African American Career and Job Resources During The Coronavirus Pandemic

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In the United States, COVID-19 continues to have a disproportionate and detrimental impact on Black populations. Many of the social, economic and structural inequities that pervade Black communities today existed prior to our current health pandemic. Unfortunately, it has taken a global pandemic for us to fully understand and acknowledge the ramifications of institutionalized racism, and social inequality on the health and well-being of Black communities.

Career Websites For People Of Color

We have found these 8 career websites dedicated to people of color. You’ll want to get back into the game at once, so sharpen up that resume and start applying like crazy:

  1. Job Well. A resource that supports black, Latinx and Native American students and professionals navigate advancing their career.

  2. Womeneur. This inspiring resource connects, enlightens and empowers early-stage startups and women entrepreneurs.

  3. The Life Currency. This resource is specific for millennial students, young professionals and entrepreneurs who are just starting out.

  4. Black Creatives. Specific to Black workers who are creative, this platform has all the news, resources and tools necessary to help you in your career.

  5. Black Career Women’s Network. This resource provides digital mentoring tools, coaching, events and in-person workshops for the success of African American women.

  6. The Memo. This resource provides women of color with coaching, advising and career development.

  7. The Mentor Method. This enterprise is a comprehensive resource for companies looking to increase their workplace diversity.

  8. She Leads Africa. A hub of advice, inspiration and opportunities specifically for African women.

African American Professional Groups

For further help on looking for a career within your job industry, we’ve compiled a list of African American professional groups that may be able to help. These can provide networking support and career advice for black professionals. If you’re struggling right now, one of these groups may be a great resource:

Remote Job Opportunities Available Now

The good news is that there are remote job opportunities available despite it seeming like every company is laying off or furloughing employees. In fact, Zippia has an entire guide dedicated to finding great remote work. We’ve even compiled a list of the most common remote jobs that people search for that includes:

Freelance Platforms To Make Money Now

COVID-19 has changed the nature and style of work as we know it—some of us may be working from home, navigating frontline jobs or some of us may have lost our jobs or had to be furloughed. If you’re looking for additional money-making opportunities check out some other remote work opportunities that are available to you:

Upwork

Upwork is a global, online freelancing platform. People can shop for any number of services, from commissioning news articles and research, to having a company logo designed or helping with accounting work. Upwork is a great way to put a hobby or unused skill to work for a little extra cash.

Upwork is a global, online freelancing platform. People can shop for any number of services, from commissioning news articles and research, to having a company logo designed or helping with accounting work. Upwork is a great way to put a hobby or unused skill to work for a little extra cash.

You can expect to make $8-10 per hour for basic data entry while more skillful jobs will net you over $50 per hour. Expect to come in on the lower side for your first projects.
Fiverr

Fiverr is a digital market place where people can find, compare and buy any number of services they may need. You can find someone for pretty much anything on Fiverr.

Fiverr is a digital market place where people can find, compare and buy any number of services they may need. You can find someone for pretty much anything on Fiverr.

Fiverr isn’t only a fantastic place for people searching for work to be done, but also a great place for people looking for work to do. Freelancers and specialists of all kinds offer up their work through Fiverr. Its user-friendly platform makes it super easy for sellers and buyers to connect over some great work.

People on Fiverr make from $10 per hour to $50-$55 per hour depending on skill set and jobs.
Chegg Tutor

Chegg is an online tutoring platform. It offers people a great way to apply their skills and knowledge to help out students in need and get paid in the process. It allows you to work from anywhere with internet access with students all across the world.

Chegg is an online tutoring platform. It offers people a great way to apply their skills and knowledge to help out students in need and get paid in the process. It allows you to work from anywhere with internet access with students all across the world.

Chegg tutors make $20 per hour and can earn upwards of $1,200 a month.
Rev

Rev provides transcription, captioning, and foreign subtitling as a service to businesses. It uses a network of freelancers to power the transciptions.

Rev provides transcription, captioning, and foreign subtitling as a service to businesses. It uses a network of freelancers to power the transciptions.

Get paid $0.30-1.10 per minute of transcription audio and $0.54-1.10 for video captioning. Most people make about $10-15/day.
VipKid

VIPKid is an online teaching and education company. Teachers must have college degrees as well as some form of teaching certification to work through VIPKid. Users must also be completely fluent in English themselves and ideally have a neutral American accent. Previous experience working with children is not required but strongly recommended. Teachers must also have reliable internet, video streaming capabilities, and headphones/microphones that work very well. Props are highly recommended for engaging students.

