Do not be afraid of new things...
Last week I got a phone call from my old recruiter. I didn't hear from him for years because he switched to a different company.I thought he just wanted to chat with me and keep me in his database but it turned out he had a project, which he wanted me to start almost immediately.
The company was located in my tolerated traffic zone and the timeline of the project was in my available time frame. I warned my client that I need some flexibility and since I get paid hourly, of course they agreed. My recruiter negotiated my rates with this new client and all that I had to do was show up and start working.
Back in 2008 I left my perfect job because my commute was too long and I wanted to stay with my kids. My plan was to stay home for a while and after cutting here and there I calculated I could afford it. I planed to go back to work eventually. Well, my plan never worked this way. :) I always wanted to try new things.
I started with taxes. I wanted to learn more about tax preparation, so I went to H&R Block and learned how to be a tax professional. They basically give you a job almost automatically after you complete their course. You do not need to have a degree, just pass your test and then apply for a temporary job. The best part about this job was that I could work when I wanted and it was a seasonal job. I picked a tax office that was a 5 minute drive from my house and worked through my first tax season. The pay was not much but it was interesting for me and it still was additional income. I stayed with H&R block through 4 tax seasons.
I enjoyed it. They have great advanced training programs, which you can participate in year after year. You have an ability to grow to upper level every year after completing training and passing tests.
So if you want an easy additional income - become a Tax professional. It is not as hard as you think. But you will earn some extra money when you have free time. Remember tax offices are open until 10pm and weekends through tax season? Plus you will be able to do your taxes for free and you can ask any questions from the more experienced colleagues.
I am not affiliated with HR Block and I don't work there anymore. There are other Tax preparation companies but I only share my experience. It was a nice experience though. I just want to share some ways you can earn extra income. As I said above, you do not need to have any previous knowledge about accounting or taxes, they will train you. But start researching early because training starts as early as September.
Craigslist was my other way to find part time jobs. I usually scan through ads and see if there is something interesting for me. Thanks to craiglist I found at least 3 part time jobs and several short term projects. I still perform work for some of my clients I found through craiglist.
Linkedin. If you don't have your profile on Linkedin, create one. Put your experience and education there. Connect with people you know. Join groups you are interested in. Participate in discussions. Recruiters are very active on Linkedin. They will contact you if they see that you match that you are looking for. You might land a new better job just because you are on Linkedin.
Recruiting agencies. Join several recruiting agencies online and keep your resume updated. You never know when and for what job or project you might receive a phone call. Even if you think you do not need a new job, do it. It is a recruiter's job to match a company with a perfect candidate. They want you in their database. I always tell my recruiters that I only do short term projects but ask them to keep me in their database. I know one girl who actually had two resumes for two totally different jobs.
When I left my perfectly secure full time job in a great company people thought I was crazy. Yes, if I stayed there my net worth would be much higher by now but... it would never replace all these years when I was able to be in my kids lives as much as they needed me. No money could buy this experience. Yes, I put being a mom first and I am still this way. My kids are teenagers now and I can accept more projects but kids still prefer when I am around.
Surprisingly even while working just part time through all of these years I was able to grow professionally and gain so much experience in different industries that I feel strong and secure about my future.
Do not be afraid of changes and new things! Keep searching, trying and switching jobs until you find something that matches you perfectly. Just perform the best you can at every job you have. The right people will show up in your life and value you. Through your search you will meet wonderful people as well as downers and haters. Just keep going your own way, don't let anyone discourage you. Life is too short, so find your way to live it happy.