Eight Ways to Make Ends Meet While Searching for a New Job

I would like to introduce you to my first guest blogger, Rufus Carter!  Rufus has been in recovery for 9 years, and is founder of Recovering Works.  Rufus focuses on career resources for people in recovery, and I wanted for him to give some helpful insight into what you can do when you are in the in-between.


As someone in addiction recovery, you’re no stranger to challenges. Along the way, you’ve committed yourself to getting clean and staying clean, seeking treatment and mending relationships. So now you’re faced with a new challenge — making ends meet while you’re looking for a new job. While this may feel daunting, there are ways to stay afloat financially until you find the right job opportunity (otherwise known as “When the going gets tough, the tough start side gigs!”) Before you say, “I can’t do that!” read on to explore these eight lucrative side jobs for inspiration.

1. Dog walking and dog boarding. If you’re a dog lover, what’s not to love — Fresh air, exercise, adorable company, and cash? Many dog owners need someone to walk their dogs between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., so you’re a hot commodity if you’re available during those hours. You can post flyers in highly trafficked areas such as pet stores or find an already established pet sitting business in your area.

You’ll also want to research the competition in your area in order to figure out how much to charge your clients. Once you establish your clientele, you can branch out into pet sitting, boarding and more. You might even consider volunteering at your local Humane Society. While making a positive contribution, you’ll be gathering new skills as well as meeting new contacts.

2. Blogging/marketing. At a time of day or night that works for you, write about whatever you want while partnering with affiliate companies or advertisers. As a blogger, you could also be a drop-shipper. As a drop-shipper, you wouldn’t have to stock any inventory. Customers would place orders on your site, you would send the orders to your supplier for fulfillment. The supplier would then prepare and ship the orders, and you would get paid. All you need is an e-commerce platform, a software solution that lets you build an online store on your website. Marketing with Instagram is another lucrative channel at your disposal. Depending upon your following, the sky’s the limit regarding earnings.

3. Freelance work. Opportunities abound on sites such as Upwork for people from all kinds of backgrounds, from graphic design to writing. If you are a teacher, consider offering your services as a tutor. If you can teach musical instrument lessons, there are always opportunities for work.

4. Sell on eBay or Amazon. Do you love to shop and have a knack for buying low and selling high? Finding items to sell can be as easy as combing your local garage sales and swap meets or by heading up to your attic.

5. If you’re a homeowner, rent out one of your rooms. If you live near business districts or tourist attractions, your room might be popular on Airbnb or VRBO.

6. Sell your homemade goods. Turn your passion for crafts, soap making, or carpentry into goods you can sell on Etsy or at your local farmer’s market.

7. Grocery shop for others. Shipt has an app that sends you order requests from people that you can accept or pass. Once you accept an order, you receive a grocery list. Using a company credit card, you buy the goods and deliver. Shipt contractors earn from $16 to $22 per hour, not including tips. Depending upon your personality, you can bring in some fine tips.

8. Be a virtual assistant. All that’s required are great people skills, even greater organizational skills, and a strong Internet connection. As a virtual assistant, you might be called upon to help people with scheduling appointments, managing their email and social media accounts, drafting emails, completing data entry and other administrative tasks they’re too busy to do themselves. To find these opportunities, you can either search online for openings or check out a site like TaskRabbit.

All of these side gigs offer ways to bring in money regardless if you have gaps in your employment history or have burned bridges with former employers. You can do them all on your terms without being distracted from your recovery. Who knows? You might do so well you won’t ever need a 9 to 5 job again. Kudos to you getting out there and stepping outside the box.

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