
If you’ve got a creative spark and an artistic eye, try your hand at graphic design. There are many affordable and accessible resources, training tools, and even software available online. The median salary for graphic designers is around $46,000 per year—and some designers earn far more.
Are you gifted with empathy? Are you able to motivate others, mentor them, and advise them in their career and through difficult situations? Coaching is a great industry in which you can help others discover their path and improve their lives.
Coaching is broken up into many specialized areas, from relationships to career to general life and personal growth. There are even coaches who work specifically with people with chronic illness. If helping other professionals grow in their lives while working from home and setting your own schedule sounds like a career you’d love, check out coaching.
7. Craft Seller
Crafty and artistic people can create and sell creations from home. Of course, Etsy is always an option, but there are also sites like Conscious Crafties, specializing in providing a selling platform for those with chronic illnesses and pain, and disabilities.
Crafting is an opportunity to really express yourself and let out your creative side. Crafting is also therapeutic. Many people suffering from chronic illnesses find crafting and art to be positive outlets and good ways to defuse emotions.
Related Content: Craft Jobs for Stay-at-Home Moms
8. Social Selling
Social selling is awesome for people with limited mobility who can’t commit to running stores and parties in people’s homes. Direct sales companies like Chloe + Isabel are a perfect opportunity for those with chronic illnesses. You don’t need to train or build a sales team and you can sell on your own timetable using social media.
A great aspect of social selling is that, because you set your own hours and schedule, you can work as much or as little as time and energy provides. Chloe and Isabel is an easy social selling company to work with because of the team support and leadership you receive.
For more direct sales opportunities, check out this post.
Chronic Illness Resources
If your chronic illness is so severe that you're receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, check out My Employment Options. They offer work-at-home jobs for individuals receiving SSDI or SSI disability benefits in 47 states. Their services are free as part of a national return to work program. The jobs they offer are with leading national employers are for various skill levels, such as Customer Service, Tech Support, Medical Billing and Coding, Information Technology, Nursing, Case Management, Concierge, Sales, Reservations, Travel and more.
Another free service to check out is Ticket to Work. They are a free and voluntary program that can help individuals receiving SSDI or SSI benefits go to work, so they can become financially independent.
If you're dealing with a cancer diagnosis, Cancer and Careers offers free advice, interactive tools, and educational events.
A chronic illness doesn’t mean giving up on your dreams. You don’t have to feel like you’re unable to contribute and support your family. Chronic illness can become very isolating, painful and difficult, but there are many great, flexible options for earning money from home that you’ll feel proud of.
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