When my husband lost his job three weeks ago, we had no idea how long he’d be out of work. We also knew we didn’t want him to take just any commissioned sales job that wouldn’t pay much or last long. At the same time, our emergency fund is running low, and we need some form of income while we’re waiting for a good long term job opportunity to come along.

Here are some suggestions for finding income that have worked for us.

  • Declutter your house and sell what you can on Craigslist. We have a lot of stuff. Too much stuff for our house, actually. So we’ve begun the process of decluttering, and we’re going to sell what we can on Craigslist. So far we have a lot of toys and a piano ready to go. I’m also eyeing our large collection of CDs, VHS movies, and books. These things won’t bring in a lot of income, but when you’re unemployed, every little bit helps.
  • Look for freelance writing gigs. If you’re a blogger, you can already write. Check out the job boards at Problogger.net and the list of freelance jobs at Freelance Writing Jobs. Here is an article I wrote about getting paid to write articles from home.
  • Scour Craigslist for short-term jobs. My husband just applied for a job presenting wine at a wine tasting event. It’s part time for a week, but at $20 an hour, the pay isn’t bad. He’s kind of excited about the change in pace from his normal sales job, too.
  • Contact former employers, if you have a good relationship with them. My husband contacted a radio station he used to work for, just to see if there was any work available. His old employer hired him to run the board for high school basketball games. The pay is pretty good, and my husband really enjoys the radio work. He also contacted his former employer at an advertising agency, and the owner is now looking for some freelance copywriting opportunities for Jim.
  • String together a couple of part-time jobs while you look for full-time work. Jim will be starting a part time seasonal job soon, in addition to his radio work. They pay isn’t great, but between the two jobs, we should be able to survive until something better turns up.

A few more ways to find a small paycheck are:

  • In-home childcare
  • Your local school district as a substitute assistant
  • Temp-Agencies
  • Blogging, though it could take a while for the money to show up
  • Give lessons (music, tutoring, any skill you have that someone else may need)

You need to weigh the pros and cons of each opportunity for your own situation. You need to ask if you are better off working part-time or drawing unemployment from your last job. You also need to find out about any state or city regulations in regard to anything you do out of your home.

The point is, though, if you are willing to think outside the box, a lot of times you can make ends meet, even if you can’t find an ideal job right away. And who knows? By exploring unconventional opportunities, you may just pick up some skills that help you land a great job in the future.

Photo by cogdogblog.