Working peopleThe alternatives to a permanent full time job include part-time work, contract jobs, job share and all, but there are other options too which you could explore and see what suits your needs and interests the best.
New work arrangements of the 21st century are perhaps the call of the times. Millions are unemployed in the US and around the world as the world rides the recession wave, job losses are by the thousands every month and not so many are coming back. It is time to explore the career options which can be an alternative to a full-time or the regular 9 to 5 office job which had been the norm for the past century.

Some of the ‘non full-time jobs’ options that you could consider are:

Employment as apprentices or trainees

If you have been in a layoff and for some reason do not intend to go back to the industry you have worked with, and can sustain financially for some time at least; then considering a career change could be one fabulous (forced) opportunity for you now. And since it is difficult to (successfully) change careers without having the right skill set, seeking employment or voluntary work as apprentice or trainee could be an option now. Seek training in the area of specialization where the jobs would be in future. The US department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has some good information on its website . (For the readers not in the US, check out your government website for related information, there are also many career centers in various cities which can provide in information on vocational training institutes etc.).


Freelance – Use your skills and talents and work on your own from where you want. Many website provide the tools and advertising you need to be visible to those who might need your skills, but you must first know how to market yourself and if at all it would be worth spending the time freelancing either in the short-term or long-run. You must build a reputation and credibility before you see yourself ‘thriving’ as a freelancer. There are better retargets out there to research on freelancing if you are attracted to the idea, some of these are:

Small business opportunities

Start your own business – it is not the time to sit and think that nothing would work out if you started your business now in a bad economy. The world is always on the move and people need solutions to their problems. So if you present an answer to someone’s need be it as a product or a service, you might fare better as an entrepreneur than in any permanent job. Often we do what we have been doing or what are skills or education were, only when a major change happens for example a layoff and finding another job in the same field is extremely difficult it is time to reinvent your career and being your own boss (if you have the aptitude of course) could be one of the most lucrative careers and opportunity of a lifetime.

On your own – But Selling for others

The work from home options are very much in demand especially by stay at home moms who want an extra income or single mothers who need additional income. And of course, this area is not restricted to the “mom” group. If you have a knack in marketing and confident on your computer skills (or are keen to learn both); then working from home selling others products can be a very attractive opportunity in terms of value of your time and learning the first steps towards entrepreneurship – since marketing and sales are key to this type of business.
Some examples are:

  • Avon (cosmetics)
  • Selling information products – as eBooks, or educational products
  • Phone/computer Customer Service (for example, live-chat responders to service based or product selling websites)

Beware — Although these above options and websites may make it look like a very simple and easy set up to make great money but be aware that internet marketing may be challenging a business. And not to mention the various internet scams that are working overtime to lure and steal your identity.

WAHM.COM offers work-at-home job listings and they do try to screen jobs to present some legitimate ones; but your judgment must be based on careful analysis and research.
Relevant reading: Nice Work If You Can Get It: Web Sites for At-Home Jobs

eBay as a Part-time earning retarget

Many online retargets will guide you towards selling on eBay and also good books such as eBay for Dummies is a good investment for research, planning and implementation.

Blogging as a Career

A few years before no one would have even thought that blogging could be a full-time career but as the internet evolves and the recent news in business magazines Entrepreneur and BusinessWeek often citing success stories from not one or two but quite a few bloggers on how they are making decent money blogging full time, blogging could soon be on the list of full-time careers.
The first step towards your decision to be a full-time professional blogger must be to research thoroughly on how previous successes have been achieved and what are the real life scenarios – do not get enamored by the one page websites of all those bloggers around who want to sell their software or services and get you making a 5 figure income in a month through blogs – easily; making good money from a blog or a few of them is not as easy as it sounds or those who might want to sell it to you.
There are some great blogger tips websites; Darren Rowse on ProBlogger perhaps tops it all. One of his posts: Do you call yourself a blogger, is worth a read and also see the interesting comments that follow this post.

Here are some other websites where you can get some quality advice:

All set to hunt on a job board for professional bloggers? Check this out:

Franchise options

It might be a good time to get into franchise business; there are reports of quite a few of the systems are cutting down on the fees to attract more franchisees in the economic downturn. Research well and assess your financial situation well before getting into the franchise market. Although most of those selling you on franchise options will try their best to convince that it is easy to get loans and start the business right away; it is always wiser to research on your own and calculate running costs and your capability to commitment to a business in the long-run.