20 Easy Ways to Make Money While Job Hunting
Looking for a job? You're not alone. As of August 2022, there were about six million unemployed adults in the United States. The good news is that no matter where your interests lie, plenty of work is available—with an estimated 10.1 million job openings nationwide.
Still, the process of hunting for jobs, submitting applications, and going through interview processes can be time-consuming. And, of course, you need income in the meantime. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to go about bringing in money, even while you're actively searching for employment.
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Key Takeaways for Success
- Take advantage of the many gig-based income platforms that are available today. From delivery and rideshare driving to dog walking and everything in between, there are options to suit your lifestyle.
- Don't overlook the possibility of taking on a part-time or contract gig while you're looking for something more permanent.
- Focus on your own strengths, hobbies, and experience. These will typically be the easiest for you to monetize.
- Don't forget to apply for unemployment benefits if you're eligible for them.
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash
How to Make Money in Between Jobs: 20 Ways to Start
As you embark on your job search, you may be looking for some ways to make money while unemployed. The possibilities are pretty much endless, but we've compiled a list of 20 of the best ways to start making money. With some of these, you may even be able to start getting paid as early as today.
1. Take Paid Surveys
Companies are willing to pay good money for consumers' opinions—and there's no reason you can't take advantage. Signing up for a survey platform like Survey Junkie is a great way to get started. You can work whenever and just about wherever you want and take on as many (or as few) surveys as you'd like.
2. Try Your Hand at Freelancing
These days, you can monetize just about any imaginable skill by becoming a freelancer. For example, if you're a great writer, you might consider offering up freelance writing services to local businesses. You can handle their blog content, website content, social media posts, and more.
Of course, writing isn't the only skill you can freelance. Businesses are always looking for web designers, graphic designers, and even accountants to help them out with projects here and there.
3. Get Creative Online
There are so many creative ways to make money online. In fact, you could even argue that it's never been easier to start your own online business. You might consider, for instance, opening up your own online clothing and accessory store. You can keep costs down by utilizing dropshipping and print-on-demand services, which saves you from needing to keep a large inventory.
4. Put Your Marketing Skills to Use
If you have any experience with marketing, there's a good chance you can turn this into a profit as you search for full-time work. Small businesses and companies of all sizes are frequently looking for professionals to assist with:
- logo creation
- content creation
- social media
- email marketing
- and much more
Likewise, there are plenty of marketing tools and resources available to help you carry out these marketing tasks without being an expert in the field. Platforms like FreeLogoCreator, Canva and Visme, for example, make it easy to create unique logos, banners, posters, flyers, and other media without requiring to design visual assets from scratch.
Envato Elements is another great site to find everything you'll need if you also offer advanced services like video production and web design.
5. Get Rid of Items You Don't Need
Another simple yet potentially lucrative way to make some extra money is to sell off some items that you no longer want or need. This could be as straightforward as holding a garage sale one weekend. However, you can also sell things online to reach a larger audience.
Depending on what you're selling, you might also try using a dedicated service to help you find qualified buyers for your items. For example, if you're looking to sell a designer purse that you no longer use, a service like Rebag can make the process much easier while ensuring that you get paid quickly and securely.
6. Apply for Unemployment Benefits
Don't forget that you might also be eligible to collect unemployment benefits while you're actively looking for work. Your eligibility and the amount you can collect will depend on many factors, including whether (and how much) you paid into unemployment benefits at your previous job(s).
However, you can check your eligibility for most states' unemployment programs online. From there, you can apply and begin receiving benefits promptly.
There's no shame in collecting unemployment benefits while you're looking for work. After all, this is an entitlement you paid into while working. Why shouldn't you utilize it?
7. Try a Gig-Based Platform
If you like the idea of getting paid to complete smaller and more random tasks at your leisure, then a gig-based job platform may be right for you.
One example of such a platform is TaskRabbit, where you can offer up any number of skills for hire. From assembling furniture to handling basic home repairs, there are all kinds of ways to make money with these small gigs. Plus, you can decide which projects to accept, so you can create your own schedule more-or-less and work as little (or as much) as you want.
There’s also platforms such as Collabstr, which allows you to make money by collaborating with brands on social media content.
8. Rent Out Extra Space
If you have some extra space in your home or even on your property, why not monetize it? Consider, for example, renting out a spare room to bring in some extra money while you're looking for a job. If you're not comfortable with having roommates, you can rent out storage space in your basement, attic, garage, or shed.
Depending on your property type, you might even be able to get paid to let somebody store their camper, RV, or other recreational vehicles on your property while not in use.
9. Monetize Your Green Thumb
Do you enjoy working with landscaping? If so, then put these skills to use and make some money off them in the process. You can get started by taking photos of some of the landscaping work you've done on your own home and posting them on a neighborhood social media page.
From there, you can generate interest and potentially find your first paying clients. From weeding and lawnmowing to planting flowers and more, there's a lot of money to be made with an eye for landscaping.