VIPKid is an online teaching and education company. Teachers must have college degrees as well as some form of teaching certification to work through VIPKid. Users must also be completely fluent in English themselves and ideally have a neutral American accent. Previous experience working with children is not required but strongly recommended. Teachers must also have reliable internet, video streaming capabilities, and headphones/microphones that work very well. Props are highly recommended for engaging students.

Teachers can make up to $22 per hour, with a base rate being around $14-18 per hour. VIPKid also offers teachers bonuses for going above and beyond.
UserTesting

Get $10 via PayPal for every 20-minute video you complete. UserTesting pays you to visit websites or apps, complete a set of tasks, and speak your thoughts aloud.

Get $10 via PayPal for every 20-minute video you complete. UserTesting pays you to visit websites or apps, complete a set of tasks, and speak your thoughts aloud.

It’s as straightforward as that, you will be given an assignment to visit a website and complete a task. You need to vocalize why you are taking actions, what you think will happen when you take an action, and your overall impression of using the site.

The amount of work you will receive is dependant on your demographics, the amount of work they need filled, and your ability to provide useful feedback.

Testers make about $10-50 a day on UserTesting.com.
Ebay

eBay is an online market place where people can buy, sell and trade goods every day. You can sell pretty much anything on the site, and even set up bidding wars between users from all around the world for whatever you happen to be selling.

eBay is an online market place where people can buy, sell and trade goods every day. You can sell pretty much anything on the site, and even set up bidding wars between users from all around the world for whatever you happen to be selling.

eBay can be a great way to make a little extra cash on the side while looking for work and can serve as a great way to part with some of those things around the house that aren’t necessities. The eBay website is a great way to start a little side business, maybe selling clothes that don’t fit anymore, old collections that you have no need for or anything in between.

It’s a very resourceful way to make a little extra cash.

Expect to make, maybe, $100-500 after about a month. You’ll be limited to what you can sell around the house.
Amazon Turk

You could become an Amazon Mechanical Turk worker. If you haven’t heard of this before, here’s the low-down. Amazon Turk hires for image/video processing, data verification and clean-up, information gathering and data processing. If you can tag objects in images, audit user-uploaded images or videos, help companies select the photo that best represents a product or can identify objects in satellite imagery, then you can make some dough as an image/video processor.

You could become an Amazon Mechanical Turk worker. If you haven’t heard of this before, here’s the low-down. Amazon Turk hires for image/video processing, data verification and clean-up, information gathering and data processing. If you can tag objects in images, audit user-uploaded images or videos, help companies select the photo that best represents a product or can identify objects in satellite imagery, then you can make some dough as an image/video processor.

Data verification and clean-up require people who can remove duplicate business listings content, verify restaurants’ phone numbers or hours of operations, identify incomplete catalog product listings or convert unstructured data into well-formed addresses.

Information gathering is strictly collecting and editing information for companies online. These people can answer questions online, take surveys, write content for websites or find specific data in government documents.

Starting out, expect to make $2-3 per hour as you get used to it and figuring out what jobs to work on. Over time, that will get up to $4-7 per hour and higher if you work fewer hours.
Clickworker

Clickworker is an alternative to Mturk. You are tasked with doing simple online activities, normally around data or surveys. For example, you might need to go to a website and verify some information or fill out a quick survey.

Clickworker is an alternative to Mturk. You are tasked with doing simple online activities, normally around data or surveys. For example, you might need to go to a website and verify some information or fill out a quick survey.

Starting out, expect to make $2-3 per hour as you get used to it and figuring out what jobs to work on. Over time, that will get up to $4-7 per hour and higher if you work fewer hours on higher paying jobs.
Zirtual

Zirtual offers virtual executive assistants and aims to do everything an in person assistant would do for you. That includes:

Zirtual offers virtual executive assistants and aims to do everything an in person assistant would do for you. That includes:

VA’s are paid 47% of their client’s monthly plans with hourly rates averaging $14-20 per hour depending on the client mix. After 6 months, VA’s revenue split can increase to 50%.
SwagBucks

Swagbucks is a rewards program that gives you gift cards for completing various tasks on the internet or shopping through their affiliate network.

Swagbucks is a rewards program that gives you gift cards for completing various tasks on the internet or shopping through their affiliate network.

