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5 Ways to Make Money While You’re Starting Your Career

If you’re in the process of trying to launch a new career, or if you’re a recent graduate attempting to break into your field for the first time, you know that it can be quite a process. The training and education are just the beginning — finding the right job can take a long time. By one estimate, it takes just over six weeks, but this varies considerably by industry.
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One of the toughest things about looking for work is that you don’t know how long the process will take. And, if you have bills (and maybe student loans) hovering over you, you might feel some pressure to start earning money as soon as possible. But, you also don’t want to accept a position only to quit a few months, or maybe even weeks, down the road, when the right job comes your way.

The good news is that there are many different ways for you to make money in the meantime. Let’s take a closer look at a few jobs that might just fit the bill.

  1. Substitute teaching

Teaching is hard work, so don’t try this unless you feel really motivated and excited to do so. Many schools and school districts are often looking for substitute teachers, so if you have an area of expertise, consider throwing your hat into the ring. Generally, you can accept jobs on a day-to-day basis, making it easy to let go of this work once you’ve moved on to something else without letting anyone down.

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  1. Consulting

In many fields, it’s possible to work as a consultant while waiting to land a permanent position. The experience will help you build your professional network, which could lead to a permanent job offer. However, this might not be the best avenue for someone who is fresh out of school and doesn’t have the experience and expertise that someone who’s been working in the industry can offer. If you’re brand-new, it could be tough to find clients.

  1. Host or food server

Working in a restaurant is sort of the classic temporary gig. These kinds of places are often looking for extra help, and they understand that people come and go. You can train pretty quickly, pick up a shift here and there, and you won’t feel too badly about stepping away when a permanent arrangement comes your way. Be warned though, working as a food server or a host is hard work and it’s pretty stressful. But, it’s still an option worth considering.

  1. Think seasonal

Seasonal workers often come and go from one year to the next, so consider trying your hand in a related job, depending on the current work available. If it’s the summer, maybe you could work as a gardener or a landscaper, or you find work servicing pools. The kinds of opportunities that are available vary from one place to the next, so look around your area and consider which seasonal jobs might be of interest to you.

  1. Temporary office clerk

Working as a temporary office clerk might not be glamorous — think answering phones and filling paperwork — but these gigs are often available. Look around at popular job search sites like Indeed and Monster and see what’s available in your area, or check out a local staffing agency. This list offers a ranking of the top five by size, while this piece from Robert Half provides tips for getting your resume to the top of temp agencies’ “to call” list.

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How have you earned money while launching your career? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


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