Want Some Extra Income? Try Odd Jobs!

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2008-05-0928

Think back to the time when you’d take on summer jobs or interned while you were still in school. It was fun, easy and earned you some extra bucks. So who says we can’t keep on doing this long after our teenage years are over? :)

Looking For A New Job? Odd or Otherwise

If you’re looking for a new job or would like to find ways to make extra income right now, how about trying these online resources to help you with your search?

  • Monster.com: ranks in the top 20 of most visited web sites in existence. It’s one of the most popular sites in the world, and the largest job search engine there is, with a database that stores resumes and job postings numbering in the millions.
  • Snag A Job: a tool to help you find hourly jobs. This job site specializes in finding part-time and full-time hourly jobs.
  • Yahoo Hot Jobs: a popular online job board.
  • Job.com: a resource for local jobs, career advice and other services to manage your job and career.
  • Beyond.com: an extensive career network that’s set up as a community of niche sites in various industries.
  • ResumeEdge: a resume editing resource for those who need a little help writing a high quality resume and / or cover letter. They are the leading provider of resume writing services online and the chosen resume partner of well-known job sites such as Yahoo! Hot Jobs, CareerJournal and Dice.com.
  • Resume Rabbit: a resume distribution service that submits your resume to top online job banks such as Monster, HotJobs, Career Builder, Dice, etc, as well as job search engines.
odd job, side job, extra income

I actually have a family member in an interesting dilemma. He’s a practicing lawyer from a different country and just moved here a year ago. He just took the California bar exams but while waiting for the results (which takes some months), he’s decided to take on some odd jobs to be productive and to make a bit of money. The odd jobs aren’t all that odd if it’s in line with what you’re doing — hence, he’s doing some data entry and office work at a law firm. Sure, he doesn’t need a legal license to be the office manager at a law firm — anyone with office management and computer skills can qualify — but it’s one way to get his feet through the door of the profession he’s chosen, which should work out well for him once he gets all the necessary credentials by passing his exams.

There’s really no shortage of things that you can do. If you’ve got a certain talent, or have education and experience in some form of activity that is “in demand”, there’s usually a way to get paid for it.

Singing The Praises Of Odd Jobs

They’re a great way to supplement your income.

Keep working a full time job and supplement your income by doing the things you love. For instance, you may have a knack for gardening or you may really enjoy caring for animals. Think of something you genuinely love to do. Have you ever thought of capitalizing on it? Times are tough these days and the cost of living is becoming unmanageable by the day. Even if you are working, you may still find it hard to make ends meet. People all over are taking second and third jobs just to keep their heads above water. So if money starts to become a challenge, it may be worth exploring some opportunities to earn extra cash. How do you know what type of “odd job” to take? Well, finding work that matches a talent or passion that you have is a good start.

They can be fun.

Though odd jobs may not pay a lot of money, they may actually work out pretty well if they’re enjoyable and aren’t stressful. Certain jobs are even stress relievers (e.g. see dog walking). How about starting simple? You don’t need to go all out and turn your job into a full-time business. Think about some of the things you love to do and start spreading the word to your friends, family and neighbors. Somebody always knows somebody else who is looking for a person to paint a room, plant flowers, shovel snow, and whatever else you can think of.

People are busy and need help getting things done. Maybe you have an artistic flair? Many people pay good money to have murals or portraits painted. Perhaps there are elderly people in your area that could use some help with errands or cooking dinners. They would be grateful to have someone close by to rely on for odd jobs. The possibilities are endless. Odd jobs are not just for kids: they can bring in some grocery money or help you pay for some new things you’ve had your eye on. Just as long as you keep your rates reasonable and you avoid overworking yourself, you may find that these tasks can keep you continuously employed. I’ve known people who took on side jobs like these to “unwind”, to relax, or even to volunteer their time for the fulfillment that comes with helping others out.

They can lead to bigger opportunities.

You can parlay this work into something more rewarding, both in the financial sense and in terms of your career development. There is that possibility that over time, you may want to do more with your skills and even develop a business along the lines of your experience. Doing odd jobs is a great way to get your feet wet and see how it feels to get paid for something you love to do anyway. You’ll be more prepared to go out on your own once you get some contacts under your belt and a good reputation for quality work. Keep an open mind about what kind of things you’d like to do and go for it. You may surprise yourself with what you can accomplish.

Are Odd Jobs Really Odd?

The term “odd job” is used to describe the occasional work that is done for relatively easy extra money, no matter what it is (unusual or otherwise). Such jobs have the advantage of being flexible and temporary — you can do them on your own time, pace and convenience. Some typical jobs along these lines: floral arranger, gardener, driver, store clerk, tutor, home aide, housekeeper, babysitter, kennel worker, painter, food preparer, warehouse worker, video game tester, handyman, copywriter.

Cool fact: I found out that Donna Freedman from Smart Spending has herself performed a few odd jobs that I found truly….interesting to say the least! Some curious jobs she’s had:

  • Earning $35 to watch a porn film for the sake of research.
  • Selling blood to medical researchers.
  • Being an all around go-to person in her apartment building.
  • $120 for dog-sitting over 4 days.
  • Earning $15 to $90 at a time to “mystery shop”.