Of interest here is how to trade money for time — namely completing surveys, watching movie trailers and ads, and searching the internet as you normally would with their toolbar or plugin installed, For completing these activities, you are awarded “SwagBucks” which can be converted into gift cards for popular brands and websites (Walmart, Amazon, and Best Buy for example). You can expect to make $.05+ per task completed with more opportunities open to you if you meet certain demographic buckets.

Expect to make about $5-10 a day from SwagBucks.
InboxDollars

InboxDollars is an easy and free way to earn some extra money for things you do online anyway. You make money by doing things like sharing your opinions in surveys, filling out polls, watching videos and offering reactions, conducting web searches, online shopping, and more. With an intuitive platform, you can earn from your computer or on the go with your smartphone, making it a great way to kill a little time and actually getting paid for it.

InboxDollars is an easy and free way to earn some extra money for things you do online anyway. You make money by doing things like sharing your opinions in surveys, filling out polls, watching videos and offering reactions, conducting web searches, online shopping, and more. With an intuitive platform, you can earn from your computer or on the go with your smartphone, making it a great way to kill a little time and actually getting paid for it.

People can make anywhere between $15 and $55 a month.
italki

Online educational platform italki is one of the only language-specific online learning tools in the market. Students can sign up, handpick their own teachers and pay by the lesson. They are selective with who they hire to ensure that all teachers are able to get work, and it is not uncommon to see applications for popular languages closed to prospective teachers. You can sign up to be either a Professional Teacher or a Community Tutor. Professional Teachers can earn much more money but have much stricter requirements to get approved. Community Tutors make less money, but just about anyone over the age of 18 that is a fluent speaker of the language they are teaching can do it.

Online educational platform italki is one of the only language-specific online learning tools in the market. Students can sign up, handpick their own teachers and pay by the lesson. They are selective with who they hire to ensure that all teachers are able to get work, and it is not uncommon to see applications for popular languages closed to prospective teachers. You can sign up to be either a Professional Teacher or a Community Tutor. Professional Teachers can earn much more money but have much stricter requirements to get approved. Community Tutors make less money, but just about anyone over the age of 18 that is a fluent speaker of the language they are teaching can do it.

Italki teachers can make anywhere from $5-$25 per hour.

Filing For Unemployment

If you’ve been laid off because of the coronavirus, another great option for you is filing an unemployment claim. You shouldn’t be penalized for something that is entirely out of your control. Even though regular state unemployment benefits aren’t as great as a steady income, right now the government has issued extra benefits to help those in economic distress. So you may be eligible to earn $600 extra in addition to your state’s normal benefits. See what extra benefits your state is offering:

Personal Finance When Money Is Tight

Many utility companies are also encouraging their customers to pay their bills online in the midst of COVID-19. While many will accept credit and debit cards online, you may also want to investigate payment apps as well. Payment apps like:

  • Google Play

  • Apply Pay

  • Samsung Pay

  • PayPal(best for low-fee transactions)

  • Xoom(best for sending money to other countries)

  • Venmo

Many of us are facing the harsh realities of the economic downturn, and the need to save money and spend more conservatively is critical. Prism is a free personal finance app that automatically tracks bills, and sends pay reminders. It also allows you to plan for your monthly expenses. If you’re looking for an additional finance application, here’s a list of the 8 Best Personal Finance Apps of 2020.

Additionally, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed legislation last month to provide U.S. workers with a little extra help. In addition to a $1,200 stimulus check, the act includes many options for helping you pay the bills. You may be eligible for help with paying your telephone, home energy, medical and prescription bills.

The CARES Act also provided some relief for small businesses, but instead of assigning the loans to businesses directly the government asked banks to distribute them. As banks are a business themselves, most of them did what was best for their business: hand the loans out to their biggest clients that fall under the small business requirements. Meanwhile, many businesses under black ownership fell by the wayside and got left behind.

In response, the U.S. Small Business Administration is going to work with states to provide some extra relief loans under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. The SBA also provides extra capital assistance through its loan programs.

Managing Your Wellness

Even managing daily errands and essential life activities can be a challenge while managing the emotional and psychological impacts of a worldwide pandemic—it’s important to give yourself grace and realize that it’s okay to for your productivity to decrease, or to feel stalled or stuck. Sticking to a morning routine, integrating physical fitness and meditation, creating a virtual community, and getting adequate rest are important strategies to improving your health and sustaining your energy.

Energy management refers to the need to control and sustain energy and motivation, as well as reducing factors that may deplete your energy. Make a list of factors or tasks that enhance your energy vs factors that deplete your energy. You should make a pledge to incorporate activities in your life that enhance your energy at least once a day.

