Are You Making Ends Meet?

Since most couples are both employed, a sudden loss of income due to separation or divorce can upset the applecart. If so, assess your skills and schedule, then consider (one or more of) these part-time jobs:

  • Physical shift work at a distribution center: Basically requires a strong back and a sweatshirt.
  • Computer work: From data entry to resume service or manuscript typing, you can do most of this at home and still watch your children. You might already have a good personal computer, letter quality printer, fax machine and voice mail, which will get you started on a home business.
  • Short order cook: Give that greasy spoon or diner some help. McDonald’s could be your kind of place. (These may be within walking distance)
  • Telemarketing: Sign up for some hours and pick up the phone for surveys, polls, fund raising, or sales.
  • Child care: Mornings, afternoons or evenings. From working for a licensed center to old-fashioned baby-sitting, this can be very rewarding work.
  • Storytime reader: Contact schools and day care centers, or start a reading group on your block. Be careful, some places don’t pay. This can be considered volunteer work.
  • Hotline counselor: Local social agencies often need an hourly wage earner.
  • Newspaper carrier: A few early morning or afternoon hours, a reliable car and you’re in business. Call the local paper.
  • Waitperson or valet car parker: With these two positions you rely heavily on tips.
  • Door-to-door sales: Hourly rates, but lots of rejection.
  • Avon, Amway or similar sales work: It is lucrative for some.
  • Retail help: Shop owners love reliable persons. Drug stores, convenience stores, gift shops, any of these may have openings at any given time.
  • Weekend bank teller: Some banks need help on Saturdays at the drive-thru window.
  • House or car cleaning: Most of us have the tools. If you have free hours in the morning or afternoon, maybe you can pick up a customer or two in the neighborhood.
  • Advertising sales: Radio stations and newspapers pay decent commissions. If you have a sales personality, offer to approach untried markets on a part-time basis.
  • Newspaper stringer: If you can take notes and write fairly well, ask your local weekly paper if you can cover the school board, planning commission or similar type meetings. Read back issues to learn how it’s done. Give up several evenings per month and earn $15-$50 a story.
  • "Manpower" and "ABC Temporary" are two of several local employment brokers found in most areas.

The above list gives you a feel for what’s available part-time. Read your local newspaper daily.

Note: Remember, it is your responsibility to meet the criteria and credentials for any job, and to declare all supplemental income on your taxes. A part-time job is also handy while you search for full-time employment. If you are unemployed, move quickly to get something going first, then doggedly pursue the type of job you really want. Books like What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles, can help you decide what career might be right for you. Check the library. Network with friends. Also consult employment agencies, state employment offices, adult education services and other career counseling opportunities in your area. Community services often provide free assistance. The key is perseverance. And while you persist, don’t forget those tried-and-true money-makers, the garage sale and the auction. So start cleaning house and prepare to deal!

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