10. Make a Profit Off Your Vehicle
Did you know that you can actually get paid to rent out your car? This can be a great way to bring in some additional income, especially while you don't have a commute of your own. If you live near a busy city, you'll likely have no trouble finding people to rent your car per day or even per hour on a service like Turo.
11. Get Paid to Make Deliveries
If you prefer not to rent your car to a stranger, you can still make some money off of it by becoming a delivery driver. Platforms like Instacart, Grubhub, and Uber Eats are always looking for drivers to deliver groceries, food, and more. The best part? You can work on your own schedule, so you can decide how many hours you wish to work (and when) on any given day. Meanwhile, you can make money for each mile driven along with tips/gratuities from the people you deliver to.
12. Start Babysitting
If you enjoy working with children, you might consider offering up babysitting or nanny services to people in your area. You can do this by approaching people you already know with children or signing up for a third-party service, such as Care.com. These services do require you to complete an extensive background check, but once you're cleared, it's easy to get matched up with families who are looking for caregivers.
13. Clean Houses in Your Neighborhood
These days, people value their time more than ever. As a result, more people are hiring house cleaners to take care of the day-to-day tasks of keeping their homes neat and tidy. You can monetize on this by offering up some house-cleaning services right in your own neighborhood.
You don't need a lot of experience or up-front investment to get started with this side gig, as you can use your own supplies from home. And as word spreads of your great work, you can enjoy referrals from your happy customers and take on more clients as referrals!
14. Become a Dog Walker
If pets are more your speed, you can also get paid to take care of people's dogs, cats, and other pets while they're away. In fact, services like Care.com actually have a dedicated section for pet care, so you can even dabble in both if you'd like.
There are also platforms like Rover that are specifically designed for pet boarding, house sitting, dog walking, and drop-in visits. This can be a great and rewarding gig for those who enjoy being around pets!
15. Take and Sell Photos
If you are interested in photography, there's a lot of money to make in this field. While it requires some up-front investment to get all the professional equipment necessary to get some great shots, photography can be an exciting way to earn money between jobs.
There are even some online crash courses (both paid and free) that you can take to learn the basics. From there, you can start earning money taking professional headshots, portraits, or even selling photos on sites like Shutterstock.
16. Sell Arts and Crafts
If you've got a knack for creativity, you can make a lot of money by selling your creations. You can start earning money locally by selling on local neighborhood pages or even setting up tables at craft fairs in your area. This can be a great way to build your reputation and enjoy your first direct sales. Another option is to sell online on a service such as Etsy.
This broadens your potential reach to a global audience, which can help you make more sales faster. There's a market for just about anything handmade, from jewelry to home decor and apparel. And suppose you’re concerned about the expenses of opening an online shop on a marketplace like Etsy. In that case, you can look for platform-specific fee calculators like the one created by Printful for Etsy.
17. Snag Something Part-Time
As you search for a full-time career, there's nothing wrong with grabbing a part-time or contract job in the meantime. In fact, sites like Indeed and Zip Recruiter make it easy to search specifically for temporary jobs and part-time positions in your area.
Some of these may even be remote opportunities, so you can work from the comfort of your own home and enjoy the flexibility that comes along with it. This can also make it easier for you to interview with other companies as you continue to earn a steady income; in this sense, it's a win-win!
18. Become a Rideshare Driver
Another potential way to earn some money off of your vehicle is to become an actual rideshare driver through a service such as Lyft or Uber. When you sign up to become a driver and meet all the eligibility requirements, you can start earning money by driving people around.
Whether it's a quick ride across town or a ride home from the airport, you'll make a difference in somebody's life while earning some easy money. Plus, as a rideshare driver, you can decide when and how often you want to work.
19. Get Involved in Secret Shopping
Have you ever heard of a secret shopper? Companies all over the world hire secret shoppers as a means of evaluating the performance of their individual stores and employees. As a secret shopper, you can get paid to shop at places you already visit regularly (including grocery stores, apparel stores, and more).
Typically, you just need to submit your receipts for reimbursement and provide feedback on your shopping experience in order to get paid. This can be a great gig for those who enjoy shopping as a hobby and want to make some money off of it!
20. Offer Tutoring Services
If you have some academic skills, you can put them to use by offering up tutoring services in your area. If you're skilled at math, for example, you could start tutoring local high school or college students in algebra, calculus, or other similar studies.
This can be a great way to make a difference in a student's life while earning some money in the process. There are also online tutoring services that are always looking to hire subject matter specialists. With a site like Tutor.com, you can sign up to become a tutor and start online sessions immediately!
Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash
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Where Will You Begin?
With a little creativity, motivation, and persistence, you can make a decent income with any of these side gigs. The money you earn from these jobs can help you keep your head above water as you continue your search for a full-time position.
And who knows? You might even find that you wish to continue with one of these ventures as a side hustle once you find a job. In some cases, one of these opportunities could even turn into a full-time career.