Staying Healthy

In order to improve your physical health, the Center for Disease Control and Healthline has put out a list for maintaining a healthy diet and boosting your immune system.

The National Institute of Health also offers links to free articles on improving your health and wellbeing.

While most of our gyms remain closed due to COVID-19—there are plenty of free at home workouts that can be completed at a distance from a phone, or technological device.

For those of you with busy family and work lives, the free 7 minute fitness workout application is a user friendly tool that offers quick workouts for those on the go.

We should also check with our local health care providers to see if they are offering telemedicine appointments—these appointments can be completed from the comfort of our home with either a phone or computer.

Many health providers may not readily offer telemedicine during this time, but you should still inquire about it.

I would also recommend that you keep a detailed monthly journal of your health—what symptoms are you experiencing, what is their frequency and what medication(s) are you taking?

After all appointments, note what your doctor said and prescribed. Much of what we can do to protect ourselves is being an advocate for our own wellness.

Mental Health Resources

Lastly, the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic turndown is having a huge impact on our psychological health—as we witness our families and communities suffer—we need to acknowledge that constantly being exposed to suffering and racism creates stress and trauma. There are plenty of virtual mental health resources to utilize during this time.

  1. Black Virtual Therapist Network: BEAM (Black Emotional and Mental Health) is starting an online directory of licensed Black therapist who are licensed to provide telemental health services

  2. Sharing Hope is an hour-long program to increase mental health awareness in African American communities by sharing the presenters’ journeys to recovery and exploring signs and symptoms of mental health conditions. The program also highlights how and where to find help.

  3. New to Android and iPhone is “The Safe Place,” a minority mental health app geared specifically towards the black community.

  4. Therapy for Black Girls – A podcast focused on promoting mental health awareness on Black girls and women.

  5. National Queer & Trans Therapists of Color Network – An interactive digital resource that helps Queer and Transgender populations find locate queer and transgendered mental health practitioners across the county. To date there are 145 + psychotherapists in the network.

  6. Liberate Meditation App – A meditation app for the Black & African Diaspora.

  7. Balanced Black Girl Podcast – A podcast focused on promoting wellness for Black girls. This podcast explores a range of issues from physical to mental health.

  8. Many of the messages and images we consume daily can also impact our mental health. We can help combat this by performing positive self-talk and reading inspirational affirmations each day. The Secret and My Affirmations are all great apps.

Managing Daily Life Activities During COVID-19

COVID-19 has drastically altered the way in which we all perform our daily activities like grocery shopping, paying bills and running other essential errands. Health officials have advised us to start wearing protective masks in public when we perform essential errands. While the world has taken heed to this directive, Black people must weigh the options of protecting their health and bodies versus risking racial profiling from the public.

The Washington Post describes an incident where two men were kicked out of Walmart for wearing masks in Nashville. Black Americans have always had to contort their body and alter their dress and clothing in order to appear less threatening or intimidating. How do Black people manage daily and essential activities while also fighting public bias and racism?

The answer to this question is a challenging one, and this is certainly not a problem that Black people can or should solve themselves. Protecting our health and well-being should be our first priority—there are plenty of online resources that allow us to manage daily activities from home.

Grocery Shopping
There are plenty of Grocery shopping apps where you can perform grocery shopping in your home without going into public. Some of these apps include:

  • Instacart (Android, iOS)

  • Walmart Grocery (Android, iOS)

  • Delivery.com (Android, iOS)

  • Google Express (Android, iOS)

  • Postdates (Android, iOS)

Also plenty of stores like Publix, Safeway, and Fred Meyer offer Delivery and Curbside pickup. Many small and local black businesses were hit hard due to COVID so please check out the Black Business Directory to see which businesses may be offering online shopping and delivery.

Maintaining Community during COVID-19

A survey conducted by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company conducted a nationwide survey to explore the intersection of community involvement and financial well-being. This survey reveals that 80% of African Americans agree that community involvement is important compared to only 66% of whites. This study highlights the philanthropic role of finances in their lives, and the impact of community resource sharing on the sustainability of their communities.

For a population that continues to be impacted by racial and social inequality—many black communities have responded to institutionalized racism by investing in, caring for, and protecting one another. As we’re now navigating a new reality where many of us are physically distant from immediate and extended families, friends, neighbors, church groups and our local community—maintaining some sort of community connection is integral to our overall well-being.

