Can't Get a Full-Time Job? Here's Another Option to Explore

by Maurie Backman | Updated July 25, 2021 - First published on June 17, 2021

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A woman driving a car with multiple passengers.

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Many people are struggling to find full-time work. This alternative could result in comparable earnings.

Though the U.S. unemployment rate has declined significantly since peaking in April of 2020, the economy is a long way from being fully recovered. In fact, the unemployment rate rose slightly in April of 2021, and it's considerably higher than it was before the pandemic began.

If you were laid off in the course of the pandemic and have yet to find a full-time job, you're not alone. And while you may be scraping by on unemployment benefits, at some point, that income stream could run out. In fact, a number of states are already pulling the plug on boosted unemployment, and if you live in one of them, you could have a serious financial crisis on your hands once those benefits are off the table.

But what if, despite your best efforts, there's just no full-time job to be had right now, and a part-time job won't put enough income in your pocket? If that's the situation you're in, the solution could boil down to stringing together a series of gigs that add up to a full-time income.

Explore the gig economy

Though the gig economy may not be quite as robust as it was before the pandemic began, there are still a lot of jobs you can do independently, on your own schedule and terms. And so if you've been struggling to find a full-time job that will give you a solid 40 hours of work each week, an alternate solution right now may be to create your own 40-hour work week.

There are several ways you can pull this off. You could start by driving for a rideshare company for 20 hours a week and then supplement that with a telemarketing gig a few nights a week and several daytime shifts of walking dogs. Or, you could sign up to work for a food delivery service, which might keep you very busy during dinner hours, and then take on another gig during the day, like data entry from home.

There are a number of choices you can play around with, but either way, rather than spin your wheels trying to find a full-time job, you may be better off just piecing one together yourself. Of course, the downside of being a gig worker is that you're not entitled to benefits like paid time off or an employer-subsidized health insurance plan. The upside, however, is that being a gig worker may give you more flexibility. And depending on what you do, you may be able to command a higher hourly rate than you'd get paid in salary form.

Also, there are certain tax benefits you may be able to enjoy in the course of being self-employed. If you drive for a rideshare company, for example, you're entitled to deduct the cost of maintenance on your vehicle, since you use it for work purposes.

Right now, looking for full-time work is tough. But if you're eager to come off unemployment benefits, or you're being forced off of them, then you'll need to secure a viable income to avoid going into debt or having to completely raid whatever savings you have left. If you can't find a full-time job, consider a string of part-time gigs your next best bet. Remember, that setup doesn't have to last forever -- you just need it to work out until the economy recovers and a better opportunity lands in your lap.

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