Updated 03 December 2020
For new graduates, the time between finishing university and starting your career can be stressful, and you may struggle to make ends meet. Take the pressure off yourself by earning in the meantime, and you’re more likely to land that dream job.
You might not realise it, but as a student you were learning key skills in certain subjects that most people won’t have – meaning that you will know much more than high school or primary school students about their subjects. Why not use this advantage and offer yourself up as a tutor? Students are always looking for extra help, and it’s a flexible job you can start right away. You can advertise using online services to get started, such as The Tutor Pages (which also offer useful advice).
You could even get your friends involved if they have the skills you don’t have, and take a cut for each referred student. Whether it’s with their maths homework or studying a language, writing an essay or succeeding at tests, you can use your experience to establish your own tutoring practice and make extra cash while you’re searching for something more steady.
If you’re good with a few tools, or just willing to do odds and ends around the house for others, fill in spare time with extra odd jobs using sites like Fiverr or TaskRabbit. People always need help around the home in particular, whether it’s taking photos, cleaning, babysitting or mowing someone’s lawn.
There’s a way to sell almost anything you can think of online. Raiding car boot sales or selling off things you don’t want from around the house can be a great way to earn a bit of extra cash, and you can use sites like Gumtree or eBay for these kinds of sales. See this guide on how to be amazing at selling on Ebay.
If you prefer to make things yourself, Etsy was made for the craft enthusiast. It’s a great way to earn a bit of extra cash alongside your day-to-day efforts.
Companies like Uber take a little bit of time to get registered with, but if you’re a good driver with a full licence and no issues on your record, you can get on to Uber and make extra money from just driving around. It’s a flexible extra, and you can pick up passengers on your way to other things – like interviews! Alternatively, offer up your services as a delivery person for a company like Deliveroo – work as much as you need to, and benefit from the flexibility offered.
In your spare time you can review and test websites on behalf of sites like What Users Do or UserTesting. These can earn you great money for just a 20 minute exercise, trying out a particular website function and commenting on your experience. It’s an easy thing to schedule in around other tasks in your day!
If you’d prefer surveys, this is a great way to supplement your income from the comfort of your living room: sign up, register your details and start using sites like MintVine or Swagbucks. It’s simple: you take the surveys as they pop up, earn points, and then redeem these for money or gift cards.
Sites like iStockphoto are always looking for more images, so if you’re already in the habit of taking good quality photos in your day-to-day life, you can put this to good use by selling them online. Every time someone purchases a photo of yours, you receive a royalty fee. It’s a great way to keep making a little bit of extra cash from something quite simple. So long as your photos are of sufficient quality, they can be of just about anything – there’s no telling what a publication or website (such as this one) might want a picture of.
The ideas above are just a few of the ways you can bring in a bit of extra money by spending surprisingly little effort or time, while you search for something more permanent – you can find even more at sites like Student Money Saver. It’s possible to use several such ‘gigs’ in combination to generate a steady flow of income, while still allowing yourself enough time to search and apply for graduate positions. It can be a long journey to the job you deserve – and it’s much easier to stay positive if you bank balance is too.