Alternative Ways to Make Money in a Recession

Ok, so you’ve been laid off or you fear that you soon will be, the media keeps reminding you how bad the job market is, and you are tired of repeatedly sending out your resume to job openings that you are not really interested in, only to get no response anyway.

The first step of course, assuming you are eligible, is to claim unemployment benefits; after all, you have been paying for that right through your taxes for the last (insert number here) years.Beyond that though is the rather important matter of finding a longer term and more viable source of work and income. There is work out there somewhere, but the time you put into seeking traditional employment and going to one dreary job fair after the other may be better spent in getting creative in your approach. Here we suggest 10 ways to find work and make money during the recession.

Social Networking

People always used to tell me that getting a good job is about contacts and networking. The only problem was, I didn’t know a whole host of people in the industry in which I wanted to work in and furthermore, being rather shy and introverted, I was never especially good at networking. However, this was back in the not too distant past when facebook and twitter were just words with little meaning. Social networking sites have not only made it easier to stay in contact with friends, they have also made it easier to seek out people within the industry that you want to work in. Take for example Linkedin, a website dedicated to connecting professionals around the world; or Twitter, a site that although being the simplest of all social networking sites seems to be the current craze, with just about everyone from politicians, to companies, to celebrities all sharing their “tweets.” Making the most of these sites can be an incredibly effective way get your foot in the door with a person or company that you want to work with.

Move to Where the Jobs Are

It is not an easy option for everyone, but being open to moving to another county or state could greatly improve your chances of employment. While the unemployment rate remains absurdly high in areas of Michigan, California, Oregon and plenty others, states such as North Dakota are actually experiencing some economic growth during this recession. If you are willing to extend your job searching to areas outside of your home county, you may find you have a lot more success. Of course, this may mean a pretty drastic and distant move to a part of the country you are not too familiar with, but for some, this would be a better option than remaining unemployed for the foreseeable future.


By making yourself available for freelance work you can boost your opportunities for making money. Websites like Elance and Guru connect freelancers with the companies and people seeking them. You might be surprised by the variety of work on offer. Different types of jobs include writing, business consulting, legal, accounting and engineering just to name a few. Furthermore, the majority of these jobs can be done from home.

Start Your Own Business

Past recessions have seen the birth of many a successful business. In fact, starting a business during a recession might even be the best time to do it. Firstly there will be the lack of competition, with the majority of people using the economic downturn as an excuse not to do anything. Secondly, when the economy does start to prosper again, you will have already established your business in your market and therefore have a major advantage over all your late-coming competitors.

What type of business you start is entirely up to you, but ideally it would be something you have some experience or interest in, and something that you can see as having long-term demand. An interesting book about people who have started successful business during hard times is Firing Back: How Great Leaders Rebound After Career Disasters

Odd Jobs and Part Time Work

Finding part-time work might be easier than finding full-time work. It may not be completely desirable to you, but at least it brings in something. Plus, as it is only part-time, you can devote the rest of your free hours to working on some of the ideas listed in this article. You could start writing a blog for example, or get your own business started.

Asides from part-time work, you can also be on the look out for one off jobs. You can seek these in your local newspaper, Craigslist, or try OddJobNation, a site devoted to presenting odd job opportunities available state-by-state.

Blogging and Websites

Everyone seems to have a blog or a website these days and it is easy to see why. Not only can it be a lot of fun to create and often a great source of help to others, it can also act as an income generator if done correctly. To make money from your blog or website, you will need to provide quality content that attracts plenty of traffic.

This is not an overnight task and so patience will most certainly be required, but once you have a large following, you will be in the position to make money through affiliate advertising. A couple of useful books on earning money through blogs and websites are, ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income and The AdSense Code: What Google Never Told You About Making Money with AdSense.

Online Earning Possibilities

Asides from writing a blog or running your own website, there are other ways in which to generate revenue online. Some websites such as eHow and AssociatedContent will pay you for the the articles you submit to them.
On websites such as Epinions, you an even get paid to review products, books, websites, software and pretty much anything else.

Writing one article or one product review will not make you much money, but write a series of articles and reviews and you could start to see regular, revolving income from these sources.

Become a Local Handyman/Woman

Why not turn your repair skills into a form of income? Think about what skills you have that might come to use around your neighborhood. Some useful skills would be: painting, plumbing, clothing repair, shoe repair, general maintenance, auto maintenance, electrical work and woodwork. A recession can actually provide a boost in business for handymen as it is a time when people will be less inclined to hire expensive contractors, mechanics etc. You could advertise on Craigslist, by posting flyers or simply by word of mouth.

Find Unpublished Jobs

If you still wish to search for work the conventional way then start to put more focus on the unpublished job market. This may be a more realistic solution to finding work considering the massive amount of applicants there are for each published job opportunity.

To find the unpublished job openings, firstly seek out companies that you would like to work for and then contact them directly with a very specific resume. Secondly, search through trade magazines, mailings press release websites (such as PRWeb) for announcements of new businesses or departments and then send your resume to them.

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