Workplace Rights

Weekly (5/24/10)

Topic of the Week  Running on Empty - Paying Your Bills Without a Job:

• DO projects.
• DO part-time or seasonal.
• DO temp.
• DON'T overlook trades.

It's tough to make ends meet today. Especially tough trying to get by on a unemployment check that's just a fraction of your old paycheck. Which reminds me of an Overland Park, KS man who flashed an obscene gesture at an Olathe police officer. He'd just received a ticket and when the officer saw his one finger salute, the cop busted him again. But there is a happy ending here, Scott Schaper received $5,000 because the cop's bosses decided that a police officer should be able to tolerate such hand signals as part of his or her job.

You can also be rewarded for flipping off your job search in favor of looking for other ways to bring in cash: like projects, temp work, etc. Most of us get so focused on landing a full time job that we overlook a variety of other options for making ends meet. I'll list three Do's and one Don't to improve your personal bottom line. For more work survival strategies, check out

DO projects. Corporations have laid off millions of workers. But there is often still work that must be done. That's why projects can be such a great way to go. I once did a TV interview and a guy called in who had a job in Human Resources. When he was let go he offered his services as a consultant to his former firm. He was hired and then lined up a few additional consulting contracts. Eventually he actually earned more money from his consulting gigs than he did from his old full time job. You can get started on the project path at websites like

DO part-time or seasonal. Again, with so many people desperate for full time work, often part time or seasonal jobs don't have quite the crush of applicants. Also a part time or seasonal job can give you the flexibility to pursue a course or training program that can increase your skills that will help you get hired next time.

DO temp. Temp? You probably feel so far past that approach. Well think again. These days temps are much more than just a quick way to fill the secretarial pool. There are temp agencies for doctors, lawyers, even top executives. The bias is gone from temping for most employers, don't be behind the times in looking down on this way of bringing home the bacon.

DON'T overlook trades. I know a bunch of people who have supplemented their incomes by trading work for benefits. For example, one former CEO is a consultant for a health care company, he trades his advice for free health care for his family. Another friend is the weekend on-site manager at his apartment complex in exchange for a big discount on his rent. There is an entire underground economy out there that can reduce your needs to bring in cash.

Hopefully these tips will help you put your finger on new ways to bring in cash during tough times.

About the Author: Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning Also check out his newly revised best-seller "The Boss's Survival Guide." If you have a question for Bob, contact him via

Thought of the Week

"I save money when I'm working so that I never have to take a role simply to pay the bills."

–Gary Sinise

Blog of the Week

Top Five News Headlines

    List of the Week

    from Harris, Rothenberg International Inc.

    Recession Blues... How we're coping with the recession

    • Employee responses to the Great Recession have included increased levels of stress, anxiety, depression and fear, which in many cases have led to marital discord, insomnia, substance abuse issues, and/or other problems that can have a negative impact on employee health and performance.
    • Exacerbating the current situation further, employees desperate to save their jobs are working harder to increase the perception of their value: arriving at work early and staying late; refusing to take breaks or vacations; and/or coming to work when they are ill--the kinds of behavior that can lead to serious consequences.


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