Finding Jobs on Craigslist

Jun 1, 2009

No job is beneath you. Or me, for that matter. At least, that’s the motto I try to live by. Now, that’s not to say I don’t have standards. I do and, as such, there are some jobs I will not take. But, on a whole, I am not above taking a job that may pay very little (perhaps, because it doesn’t involved a whole lot of my brain power), but it will put extra money in our bank account. I am a stay-at-home mom to my three kids and I wouldn't have it any other way. But, as many moms out there will admit, it's hard to make that initial decision to "give up" your paycheck to stay home. We can live on my husband's salary, but if I want to have money for any of the "extra" things - such as nice birthday parties for my kids, Halloween costumes, private school for my daughter, pre-school for my sons, dinners out, presents for friends . . . well, that all falls on me to find a way to pay for it.

And, as with many other areas of my life, I turn to Craigslist to help me with this pursuit. When you go onto www.craigslist.com (and go to your local city), there is a section entitled “Jobs” and you can search by your area of expertise or interest. I generally search the “etc” or “part time” sections at the bottom of the list, because those jobs will most often suit my schedule the best.

I quite often find opportunities to participate in market research or focus group studies (I plan on writing a whole other post on Market Research studies and Focus groups in the near future, because I have a lot to say about them.) But, I'll quickly explain that this is where a company has been hired to test the market to determine the acceptance of a particular product or service, especially among different demographics. Participation in a these studies is fun, painless and pays pretty well.

I have also accepted jobs, though, that have not been quite so fun. Last Valentine’s Day would be a perfect example of that. For some reason, which now escapes me, I thought it would be a good idea, while 7-months-pregnant, to deliver flowers for a local florist on Valentine’s Day. Because that day, and Mother’s Day, are generally so busy for the floral industry, many local stores will hire people to assist them in their overwhelming holiday deliveries. I thought it sounded like a fun idea. My two children were in school on that day and so I didn’t need to worry about childcare. In addition, I figured I’d have time alone in the car to listen to music or a book-on-tape and enjoy the peace and quiet of no children, while making a little extra cash. But, more than that, I thought it would be fun to see how excited people were when they received the flowers.

Boy, was I wrong on all counts. First of all, trying to find the unfamiliar locations was so stressful that I couldn’t possibly concentrate on the radio, much less a book! Parking was terrible and I ended up getting yelled at by a cop for parking in a “delivery zone” when my car wasn’t labeled for deliveries. I said, “What do you think I’m doing with the 30 vases of flowers and 20 balloons in my backseat?” I had to walk, what felt like miles, between my car and the delivery locations, all the while with swollen, pregnant feet. And, as it turns out, most of the time, I never even got to see the person for whom the flowers were being delivered! I would just have to leave them with the receptionist at the front desk.

All in all, it was a long, long, long day for which I was paid approximately $180. At the time, that did not seem like nearly enough money to warrant the grief. But, I kept reminding myself that the money would go to pay for a filing cabinet and long mirror that I had been desperately wanting for our home redecorating. Thus, I kept my goals in mind as I sat in terrible city traffic, all the while being hit on the back of my head by bouncing balloons.

Did I deliver flowers again this year, you ask? Well, believe it or not, I did not. But, it wasn’t because I felt it was too much work and not worth my while. (I may have a Master’s Degree, but I had no other way, at this point in my life, as a stay-at-home mom, to make almost $200 on Valentine’s Day.) As it turned out, with the state of the economy, the florist I worked for last year did not get nearly as many flower orders as he had in the past and thus, he wasn’t hiring additional drivers this year. Had he been hiring, however, I would have been “on the road again” with my deliveries.

For every miserable job out there, though, there are also some really fun ones. I also often click on the link for “TV/Film/Video/Radio Jobs.” From ads posted there, I have gotten work as a regular “extra” on the TV show “Friday Night Lights” and the pilot episode of the CBS show “Swingtown.” I also worked on a BBC TV series called “Wire in the Blood” and shot a commercial for Match.com. (Please note, many postings may not be legitimate. You need to research all ads carefully.) These jobs don’t pay a whole lot – approximately $60 for a whole day’s work – but they’re fun and, as I always say, “Money is money and it's more than I would have made at home today."

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