Aurora Donnelly is a solo practitioner always looking forward to the next exciting transition.
During this legal jobs semi-draught a number of people I know have come up with creative and effective ways to supplement their income, or, in some cases, let’s admit it, make a living. But if it gets you through the downturn and to the other side of the economic tumble, it works. The idea is to tap into skills that you have used in the past. It helps to have some credentials in the area of endeavor.
For example, attorneys have built in credentials for teaching. Having a doctoral degree should qualify you for teaching as an adjunct at a junior college or a trade school. The topics that an attorney can teach are numerous. From civics to the Constitution to writing, lawyers have the training to do this.
When it comes to teaching, some of us can also count on previous life learnings and experiences to pass on to others. One colleague majored in history undergrad and teaches U.S. history at a loop junior college, enjoys it and with enough classes can make a great supplemental income from it.
Teaching is just one example. Your own educational and work background will serve to guide you in developing ideas for supplemental or alternate income. Maybe some of you are athletes and can coach or do personal training in some way. As a law school student I turned my language abilities into income by interpreting for depositions and trials and translating foreign documents. In some instances you need a certificate or a license of some kind, but I did not have one and I was consistently busy.
Prior to attending law school, when I was between jobs, I talked my way into doing the bookkeeping for the restaurant at my health club. I do admit, the MBA helped me get this gig and I had done some bookkeeping for a manufacturing company in the distant past. I got a reduction of my membership fee and had great fun, besides learning a lot about food service costing, not to mention the delicious free lunches.
Here’s a way to do this — take a writing pad and a free afternoon and go back in time, either using your resume, or whatever method works for you to recall past jobs and skills. Start with your first job and break down the responsibilities in great detail, what functions you performed, what skills were required, what training you used to perform the functions. Maybe it was tutoring, or life guard or working in a restaurant, helping in a parent’s law office, the possibilities are as many as there are careers.
Really focus on the list you create following the above system and write down the skills you have that can possibly parlay into a paid endeavor right now. Then think about where you could apply those skills without having to get a certificate or degree or any other additional credential. Make a list of possible work scenarios and get cracking calling people you know or businesses that might have what you need, or, that might need what you have.