How do we begin to reckon with the directive to be physically distant from our loved ones while also recognizing the need to safeguard and preserve community relations? Black people have always been innovative, ingenious, and curators of popular art and culture—just look at how Rap and Hip & Hop music and culture has now become an integral part of mainstream society. Community remains undeniably connected to our continuity. Here are a few ideas for cultivating and maintaining community during these challenging social times.

  1. Impromptu Block Parties

    This is a simple idea. Everyone brings their BBQ grills in their front yard, and one neighbor can serve as the DJ playing music for the entire block of neighbors. You get to socialize and share a great meal with the neighborhood, all while maintaining a 6-foot distance. This works great for homes located in a Cul-de-Sac or an apartment with a large courtyard.

  2. Recipe sharing & Cooking Classes

    Passing down recipes from one generation to the next is a favorite pastime. You can organize recipe sharing with a few of your neighbors by setting a basket outside your door—and having each person drop their favorite recipe in the basket. Don’t forget to share your recipes with each other via email, or social media. Instagram Live also allows us to conduct live cooking class. Consider conducting a live cooking class right in your kitchen and inviting your neighbors to join you.

  3. Verzuz Instagram Live Battles and Club Quarantine

    If you’re pretty active on Instagram, you’re very familiar with the Verzuz song battle series. This novel event originated from Swizz Beatz and Timbland. It allows two Rap or R&B artist to go head-to-head and compete to decide who has the better catalogue. What makes these live battles even more interactive is you get to make comments in real time with other viewers—some of these battles have generated over 300K viewers from all around the country. Additionally, if you’re active on Instagram—you may be familiar with DJ D-Nice and his infamous Club Quarantine, after dark. If you’re looking for a late night dance party or karaoke night right in the comfort of your own home, follow DJ D-Nice @dnice.

  4. Book Clubs

    It’s good to be mindful of the amount of time you’re spending on Zoom as excessive screen time can cause fatigue. Book clubs are an excellent way to incorporate reading into your life. Get a few of your friends together, choose your favorite book, and “meet” to discuss each chapter. Instead of using zoom as a platform for your book club meetings, consider setting up a phone conference instead.

  5. Netflix Party

    Have you heard of Netflix Party? Netflix Party is a new way to watch your favorite shows with your friends online. It’s also completely free. You can learn more about Netflix Party here. In 2019, Netflix also announced that in 2019, the streaming service will rotate iconic Black films each month but you’ll only have 30 days to watch each film.

  6. Neighborhood walks and/or scavenger hunts

    COVID-19 has closed access to many hiking trails, parks and beaches. The closure of these outdoor amenities and the advent of spring and summer leads to many of us turning to our own neighborhood for walking. You should be very cautious and step away from those who are walking towards you. However, you can still say “Hello” or ask “How are you doing?” It sends the sentiment that we all care about each other’s well being. You can make it even more fun by organizing a scavenger hunt. Send your neighbors a list of items they need to find around their neighborhood (e.g. a house with a red door, a house with a loud barking dog, a house that has a swing set in the backyard etc.). You will have to set ground rules and give participants an allotted amount of time to find/discover the items on the list. Once the time is over, people can then email their list to one another or post on social media. Whoever discovered the most items, wins! This is a great family activity so include your children as well.

  7. Writing letters

    Writing handwritten letters can feel a little archaic but handwritten notes engage more of your senses than sending an email or talking on the phone. Writing handwritten notes elicits positive emotions and feelings of gratitude for both the letter writing and receiver. Hallmark is giving away free thank you cards. There is a limited supply but you can sign up here.

  8. Virtual Fitness Challenges

    Are you looking for ways to stay fit but you need group accountability? Virtual fitness challenges are a great way to stay in shape and continue building relationships. If you belong to a gym or fitness center, check to see if they are offering virtual fitness challenges that you can do from home, or in your neighborhood. You can even sign up for virtual events and fitness challenges at befitbeyou.org. To keep it even more simpler, you can ask your friends to download one of the following free fitness apps, develop a daily workout schedule, and then track each other’s progress via a personal journal or shared Google document.

Social connections offer numerous mental health benefits such as increased sense of belonging, happiness, improved self-worth and confidence and reduced levels of stress. While we need to commit ourselves to taking care of ourselves first and foremost, we remain inextricably linked to the collective struggle of other Black Americans. While COVID-19 continues to ravage through our communities and impact our social connections, there are still creative ways for us to cultivate community.

Amanda Postma
Amanda Postma
Author
Ciera Graham, PhD
Ciera Graham, PhD
Author