Maintaining employment is one of the biggest challenges of living with fibromyalgia, chronic Lyme and similar conditions. It’s a catch 22: Many of us are too sick to perform a traditional 40-hour-per-week job, but it’s super difficult (and takes a long time) to get approved for disability benefits for a so-called “invisible illness.”
If you’re physically able, working from home is an alternative. The challenge is finding a position that’s flexible and pays a decent wage.
In this post, guest writer Lucy Wyndham shares some resources for those who are interested in pursuing work-at-home opportunities. I’ve added a few extras at the end.
Work-at-home jobs for the chronically ill
A guest post by Lucy Wyndham
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, remote work opportunities rose from 19 percent in 2013 to 23 percent in 2015. In the future, 68 percent of U.S. workers are expected to work from a distance. From management to telemedicine, there is a wealth of job opportunities for those who need to work remotely.
There are several online sites that promote home-based opportunities such as Upwork.com (formerly Elance) and Freelancer.com. WAHM.com is also a great place to snag leads on different types of telecommuting jobs from customer support to content writing.
Craigslist is another source of online jobs. However, there are plenty of scams, so use good judgment when responding to an ad.
Virtual assistants (VA) are very much in demand these days. Specialized services such as curating social media content, managing blogs, creating landing pages and providing customer support are tasks that a good VA is expected to do.
Opening your own business is also another option, giving you total control of your work hours. Providing accounting, consultancy, editorial and tutoring services are some ideas that do not need an enormous amount of start-up capital. Consider home-based franchise opportunities that will suit your interests and expertise. Being your own boss has many advantages including the freedom to stay at home, manage a household and cope with your illness.
There are several telecommuting jobs that can complement incomes such as paid surveys & panels, focus groups and product testing. If you love giving your opinion, head to mysurvey123.com. It has a good list of survey sites, online focus group companies and product test panels.
Tailoring your job is vital in ensuring that you can manage the symptoms of fibromyalgia, ME/CFS or chronic Lyme. With the flexibility provided by telecommuting jobs, you can control your work hours based on a manageable and realistic schedule, and take rest breaks when needed. By doing so, you can still work while living with the symptoms of your condition.
Lucy Wyndham spent over a decade working as a nutritionist before taking a step back to indulge her love of writing and spending more time with her young family.
A few more resources…
Counting My Spoons: Working with chronic illness
Work at Home Woman: Over 100 work-at-home jobs and opportunities
Being Fibro Mom: Surveys for money … the ones that work!
Now it’s your turn: If you’ve found profitable work-at-home employment, please share in the comments section!