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How to Make Money When You’re Between Jobs


Interviewers know when you’re desperate.

Not only does that sense of desperation reduce your chances of getting the job, it also means that a low-ball figure is likely in your future when an offer does finally present itself.

If you’re between jobs, you’re probably overly attached to the outcome of each and every interview, hoping and praying that you get the offer.

You’re probably willing to take something that’s not interesting or fulfilling, and you might even be entertaining salary ranges that are well below your last position. When you’ve got a family to support and a mortgage to pay, you could be willing to take a step down just to make ends meet.

That’s never a good place to be.

What if, instead of needing an offer, you could take your time, and pick and choose your dream job?

Whether you’re between jobs or looking to make a change in your current career, here are 13 ways to supplement your income, so you can call all the shots.

And who knows? Your side hustle might even turn into a full-time gig.


The most obvious place to start, especially if you have a sought-after skill set and an established network, is to become a consultant. You’ve got years of experience in your field and a long list of accomplishments. It’s logical that there are countless companies eager to pay you an hourly rate for your expertise that’s even higher than your salary.

But what if you don’t have a large network yet or you’re not sure which of your skills will be most valued?

If you’re not ready to set up shop as a full-time consultant, try one of these other options.


If you don’t have a base of clients, but you have a skill or service to offer, try Upwork. This site allows you to connect with companies worldwide who need immediate help with projects. It’s great practice for winning clients, crafting proposals, and managing projects. You pick the hours you want to work, and you determine your own rates.

LinkedIn ProFinder

While the opportunities on Upwork are plentiful, there’s a lot of gigs to sift through that won’t be a good fit. That’s why I also recommend LinkedIn ProFinder. It automatically matches you with freelance opportunities that match your profile. ProFinder also has a broader array of freelance opportunities, and since it’s tied to your LinkedIn profile, any enhancements you make to it to land gigs can also help you land your next career.

Offer Expertise

Is there a question you get asked all the time or are people constantly coming to you for help with something? Maybe you’re a master organizer like Marie Kondo who wrote The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Or perhaps you’re an expert at macro meal prep. Why not offer these services in exchange for a fee?

Create an Online Course

Online teaching platforms are popping up all over the place. Udemy, Teachable, and Skillshare are just a few, and they have massive built-in user bases. Pick a topic you’re knowledgeable about, and use these platforms to create it and get students. They do all the heavy lifting for you. All you do is teach.

Make YouTube Videos

80% of people watch YouTube videos on a monthly basis, and the average watch time doubled last year. Whether you choose to make instructional videos, show the process of unboxing items or something else that interests you, you’ll be able to earn money with the YouTube Partner Program once you reach a subscriber base of 1,000 people or your channel accumulates 4,000 hours of annual viewing time.

These metrics will take time to achieve, so if you’d like advice on getting started, check out Gary Vaynerchuk. His YouTube channel and best-selling books, including Crushing It and Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is often misunderstood and often gets a bad rap. However, it can be a lifesaver for people between jobs, and once you’ve got a system in place, you can literally earn money while you sleep.

People earn millions of dollars annually with affiliate marketing by recommending products and earning a commission whenever someone buys.

Here’s what you need to get started:

  1. A link to a product you’d like to promote
  2. A means to promote it – either your social media properties, a blog, or a YouTube channel
  3. An affiliate relationship with the product’s maker

A full-blown discussion of affiliate marketing is beyond the scope of this article, but this method can be a game changer financially.

Start a Business

Depending on the type of business you’re interested in, you might be able to set up shop with no upfront investment. Service businesses like dog walking and interior design can be started with little more than a website.

If you want to enter the physical product space, but don’t have the capital on hand to get started and you’re wary of taking on debt, you may want to try a crowdfunding platform like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Not only do you take the financial risk out of your new endeavor, you also get validation about whether your business idea is something that the market wants.

Rent Your Gear

Maybe you’ve got a massive surfboard collection or tons of camera gear that you use only a couple of times per year. Why not rent it out and earn some cash? Peer-to-peer renting services are becoming increasingly common. They’re a smart place to see how you feel about this business model.

Once you find products that are in high demand and that have decent profit margins, you can turn it into a business. The team at Brooklyn Audio Works did exactly that. They started out by renting out basic audiovisual equipment for weddings and corporate events, and now they’ve expanded into multiple locations and have taken on investors to further grow their venture.

License Your Photos

Even if you’re not a professional photographer, I’ll bet that you’ve got at least a dozen of spectacularly beautiful pictures on your smartphone’s camera roll. Whether it’s a gorgeous sunset, food pics from your favorite restaurant or landmarks from your last family vacation, there’s constant demand for unique photos.

Whether it’s Shutterstock, Twenty20 or one of about a dozen other sites, all you have to do is upload your photos and collect money whenever someone decides to use one of them. You’ll need a deep portfolio if you hope to replace your salary, but there’s no risk or fee to get started on this route.

Start an E-Commerce Store

If you’re a subject matter expert on a physical product, consider selling it online. Today’s e-commerce platforms make it easier than ever to get started, and you can have a fully functioning store in a matter of hours if you choose Shopify or Big Commerce.

Many brands even allow dropshipping, meaning that you don’t have to physically stock the inventory you’re selling. Instead, when someone orders from your online store, you request that the manufacturer fulfill the order on your behalf. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

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