We’ve all had those horrific days at work that leave you googling “jobs where you can work alone” during your lunch break, eating canned soup at your desk for the third time this week to avoid hanging out with coworkers.
Sure, we all have ups and downs with work, but what if this is more than just a lousy workday?
Maybe you’re like me – an introvert – and you function better at a job where you aren’t regularly required to attend company meetings or play hacky sack in bullpen cubicles.
And that’s totally ok – there’s nothing wrong with being an introvert or functioning better with less cowokers (or none at all).
I’ve been working from home full-time for over ten years – by far the longest I’ve ever held any job. With the same company. And the same coworkers (more or less).
So what’s the secret to my success?
While being able to work in my pajamas makes up at least 65% of my success at longevity, the rest is because I function better when I have some space to focus on tasks and get my work done.
I am horribly awkward at office politics and am easily distracted, especially since having kids. Being in an office environment makes it just too easy to get pulled into gossip, not get any work done, and spend way too much money on coffee and lunches out. (At least that was the story for me!)
Even if you’re not a fellow introvert, maybe you’ve had it with the guy that burns popcorn in the break room every day at 2:30. Or the painfully long presentations, and pre-meetings to your meetings.
So if you have a permanent case of the Mondays, keep reading for my favorite jobs where you can work alone.
The Best Jobs that Don’t Involve Working with People
Let’s be straight here. There is no job out there where you don’t interact with anyone, ever. Unless it’s in a scientific research station at the South Pole. (And then you have the start of a bad horror movie, which I’m not sure is worth the trade-off. Just saying.)
Since we have that out of the way, there are plenty of jobs where you can avoid a considerable majority of the population, and counts out any retail or restaurant work.
Creative Jobs Where You Work Alone
Flip Flea Market Items
If you love rehabbing old items into something new, consider flipping flea market finds to sell. Everything from dressers to antique armchairs can be refurbished or restored and sold at a higher return.
This job is perfect if you’re creative and love to refinish wood, paint, or reupholster to bring out the beauty in an old piece.
With some education, you can even learn how to sell your items on Craigslist or eBay. Rob and Melissa have supported their family with just flipping flea market items. It’s all about knowing what to look for and where to find the folks who want it.
Sell Your Handy Work on Etsy
Whether you love to craft, carve wood, or create Cricut printables, you can sell just about anything creative and crafty on Etsy. It’s a wonderland of farmhouse decor and resin coffee tables.
If you have a passion for a particular craft, this is a job that won’t feel like a job. It takes about 10 minutes to set up an Etsy store, and then you’re off!
Even better – Etsy handles all the hard stuff, like charging different tax rates per state, so you don’t have to worry about it. Plus, there’s no sitting in a hot high school gym at a craft show, feeling awkward as folks shuffle past your booth. Win-win!
Sell Discounted Items on Amazon or eBay
My aunt has this insane knack for finding the most amazing deals. Seriously, it’s crazily impressive. I like to think that just a smidge of her greatness rubbed off on me, but I can still only pull off a fraction of her deal sleuthing.
If you’re more like my aunt than I am, and are great at finding clearance items, you can easily scoop them up and resell them at a higher price on eBay. It’s a decent amount of research to make sure that you can sell the items and the correct pricing to make a decent profit.
However, once you get into the swing of it, you’ll be sniffing out clearance sales like it’s your job. (Because it is.) Want to learn more about selling on eBay? Read up on how to get started selling on eBay here.
Jobs Where You Work Alone From Home
Everyone wants to know where to find jobs where you work from home. I don’t blame them; I work from home and love it. To not have to commute or do trust fall exercises as a team-building exercise anymore? Count me in!
A note of warning: working from home is not for everyone. It does involve self-discipline to stay focused and get your work done since your boss can’t see if you are wasting time. If you can balance the lure of being at home with getting your projects done, then finding a job where you work from home might be the ticket!
Become a virtual assistant
The job of a virtual assistant, or VA, can vary greatly depending upon the industry you’re in. The beauty of becoming a virtual assistant is that you get to pick what tasks you enjoy doing and offer just those services. Some ideas might include:
- Answering emails
- Returning phone calls
- Creating graphics
- Social Media content and scheduling
- Research for blog posts or articles
- Organizing files or calendars
- Publishing and promoting blog content
If organization is your middle name and you enjoy checking tasks off your to-do list, becoming a VA might be for you. There are a lot of courses out there to help you learn how to package and price your skillset. You can then find jobs on sites like FlexJobs, which focuses solely on remote work.
Or, if you’re ok with doing some networking, find clients through developers, bloggers, writers, social media specialists, and proofreaders. Chances are they know someone that needs a VA, or they do.
Social Media or PPC Specialist
If you eat, sleep, and breathe social media and are always on the bleeding edge of trends, this one’s for you.
A social media manager will manage social media campaigns by creating or pulling together content and a schedule. They will sometimes work with an ads specialist to purchases ads or will do it themselves, depending upon the client’s needs.
A bachelor’s degree is helpful, usually in something like English or Communications, but generally isn’t required. Understanding marketing strategies and the client’s target audience are crucial to being a successful social media specialist.
