JOB SEARCH / OCT. 07, 2014
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How to Survive if You Cannot Find a Job

In an ideal world, finding a job wouldn’t be like climbing a long, arduous hill, only to find a larger hill beyond it. If you’ve been struggling to find any sort of paid work, things might seem pretty difficult -- but the good news is, you have other ways of making money in the interim. By getting creative and looking at the assets you already have, you can begin to see some funds come through your door. 

Share the Wealth 

If you have an extra room -- or even an extra bed in your house -- as well as a car, a bicycle, or even tools sitting around in your garage, check out the options for sharing the wealth in the so-called “sharing economy.” Sites including AirBnB allow users to locate people with homes or rooms for rent, while sites such as Lyft and Uber allow people to with cars to offer rides to those looking for them. In your local area, you might also have lending libraries or rental agencies that help you connect with people looking for tools or other resources to rent by the day. 

Offer your Services 

If you have particular skills or interests, start your own business right from scratch. Issue word to your family and friends that you’re willing to grocery shop, clean or paint houses, mow lawns, walk dogs, babysit, or do general handyman duties. As you start gaining clients and earning some cash, invest in some basic marketing materials such as business cards or flyers advertising what you can do. When you do work for someone, give them your card and ask them to spread the word. These small gigs might start out as a way to get just a small amount of money coming through the door, but by doing good work, you might find that one of these options turns into full-time employment.

Medical Research 

Some people earn cash on the side by donating plasma, but another, perhaps more lucrative way to make money is by participating in medical research studies. Your local hospital or medical teaching center is one place to look, though the U.S. National Institutes of Health also maintains a database of open clinical trials at Studies are extremely diverse, from those seeking people with particular conditions to those in need of healthy individuals. 

Reduce Your Living Expenses

Changing your living situation can also help you save money or reduce your overhead. Moving in with family members is one option, though you might also getting a roommate or moving into a home or apartment that is less expensive. Also consider canceling the cable, switching to an Internet provider that is less expensive or changing your cell phone plan to a cheaper one. If you’re struggling to pay your utility bills, talk to the utility providers to find out whether they have an emergency or low-income assistance option. 

Sell Your Stuff

Yard sales can help you bring in cash for stuff you don’t use anymore -- but also consider selling your stuff online. Sites such as Craigslist or Etsy can be helpful resources for telling the world what you have to offer. 

Not having a job can be really frustrating, but don’t waste your time fretting. Continue to send out resumes and seek job opportunities, all while making money on the side.

Image courtesy Erich Ferdinand, Flickr

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