When starting a work-at-home job search, many quickly come to the realization this won’t be a quick fix. The competition for at-home gigs is high. Therefore, many companies only hire seasonally or when they have a large number of openings.
That may leave you with a few hard choices to make:
- Wait it out and live on your savings or spouse’s income
- Go back to a 9-to-5
- Get creative and pick up a little income wherever you can while you wait
I’m a big fan of option 3. Honestly, I recommend schooling yourself in these opportunities regardless of your current work-at-home situation. You never know when you will need a little extra money, and these side hustles can pay quickly and you can pick them up in a pinch.
Work On Demand
Uber has proven itself to be a great opportunity for those looking to work on demand and around their own busy schedules. You get paid a guaranteed minimum in addition to tips for driving people around town. As you would expect, you do need to pass a background check, have a reliable vehicle and be able to provide proof of insurance.
Babysitting is an old standby, but it’s there when you need it. And with today’s technology, it’s never been easier to find work when you need it. When you need a few extra bucks, list your services in your local Facebook Group or pay for a listing on a site like Care.com.
Event Staff has always been an opportunity I’ve found interesting. What’s not to like about getting paid to attend a baseball game or hand out swag bags at the grand opening of a new swanky store? You can find these opportunities frequently on Craigslist or through a site like Shiftgig which is free for workers.
Fiverr has always been a go-to for those looking to pick up cash fast. The site is heavily trafficked by buyers and if you can position yourself as a reliable and unique seller, you should have no troubles making sales. And, you can turn your gigs off and on as you are available to work.
Upwork is a popular freelance website for picking up online gigs. It can be expensive for those only performing short-term, one-off gigs (you pay 20% in service fees for your first $500 billed to any one client). However, many freelancers have been able to find regular, ongoing work on the site. Remember, bid smart not cheap.
Facebook Groups are great for more than just picking up babysitting and mowing jobs. There are also several groups for freelance writers, graphic designers and virtual assistants.
If you have good grammar and research skills, freelance writing is definitely an industry to keep in your back pocket for slow periods. This type of work is conducive to short-term and one-off projects that can pay the bills until you land another steady job. I love Facebook Groups for finding temporary freelance writing work. Look specifically for those made for bloggers looking for writers or VAs. These people are accustomed to paying upfront for work and prefer a more relaxed, conversational tone to their articles. They are also willing to pay more for quality work than content mills like Textbroker.
Taskrabbit is another great source of local gigs. The site helps people find everything from errand runners to housecleaners to handymen or women. The pay is up to industry standards in most cases. Those fully committed to the site report being able to earn around $2,000 per week. Keep in mind that’s for more skilled, manual labor-type work, but there’s definitely opportunity there.
Fancy Hands is a site that offers virtual assistant services to busy individuals and solopreneurs. It doesn’t pay the best, but you can pick up work as time allows and pick and choose which tasks you want to complete. We always like that.
Always Have a Passive Income Source
You should always have a little something in your back pocket. These are little money-makers that may not provide enough to pay the bills, but they can rack up over time.
Ebates is one of my absolute favorite passive income opportunities. I earn quite a bit each quarter by referring my friends and making purchases online. Make sure you have their Chrome extension installed so you never miss an opportunity to earn. Get a $10 gift card when you sign up.
Ibotta pays me cash back for grocery shopping. What I love most about this app is they offer several rebates each week for “non-branded” pantry items. Get cash back for your milk, bacon, eggs and produce purchases regardless of the brand you choose to buy. Take your cash by PayPal when you’re ready. Get a $10 bonus when you sign up and redeem your first rebate within 30 days.
Swagbucks is another great extra earner. Get paid for your online activity, completing surveys and more. Get a $5 signup bonus when you earn 2500 SB in your first 3 months.
Keep the Search Alive
While you may be adding a few new things to the mix to get you through, don’t give up on your job search.
Revisit your resume. Make sure it’s polished, up-to-date and includes keywords related to your desired industry.
Revise your LinkedIn account to include a professional picture, comprehensive work history and positive verbiage. Again, don’t forget those keywords. Even employers search and scan these days.
Keep a search schedule. According to FlexJobs, 57% of job listings are still active after 30 days. You don’t need to worry as much about being the first to apply as you think. If it’s still up and you’re interested and qualified, submit your application.
Learn a new skill. Maybe you aren’t getting hired because you aren’t quite qualified. Invest some time into brushing up on your talent.
I’d love to hear how you keep the work-from-home job search alive while finding a way to pay the bills.