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Top 10 Alternative Jobs and Odd Jobs

Updated on August 24, 2010

Whatever Happened to Having a Job?

These days it's not easy to hold onto a job, let alone find a job that pays well and is recession-proof. I'm the kind of gal who refuses to do a job that I don't feel I'm being properly compensated for. This has lead me to a lot of "poor days" and a lot of interesting jobs. I'm calling them odd jobs and that means two things. Some of these are just going to be random jobs that you pick up here and there and some of them are actually going to be odd. Nothing too out of left field, but maybe a few jobs you'll find to be a bit out of the norm.

I hope this article gets a chuckle or two, and also helps a few people who are looking for ways to earn extra cash while the economy gets itself moving again. A lot of these jobs I found on sites such as or for the UK, but a few I found looking at flyers and job boards and a few just word of mouth. There are people willing to pay for other people to do nearly anything, even things you would never dream of paying someone to do. Without further ado, I'll get started.

Top 10 Alternative Jobs and Odd Jobs

  1. Give blood. Yes, you can get paid for your blood and it is totally legal. I have been blessed as a universal carrier and have given blood many a time. On occasion I take compensation from it but only when needed. It's a great way to give to the community and get paid at the same time. Giving blood takes virtually no talent, no time, and no commitment (except while the needle is in your arm). The best part about it, aside from the cash, is it usually comes with a free snack. Orange juice and a cookie, my favorite past time.
  2. Adsense. If you're reading this you probably know exactly what I mean. Internet odd jobs can be very profitable. All you need is some time and some patience and you'll start to see some dough rolling in right before your eyes. I got started to earn some extra cash and I'm hoping to turn it into a full time gig by this time next year. A lot of people are trying their hands at it and only few succeed. Let's hope I'm one, and you too!
  3. Making walls. I studied art at university and became quite good at carpentry. If you live in a city, small or big, you definitely have a nice handful of art galleries. Galleries are constantly putting up shows and taking down shows and a lot of that putting up and taking down means a lot of carpentry work. Most galleries have temporary walls which need to be shifted for every new show (artists are picky). I let it be known that I'm around to help. Generally I'm rewarded handsomely, plus I get to see the art for free, on occasion meet the artist (!) and it usually comes with a free meal. Drop by some galleries and let them know you're available and you have time.
  4. Giving people advice. Growing up in NYC I noticed as a very young girl how willing people are to give away a dollar here and a dollar there. The panhandlers on the train always made a pretty profit in a matter of minutes. While I was still in my 20s, on Sundays during peak travel times a friend and I would sit in the park with an advice box. "Cheap Advice" it would say. Surprisingly, we each would make about $30 an hour listening to people and talking. It was mostly tourists who were probably thinking "Gee, New York is so quirky" but that didn't bother us. As long as our advice box was full by the time we left, we were happy.
  5. Wingwomen. This is a fairly new phenomenon that has become rather big in the big apple. Wingwomen are basically wingmen, except that they're women. Apparently men find it easier to meet women when they are at a party with a woman. They say that when a woman sees a man with another woman, she figures "Hey, there must be something about him". Basically it's a wingwomen's job to accompany a man to a party and help him meet other women. You get paid very nicely for this job, and you get to go to parties and meet people. At first when I started this I was a little iffy on the whole thing, but you end up barely spending any time with the man who you're working for. Instead, you strike up conversations with other women saying things such as "Where did you get that amazing dress?" or "What are you drinking, that looks good". It turned out to be a fun job through which I actually found other jobs.
  6. Monitoring the internet. A few years back there was a competition on that had people posting videos and profiles and trying out to be Paris Hilton's new best friend. My job was to make sure nobody posted pornography on the site. It was kind of fun at first, and got boring really quickly. Though, you can do it while watching a film from your living room and get paid at the same time.
  7. Being a model for a performance piece. Living in NYC comes with its many perks. There are many artists who need live models, occasionally just to sit and read. You can find these jobs by looking on craigslist, asking around at galleries, and just by keeping your ears open. Most of the time you get to meet interesting people, which makes it worth it. Plus who doesn't want to be part of a NYC live installation piece?!
  8. Doing errands. Especially around holidays people have a lot to do.Walk the dogs, pick up the groceries, pick up the kids, stand on line at starbucks, etc. People can always use an extra hand. Sometimes doing favors that take just 10 minutes will get you paid $10.
  9. Buying sunglasses and reselling them. For some reason people on Ebay wil pay a lot for sunglasses. For a few months I would buy Ray Ban sunglasses from Asia in bulk, and resell them on ebay for nearly three times what I had paid for them. It could sometimes be time consuming and sometimes Ebay can be a hassle, but for the most part it made me some nice cash.
  10. Medical studies. I know what you're thinking - who participates in those things!? The truth is they pay amazing money and generally it only takes up a day or two of your time. The least I ever made was $400 for trying a new face wash everyday for a month, the most I ever made was $10,000 for sleeping at a clinic and spending my days there for three days and nights while they tested my cognitive abilities. Probably the worst three days of my life but well worth $10,000 which is probably what I would have made in two months of working "real jobs".

Anyhoo, that's all for now. I hope you found this list entertaining and informative. I also hope you're able to see the potential in doing nearly anything. Making money can be fun, rewarding, bizarre, or boring. Odd jobs and alternative jobs are the way to go.


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    • Valene profile image

      Valene 5 years ago from Missouri

      I never heard of Wingwomen! That sounds interesting. I am also looking to make some extra money this year, so I'll give some of your suggestions a try. I used to "donate" plasma in college, but now I don't live near a donation center anymore.

    • profile image

      KayWall 5 years ago

      Sorry to disappoint anyone but you do not get paid to donate blood! I do it all the time and that is not a paid gig. Here's a better idea that will actually put some cash in your pockets but might require a bit of effort: Sperm donations from men and egg donors for the ladies out there. Those two things will actually bring in some money. Good luck!

    • katecupcake profile image

      Kaisha Howell 5 years ago from Texas, USA

      Do you have any resources for the medical studies? This was really helpful.

    • profile image

      Christina 7 years ago

      I way I earn extra cash is by using this site

    • MR.POINT OF VIEW profile image

      MR.POINT OF VIEW 7 years ago from Planet Earth

      Nice hub and i bet there are many more odd jobs out there


    • cjcarter profile image

      cjcarter 7 years ago

      I would have never thought of some of these ideas! Very creative.