Beating unemployment in San Diego

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Phot by cogdogs blogs via Flickr

Photo by 'cogdogs blogs' via Flickr

With so many San Diegan’s on the prowl for employment in the city, it seems impossible to land a job that you want AND that will pay your bills.

Understanding that this may be a long and painstaking process is easier said than done, but keep heading out for interviews and be patient. In the meantime, we are going to try and help you find some “odd” and not so odd jobs around San Diego that can fill the space, and your wallet, in between jobs.

Craigslist is such a handy tool if used correctly, and there are two ways of going about your job search. First, you can sign up on the website and post your skills or job title under the “jobs” or “gigs” (gigs is better for odd job/personal hire instances) and just put up a short post offering your services and skills to anyone that could use them. Another way is by looking through the already posted “jobs” and “gigs”. You can search by location, job type, or keywords, and there are tons of opportunities from teaching Yoga classes to filming weddings!

Having certain skills and hobbies can be a huge advantage when trying to earn some extra cash. Nowadays, college students and young adults are so in tuned with the internet, that small businesses and local companies will hire you to design their website, or do internet marketing for them on Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter. Things like this can be a one time paycheck, but if you do a good job they will come back to you for more services. Just recently there were postings for writers, that if chosen, would be compensated $200 for their story.

There are also hobby related temporary jobs like teaching gym classes, being a camp counselor at a sports camp, music gigs for birthdays and parties, and even acting auditions! One thing I have done in the past while strapped for cash, was search for event jobs. With so many big events going on in the city of San Diego, there are always opportunities to be a part of an event staff, and it usually pays over $12 dollars an hour, sometimes even up to $25 dollars an hour. These events last a weekend or just a day, and are a great way to get instant compensation for your time.

Always remember to research and ask a lot of questions before heading out for such gigs, it can be dangerous if not handled in the right way. If you feel uncomfortable for any reason at all, have someone come with you to drop you off. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

For those of you who are the creative type, and love messing with computer applications to make artsy designs, or you just have good computer knowledge, may be the site for you. This site allows you to go through postings of different graphic media that is needed for a company or business. You then compete by making the best design you can. If the company chooses your design, you get whatever price was marked on the post. Sometimes the award can be upwards of $2,000 for more complex projects! The more you try, the better you get. And the first time you get paid for your work, you feel like a million bucks!

This may sound old  school, but your local newspaper is full of jobs that a lot of people would rather not do. It may seem harsh to say that you can’t be picky, but maybe if it is only for a short while, it really won’t be as bad as you think. Working in a bakery or a nursing home can be very relaxing and rewarding, and give you a chance to keep your work habits and schedule in check. There are also some pretty cool classified ads for rad part time jobs that come up every so often.

Lastly, I know everyone has told you this is a good idea, and believe me, I have been a skeptic as well. But please, if you have things around your house that you no longer use, or just plain don’t need… SELL THEM ON EBAY! or even Craigslist for that matter! It may not seem like it is worth the effort, but you will be surprised how many people choose to buy off these sites instead of conventional shopping methods. It has become an obsession this day in age, to locate “good finds”, and if someone considers your old crap a “good find,” you will get paid for it! All you need is a PayPal account, a digital camera, and a little time.

Remember, whether you take advantage of these opportunities or not, keep sending out that resume and heading to interviews. The job market constantly changes with the season and the events of the day to day market, so you always have to be prepared for your next big break, it may come in unexpected forms. While you wait, there are ways to keep your head above water, you just may have to dig for them.


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