Teach English Online
Ok, so this one does involve a bit more human interaction – but it’s one-on-one, teaching kids English. It’s not like being stuck in a two-hour meeting with a bunch of cranky adults, right?
There are no minimum required hours, and you can work where ever you have internet access. The best part? You don’t have to create lesson plans or do a lot of work upfront for your lessons.
Learn more about how to get started with VIPKid here.
Provide Proofreading or Editing
The vast majority of people struggle with grammar, English, and stringing words into a sentence. (Even after a vat of coffee, it’s still a struggle for me.)
Everything from resumes to blog posts, online articles to job postings needs to be proofed and edited. If you have a great love of the English language and love to bust out a red pen, give proofreading a try.
The beauty of proofreading is that it’s a necessity in any industry, making it a very fruitful endeavor. To get started, try freelance sites like Fiverr, ZipRecruiter, or FlexJobs to score your first job.
My mom did some transcription when I was a kid. I was always fascinated by her foot pedal and sweet, sweet headphones – not to mention her ability to type at an incredible speed.
Transcription services are becoming easier to do with continually changing technology. Companies pay anywhere from $15 – $30, depending upon your accuracy and typing speed. Check out REV.com to learn more about audio to text and closed caption transcription.
If you’ve specialized in medical coding and jargon for any reason, you can also niche down into medical transcription, which pays even more.
Bookkeepers create invoicing, handle payroll, maintaining a general ledger, and balance credits/debits in software like Quickbooks. Bookkeeping is one job where you need to have specific education and have experience in this field before branching out to do freelance.
Since most clients won’t take up an entire 40 hours every week, you can take on multiple clients to beef up your income and provide job security.
It’d be lame if I left blogging off this list of jobs where you work alone, right?
If you have a passionate topic that you want to share with the world, starting a blog can be a great way to find like-minded people and make some money as well.
Blogging can be the perfect job for someone who’s driven, creative, and loves to learn. It does involve writing (obviously), creating graphics, and social media posting. There are tons of great resources to get started with blogging, including this one, which is my favorite.
Entry-level or Part-Time Jobs where You Work Alone
A lot of the jobs in this post are ones that require schooling or massive hours of training. If you’ve already had that type of education – great!
But what if you haven’t? And you don’t have the time/energy/income to get it?
Cue the entry-level or part-time jobs. These are jobs that don’t require a ton of effort or education to get started – not to mention, and they’re still jobs where you work alone. Done and done!
Dog Walking or Housesitting
When you need a job that doesn’t require human interaction, try housesitting or dog walking. Animals are (clearly) much easier to get along with than humans most days, so why not spend more time with them?
Apply with services like Rover.com, which provide you with a background check and give you greater access to clients. You’ll be able to find more jobs this way, rather than having to network yourself.
You set your schedule and pricing and choose what type of services you offer. Plus, you can set your pet preferences (size, age, etc.), so you aren’t stuck taking care of a dog that’s twice the size of you.
You’ll also have the opportunity to do more than dog walking – they offer dog boarding (in your house), house sitting, drop-in visits, doggy daycare services, and dog walking.
With such great flexibility, you’ll be able to pick up work when you have extra time and work on your schedule.
Ready to get started? Click here to learn more about Rover.com.
Another great dog and housesitting option is TrustedHousesitters. The big difference with TrustedHousesitters is that you can house and petsit anywhere in the world. It’s a great way to travel and find a way to stay in new cities cheap. Learn more about the unique opportunities with TrustedHousesitters here.
Data Entry Operator
Data entry can be done in an office or from home, making it a coveted job for just about anyone.
Data entry operators enter data from forms, audio files, or documents into a computer system. They either type the data in or sometimes scan the documents to transfer the data.
While you will need to pass a test, generally, data entry jobs only require a high school diploma or one to five years of clerical or data entry experience.
Data entry is another excellent remote job that you can find on FlexJobs.com.
Pick up trash. (No, seriously.)
Becoming a janitor, office cleaner, or house cleaner with a company still means dealing with people. However, office cleaners or janitors often work after hours, so you’re less likely to have to deal with anyone.
But what if you’re tired of working for someone else for minimum wage? You could start a house cleaning service, but that has a lot of start-up expenses. Plus, chances are the owners will be home, and possibly bugging you while you work.
Why not start a company picking up parking lot trash? Brian Winch of CleanLots makes $650,000 a year (say what?!) doing just that. With just a broom and scoop tool (think of a dustpan with a bag on it), he walks properties in the evenings picking up the day’s trash.
It almost sounds too simple, right? He focuses his work on shopping centers and industrial parks, where property managers don’t want to have to deal with cleaning up the trash themselves. And he’s been doing it for over thirty years!
Who knew trash could be such treasure? Learn more about CleanLots and Brian’s work here.
Online Jobs Where You Work Alone
Again, you’re going to have to deal with clients, eventually – but for the most part, you can do your actual work all by your lonesome, and no one telling you ZZ Top isn’t appropriate to jam to at work.
If you can brave clients, you can find all sorts of online freelance work, including:
- Graphic design
- Web design and development
- Software development
- Project management
- Voice over work
- Digital marketing
- Podcast editing
- Sound engineer
- And tons more!
