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5 Ways to Make Extra Money While You’re between Jobs

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Finding gainful employment in a recession economy is no easy feat, especially when layoffs have you competing with people who are more educated and experienced than yourself (and willing to take a lower position in order to continue working). As a result you may have to rely on your unemployment benefits for quite a while in order to stay afloat. Unfortunately, unemployment wages are only a percentage of what you normally earn, which means that you will probably want to find a way to supplement them until you find another permanent, full-time position that suits you. So here are just a few ways that you can earn some extra money between jobs.

  1. Temp work. Temp agencies are designed to place skilled and qualified workers with companies seeking help to meet short-term needs. Although a portion of your pay will go to the temp agency, it’s a good way to get a foot in the door and show an employer what you’re capable of. If the company is impressed with your work, the temporary assignment could easily turn into a full-time position, or you may find that there are other job postings available with the company that you can apply for once your contract is complete.
  2. Freelance. Picking up work piecemeal while you search for another job is an excellent way to earn some extra cash, open doors to opportunity, and continue to build your resume. But how do you go about finding the contracts you seek? You can use your network of contacts to basically ask around about freelance opportunities at the companies they work for, and LinkedIn provides you with an excellent platform to do so (as well as the opportunity to search for work via the site’s job listings). But you can also create profiles on generic freelance sites like ODesk and Elance, or look for targeted sites for your industry like Textbroker (for writers) or 99designs (for graphics designers).
  3. Tutoring. If you’ve got a college degree then there’s a good chance you’re qualified to tutor students in at least one or two core subjects (English, math, science, history, etc.). You can advertise your services on Craigslist, post fliers at local colleges, or even apply with online organizations like,, or TutorVista, just to name a few. Even a group like The Princeton Review could provide you with tutoring jobs until you find something else.
  4. Odd jobs. If you’re a handy sort, then odd jobs may be just your forte when it comes to putting some cash in your pocket. And if you’ve hit up your neighbors without much success, think about using a site like TaskRabbit that hooks you up with people who need your services. You might take jobs picking up groceries, cleaning rain gutters, or assembling complex pieces of furniture. Of course, these types of jobs don’t pay much, but they also require little time and effort, meaning you can easily tackle them while you continue to search for other jobs.
  5. Turn trash into treasure. Scouting for curbside trash that you can use to turn a profit is not a very desirable task, but you can definitely do a weekly yard sale search to pick up gently-used items that could be more valuable with a little TLC. From there all you have to do is set up an eBay store to sell them off. It’s not very sexy, but it could definitely put a little extra cash in your pocket.
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