Being unemployed is always difficult and especially challenging during the holidays when monetary pressures mount. Financial guru Phil Taylor says it is important to stay positive and pragmatic when you have no job and no income. Positive enough to know that things will get better, yet pragmatic enough to know that with effort there are ways to make income while unemployed.
I have been unemployed and broke a time or two during my career. Those experiences inform my work as a job search expert and small businessperson. In this blog, I am pleased to present five practical ways I have actually used to make money while unemployed. I present these tips with the strong admonishment to “check your ego at the door.” While all of these moneymaking methods are legal, moral, and ethical, many may perceive them as being beneath “your current station in life.” Remember the goal is to create income during the time that you are unemployed, not keeping up appearances.
1. Waiting Tables – This is the perfect job for job searchers, allowing you to work nights and weekends, leaving the day free for job search activities. Try to get hired at high end establishments– they are great for larger tips and networking opportunities.
2. Selling Your Stuff – One woman’s junk is another woman’s treasure. And, in this interconnected world, there are endless outlets to make the sale–online with eBay and Craigslist and offline with yard sales and consignment shops. Sold all of your stuff? Consider selling stuff for other people or make a deal with your busy working friends to sell theirs. It is a total win/win–your friends get rid of needless clutter and you both make money.
3. Collecting Aluminum Cans – There is money in those old cans! Metal recycling companies across the United States pay for aluminum cans. Although the going rate for aluminum changes daily, the demand for the aluminum remains constant. With time and effort, you may turn what others casually tossed along roadsides into a small but steady source of income, as you help to clean the environment. The website eHow.com has a wonderful article on how to make money collecting aluminum cans
4. Tutoring – Have a knack for a certain subject? Consider offering up your brain power for some quick cash. The market for tutoring is best with grade school kids, particularly with students attending schools that are members of National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), My son attended a NAIS school and I can tell you from personal experience that I spent a ton on tutoring. Use the link above to find a NAIS school in your area.
5. Baby Sitting– If you enjoy kids and are good with them, this can be a fun and easy way to make a little cash. Advertise your babysitting services for free online with SitterCity.com, the premiere site for finding the right babysitter.
Bonus Tip: Blogging – I hesitate to put this one in this list because it really isn’t quick money, but you can make decent money with a little luck and a few months of solid, consistent effort. Believe me, it can be tough and a bit time consuming, but it can be done. Many people who write blogs today simply want to share their opinion on something. But then there are the business-minded folks, who have found a way to use blogs, or Web logs, to bring in a little extra cash too. Microsoft Business Hub has a great blog on how to get started.
The Bottom Line
The five tips and one bonus tip presented have one thing in common–they all require action. Generating cash with no job or prospect of a job takes work, imagination, and the willingness to leave your comfort zone. Take it from me–I have been unemployed and broke and when it seems darkest, money can be made, but it takes effort. I know you can do it and I look forward to hearing your tips for making money while unemployed!