As Donna mentions, a lot of these jobs have helped her keep afloat. If you’ve got a near term goal such as paying down your credit card bill for one month, or saving money for a special someone’s birthday gift, that little extra you can earn and apply to these goals seems all the more worth your while.

Copyright © 2008 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Curious Cat Economics Blog May 9, 2008 at 3:18 pm

Good advice. Also you can take on a part time job during the holiday season (retailers often hire). Another options is to earn money by blogging. Though I think doing so is really a part time career – you probably won’t pick up much cash quickly.

James Drummond May 9, 2008 at 8:41 pm

Even volunteering can lead to a real job and in fact the volunteering and odd jobs help me network into several great opportunities including one that paid most of my graduate school expenses. Never look down on any odd job as it may be the key to success.

Chief Family Officer May 9, 2008 at 8:59 pm

Waiting for bar results is definitely a drag. I took the July bar and results came out in November, one week before Thanksgiving. (It’s the same way every year.) The first two and a half weeks of November, until results came out, were downright miserable.

But in case your relative doesn’t know, there are places that will hire someone waiting for bar results to work under the supervision of an attorney, and then hire them in an attorney capacity once they pass.

fathersez May 10, 2008 at 3:57 am

Like you pointed out there are so many ways to get some income..part time, doing work that others don’t want to do, odd jobs etc.

We just need to have the will and the determination. Donna seems to be a great example.

David May 10, 2008 at 10:17 am

If you don’t mind hard work, there is usually yard work to be had.

The Personal Financier May 10, 2008 at 12:50 pm

One could always develop an existing hobby to a level at which supplementary income can be earned.

Blogging is a good example. Other examples include hand crafting, photography, cooking and many more.

Online biz secrets May 10, 2008 at 4:19 pm

My co-worker just pointed out an interesting part time work he’s doing, which is similar to dumpster diving. He bids for abandoned storage goods at local warehouses and then in turn sell those goods on craigslist or eBay for profit. Quite neat huh?

The Car Buyer May 14, 2008 at 6:03 am

I couldn’t agree with this post more. Many people are in the mindset right now that they need to find some internet-based enterprise to make money anymore.

A friend of mine was telling me about her plans to make it big with an MLM product. I patiently explained to her that she and the 10,000 other people doing that very same thing are going to spend a lot of time and money for nothing. She’d be better off finding some odd jobs she can do in her neighbourhood, and building on that.

Jeff Paul internet Business Ideas January 18, 2009 at 9:55 pm

I was so happy to find the real legitimate opportunities which guaranteed money from the comfort of my home. As there are so many scams on the web which are bogus.

country May 19, 2009 at 11:34 am

i really need work.please if anyone as any please let me know no job to small or to big.im a x-marine of 8yrs. dont mind getting dirty.

Donna Freedman September 14, 2009 at 5:58 pm

Hi there,
Thanks for the link love. One odd job I forgot to mention was helping a woman who’d had a stroke. She was still living in her own home, but had trouble keeping up with things. I spent a few hours each week doing light cleaning, laundry and inspecting her feet (she had diabetes). If this sounds like something you could do, let it be known that you’re available: Somebody always knows somebody who lives next door to somebody who’s either chronically ill or is having trouble doing certain things due to age.

Someone mentioned yard work — that’s another example of the kind of thing that a lot of middle-aged folks would rather hire out than do for their aging parents. Not only does it save a lot of aches and pains, it lets them spend the Saturday afternoon WITH their parents, not out in the yard raking leaves.

C Flowers December 1, 2009 at 7:31 am

There is always something to be done out there but the problem is finding it!

Robert Eaton January 6, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Reading porn for $35 ha ! That’s some funny stuff. How about starting a pet waste clean up business? It is a dirty job but people will pay for things that they don’t want to do !

bill fawcett January 20, 2010 at 1:42 pm

Hi there I run a Handyman Business here in the UK, and from experience I can tell you that you need to be multi skilled in most aspects of Building or Construction, however most people have a skill that they can use , that is to say most people can use a lawn mower, or paint a room, the secret here is deciding what you can do, place some free advertising and get started, more than one business started this way and became a success. good luck

jose ramirez April 1, 2010 at 11:00 pm

I would like to find work as a movie extra, thank u .

Nice Rogue April 22, 2010 at 2:41 am

Working has something to do with good attitude towards work.

Kleeneze Lancashire September 24, 2010 at 9:16 am

Odd Jobs have changed a lot over the years. When I was a lad we had paper rounds, worked in the butchers or planted lettuces in the summer…

But these days, you see more and more people delivering leaflets, menus, plastic bags etc. But more surprisingly is the average age of some of these people. They are not teenagers trying to make some extra pocket money, they are late teens to people in their 20′s, 30′s, 40′s and more.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am in no way having a go at these people. At least they are getting off their backsides and looking for work.

But what frustrates me is that I deliver to just as many houses as these people do, but I get paid much more for similar effort. Just like they do I put something through letterboxes (A Catalogue) and a couple of days later I pick the catalogue up. Now I don’t get paid for that, but what I do get paid for is the orders that the households place when they browse the catalogue.

So now when I meet these people in the street, I ask them if they would like to earn better money (£50 – £500+ per week), doing a similar thing to what they are already doing.

So that’s why I think what they do is odd, as they could be earning so much more… They just don’t know it !

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