For these jobs and more, I recommend any of the following job sites. Depending upon what criteria you’re looking for will dictate which of the sites will be best to try out:
Fiverr is where you go if you want gig work done. Work here is generally one-off, single jobs that are freelance positions. You create your profile and post your talent – or gig – that you want to offer as a service.
You set your rates, service packages, and can upsell your gig with extras before, during, and after the order. You can also offer customized offers for specific buyers.
Fiverr is an easy way to get found for work, without all the networking or marketing. Pricing ranges from $5 – $995 for gig work and more for custom work.
Even better, your payment is deposited in your account as soon as you complete a customer’s order. There’s no chasing down clients to get your paycheck.
FlexJobs offers both employee and freelance positions – all of which are remote or flexible. If you’re looking to skip out on your office job, this is the place to go!
FlexJobs doesn’t just help you find a remote position. They also offer one-on-one career coaching, resume review, expert skills tests, and more.
They also hand-screen and curate every job, so there’s no more digging through those “too good to be true” scammy jobs that are all over other sites.
Learn more about FlexJobs and how they can help you find the perfect remote job.
ZipRecruiter is similar to FlexJobs but has on-site jobs as well as remote work. They essentially work as a headhunter for helping you find that perfect full-time job.
Once you create your profile, you’ll upload your resume. ZipRecruiter then shares your profile with employers who are looking for your skillset.
Next, you’ll receive jobs that they think will catch your interest. You rate them, letting ZipRecruiter know what your preferences are so they can match you with the right opportunities.
Then you’ll receive notifications as employers reach out to you. It’s as easy as that! No dealing with combing through the same job postings over and over, hoping for something new each week.
Click here to learn more about how ZipRecruiter can get your resume in front of the right companies.
Delivery Jobs that Allow You to Work Alone
Last but not least, the ultimate job where you can work alone: delivery driver.
Whether you’re driving a truck on a long haul, or serving up some yummy hot egg drop soup on a scooter, doing deliveries is the ultimate job for working alone.
There are tons, and I mean tons, of delivery jobs out there. Most of them don’t involve training, except for truck driving. If you choose to go this route (hahaha, pun intended), you’ll need a CDL (a commercial driver’s license).
If you want to go the cheaper/easier route, you can do meal delivery, grocery delivery, or become a rideshare driver. Some of the easiest delivery jobs to start are:
There are two types of jobs available with Instacart. A full-service shopper is someone who chooses their hours and shops and delivers orders. Because you’re doing the delivery, you need access to a vehicle. You’re also an independent contractor and able to choose the hours that work for you.
The other option available with Instacart is an in-store shopper. This job entails pulling together shopping orders in the store – no delivery involved, so no vehicle required. This position is part-time with a flexible schedule and is perfect if you just want something seasonal or an easy side hustle.
Both positions require a smartphone since you’ll need to download their app to pull together shopping orders.
If this sounds like your kind of side hustle, click here to learn more about becoming an Instacart shopper.
Bike Messenger (or Courier)
Bike messengers are much more common in metropolitan areas, which means the dangers of traffic and car doors randomly opening is much higher as well.
If you have a bike, you’re fast, and can carry 30+ pounds, being a bike messenger might be for you.
Some companies that offer work as a bike messenger are:
Does a rideshare job count as working alone? You don’t have coworkers, and if you’re good at politely avoiding conversations with customers, then you’re all set.
It’s your call if this job makes sense on this list or not. The few times I’ve taken an Uber or Lyft, there wasn’t much conversation with the driver, mostly because my friends and I were talking amongst ourselves.
Lyft has some exciting new benefits for their drivers, such as a no-fee bank account where your earnings can be deposited immediately after a job. Drivers can earn cashback on gas (2%), groceries (1%), and selecting dining (4%).
At select locations across the US, brand new Lyft Driver Centers are being built. These community spaces offer 50% faster service on car maintenance with low-cost services to save you money. They’ve also rolled out a mobile maintenance service as well, available in specific locations.
Don’t have a car? Lyft is also expanding it’s Express Drive service. This service provides vehicles that you can use to work with Lyft, some of which are hybrid or electric.
Eligible drivers with GEICO’s all-in-one rideshare insurance policy can earn more for each ride – up to an additional $500 every six months!
If it passes the “working alone” test for you, click here to learn more about working with Lyft.
Thanks to the various food delivery companies available now, restaurants can provide meal delivery services without having to deal with the hassle of employing drivers directly.
Some of the most popular food delivery companies to work for are:
When you pick up a side gig as a delivery person through any of these companies, you never having to deal with a cruddy boss dictating your schedule or working the weather’s bad.
It’s a great way to make some extra dough while delivering some dough! (#dadjoke)
With so many jobs where you can work alone, why deal with slogging it to an office every day? If you cringe inwardly every time there’s a birthday party in the break room, give one of these jobs a try. Never having to utter the term “team-building exercise” will be reward enough.
Have you tried any of these jobs where you can work alone? Which ones do you love? Comment below and let me know! If you’re looking for more work ideas, check out this ultimate list of side hustles.