If you’ve found yourself navigating a stretch of unemployment, you know it’s not an easy place to be. And if you have any debt or loan payments to worry about, the realities of losing a regular paycheck can be especially difficult. While traditional wisdom in this scenario tells you to put all your effort into finding your next full-time job, you may want to consider a different strategy.
More and more, workers are turning to the gig economy to supplement their incomes during partial or full unemployment. Though a “gig” might not sound like the best career move, temporary work can help keep you afloat with quick cash while you search for something more ideal.
1. Rideshare Services
Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft have revolutionized the way that we get around, but they’ve also shaken up the traditional 9-to-5 mindset. After a quick application process, vehicle inspection and background check, you can start earning money from the seat of your own car. The best part about ridesharing is that there’s no commitment—you can drive whenever you need to.
2. Delivery Services
If you like the idea of driving to earn extra money but aren’t too sure about having strangers in your car, try a food delivery service. Gone are the days of the pizza delivery guy being your only option. All kinds of restaurants, from fast-casual to fine dining, are using delivery services such as GrubHub, Postmates or Uber Eats to bring their food to hungry customers nearby. Grocery stores are getting in on the action as well: becoming a shopper for Instacart will have you shopping for people’s groceries in addition to delivering them.
3. Dog Walking
Enjoy getting some fresh air and exercise while you work? There are a handful of apps out there that will connect you with dog owners who need their dogs walked while they’re away from home or at work. If you consider yourself a dog person, being a dog walker is certainly one of the more fun ways to bring in some income.
4. Rental Services
Making money doing nothing sounds like a fantasy, but if you got some unused space you could boost your cashflow with minimal effort. For example, if you have an extra parking space that’s going unused, you can rent it out with an app like SpotHero, which connects you with drivers and commuters looking for parking. There’s also potential for renting out your extra storage space if you’ve got room to spare, or even ways to rent out your car while you’re not using it.
5. Sell Your Hobbies
When you’re in between jobs, you might find yourself with plenty of time for hobbies or activities that you wouldn’t normally have when you’re employed. If your hobby produces a tangible product, such as knitting or pottery, you could sell what you make for a decent price. If you know a teachable skill, such as playing an instrument or cooking, consider teaching lessons or tutoring to share your knowledge. Basically, if you have something to offer, you might be surprised at how much money it can bring you.
6. Freelance Work
There’s more opportunity than ever for freelance or short-term contract work in today’s economy. Opportunities for this kind of work vary, but there are many options, from data entry to blog writing to graphic design. This is a particularly great option if you’re wanting to work within your field and gain some extra experience or make connections, as freelance workers often get hired on by the companies they work for.
Keep An Open Mind
There are more ways than ever to earn extra money while you’re looking for your next job. Sometimes, all it takes to stay afloat is the right perspective.
If you’re looking for even more strategies to help you through a period of unemployment, we’ve got you covered.