Professional Development

8 jobs you can do completely on your phone

Written by Michael Hoon

Sound lazy? Not really. While the idea of working from your phone sounds like you can make money while sitting on your couch and scrolling, in reality, people who work without an office and make their own schedules have to be disciplined. Working solely on your phone requires the ability to shift focus from scrolling Instagram to doing “work.”

There’s a lot of freedom in working remotely, but it can often come at the cost of a traditional set salary. Let’s look at 9 possible careers to explore if you’re ready to take on the risk (and freedom!) of a handheld office.

1. Re-seller

You can turn a hefty profit by selling your own items on sites like eBay or Poshmark. Buying cheap items on your preferred resale site and then fixing them up, taking good pictures, and providing a storefront with postings that appear professional can all be done on your phone. Mailing materials can also be ordered online and items can be picked up directly from your home to ship wherever you need.

To succeed, you’ll need to have an eye for the brands that sell well and the items that people will pay a little extra for. And presentation skills matter here: Some top brand items simply don’t sell well because the seller didn’t take good pictures, or maybe failed to iron an expensive blouse or fix a small defect like sewing a loose button. You will have to learn to take pride in what you’re selling and get to know your audience well.

2. Social media specialist

If you have a phone, you have access to Twitter, Instagram, etc., and you may be scrolling through your own accounts regularly. Why not make money while doing something similar on behalf of someone else’s brand? From celebrity social media influencers to multi-million dollar corporations, and even down to the small business on the corner, social media has become the main way people develop their brand, engage with customers, and advertise products in a way that doesn’t seem like an ad. Social media specialists understand the mission of their company and work hard to find and share interesting content in order to draw in customers.

3. Market researcher

Organizations need information about who buys what, and why. While demographics and sales trends can be tracked using data, customer feedback is a key factor that can help analysts understand their numbers and increase the effectiveness of their marketing. If you have a phone, you can call customers and find out how they rate a company’s product by conducting phone surveys. And sure, while this is the phone equivalent of a marketing email asking you to rate and review your purchase, and while you may get hung up on (a lot), collecting this research can also earn you a bit of extra cash without ever having to step foot in a cubicle.

4. Tutor

Online tutoring works well for certain people. Whether it’s learning a new language or working through a math problem, tutors can reach people via FaceTime, text, or a phone call, and there are a variety of apps out there ready to connect people. If someone needs help writing an essay, document sharing and writing notes on a doc have never been simpler. For tutors, skipping the travel costs by visiting students can make this job a little more lucrative.

5. Blogging

Depending on expertise, corporate blogging can span a wide range of subjects. Blogging, often done on a freelance basis, is a way to engage customers and clients through creative storytelling (while sneakily promoting the brand). Blog articles can be written remotely, yes, even on your phone: You just have to be able to research, write, and post your articles with your device. One thing to remember: In this case, auto-correct is not your friend. When you write on a phone, be sure you proofread before sending off an article to an editor.

Each outlet will pay differently, often by the word or by article, so time-management is key to making freelance blogging a job that can pay the bills.

6. Health coach

Weight loss companies employ coaches to keep in contact with clients and attract new ones via social media storytelling. If you enjoy working with people, don’t mind sharing your “health journey” on social media, and have tried a product with successful results, this might be a good fit for you. You can make videos, share meal plans, and be there for clients by text or phone when they have a question or crisis entirely from your phone. Coaching can be a very rewarding job when you witness people’s health transformations and know you helped them along the way.

7. Tech support

Many companies have an in-house tech support person to help employees, but remote tech jobs are also plentiful and often involve calling customers with tech complaints. You don’t need to be in an office to do this, but you do need to have knowledge of how the tech works and an ability to sleuth out problems—while having patience with the technologically challenged. While remote positions are not the best paying jobs in tech, they offer flexibility that can come in handy as a side or part-time gig.

8. Test scorer

During the school year, children are taking standardized tests across the country. While a lot of the testing is made up of multiple-choice questions, which can be easily read by a computer, there are other skills, like writing, that must be scored by real people who can apply the standards of the test and rate the results. Grading is a remote job, usually with an hourly rate. All you need is a phone and the ability to set aside some time to read and score essays—and yes, get paid while sitting on your couch.

About the author

Michael Hoon