UPDATED: July 26, 2021

Life is tough. Even tougher when you don't have a job. When you have mouths to feed, monthly rents and utilities to pay. Being unemployed is a terrifying scenario to be in. But is it the end of the road? Is it possible to live when you don’t have a full-time job?

YES! Anyone can definitely make a living without a job. By being resourceful. By scouring the internet for opportunities. Walking the extra-mile and avoiding the ‘employee mindset.’ These and more will allow you to thrive without a full-time job.

Have you tried being awake at three o’clock in the morning feeling anxious? Asking yourself — “Whatever happened to my dreams”? “What has my college degree done for me?” 

Actually, it is not the feeling of being worthless that’s badgering you. It is the distressing thought of what to provide for your family. How to send your children to school. Where to get the next month’s rent. What if someone in the family gets sick? What if you get sick? 

How to Thrive Without a Job

You may not be employed but you can still flourish without a job. But how can you live without a full-time job? 

Nowadays, income prospects are all over us, you have to spot them, then work towards them. Once you’ve spotted which one works for you best, strive to be good at it. If you are asking yourself, How to make a living without a job? Well here we have few of the things that you can make a living even when you’re jobless:


Have you heard of the old quip ‘starving writers’? Well, this is no longer true. Today, being a writer is one of the best ways to earn your keep.

You don’t have to have training in this area. You need the urge to write and the craving to express yourself. You also need the appetite to share knowledge and experiences, and a way with words! Actually, you don’t even need to be born with the talent to write because writing is more of a “feeling” activity. You don’t need to learn how to feel, right? 

Online, you can find thousands of opportunities. There are hundreds of websites and companies that need writers. Those who are about to explore the world of online freelance writing, you can start with these sites:

  • www.craigslist.com.ph
  • www.linkedin.com
  • www.indeed.com
  • www.problogger.com/jobs
  • www.upwork.com

Offline, there are still many opportunities for both aspiring and experienced writers. Here are some of the things you can do:

  • Ghostwriting 

Many executives do not have the time to make their own speeches or reports. That is where you come in.

  • Oratorical pieces

The usual clients for this are students and teachers.

  • Website content 

For businessmen who have websites but have no idea what to place on their sites, you can help them.

  • Collaborate with established authors 

There many published writers who have little time to work on their books/write-ups. They will need people to assist them.

  • Write for a local newspaper 

Writing for a newspaper cannot make anyone rich, but it is a decent source of income. While you cannot depend on it for huge sums of money, it is a good way to make connections.

Online Teacher 

Nowadays, all kinds of people need the help of other people for different needs. Whatever is your line of expertise, someone always needs it. And you can earn income by assisting him/her using what you know. Whether the person is in the US or in Africa doesn’t matter. With technology, and free online tools available, you can derive income even without a job. You make a living from the comfort of your home, on a beach, or inside a coffee house. Here are some of the sites that you can explore:

Props Maker/Designer

If you’re the creative type, this is good for you. In your own community alone, there are lots of prospects. It is a matter of marketing one’s self. You can start with malls and department stores. They always need to redecorate their show windows. 

Online, hundreds of sites seek graphic designers, logo makers, shirt design makers. You can explore these sites:

Event Organizer

If you like being with people or managing them, and you like to create, then this job is for you.

As an event organizer, you can create industry exhibitions. You can also engage in academic conferences, business seminars, and career fairs. There are also product launches, film festivals, fashion shows and charity fundraising events. When you’re creative, there’s no end to what you can create and organize.


Do you love eating? Or preparing/cooking sumptuous dishes? Then you might try your hand at catering. There is no need to be a graduate of culinary arts or business administration. You need to have a passion for preparing delicacies. You need to be creative to make your prepared fares appear tempting to customers. You also need skills in public relations. And should have management abilities to handle day to day operations. The food business is a thriving industry. So, take advantage.

Tour Guide

You don’t need to be a native of a specific place in order for you to guide visitors and tourists. All you need is knowledge of the place and its people. These you can study/research on. Add a pleasant face and a positively-toned speaking voice. You can either choose to be a local tour guide or aspire to go abroad. Be resourceful, observant, and have that never-ending desire to learn.

Wedding Planner

As a wedding planner, you assist with the design, planning, and management of a client's wedding. Weddings are momentous events in people's lives. People are willing to spend money to ensure that their weddings are well-organized. 

Party Arranger/Planner

You conceptualize, organize, and execute important events. Examples are corporate receptions, birthday parties, and anniversaries. You tailor that event to suit your customers' needs, budgets, and requests. 


Do you love taking pictures? Then become a freelance photographer. There are several types of photographers though, you can be any of these:

  • Portrait photographer – you take pictures of individuals or groups of people 
  • Commercial/industrial photographer – you take pictures of buildings, merchandise, artifacts, and landscapes. 
  • News photographer – known also as a photojournalist. You photograph people, places, and events for newspapers and television. 
  • Fine arts photographer  – you sell your photographs as artwork. 


If you can type fast, has excellent listening skills, this job is for you. You can be a home-based worker or can work in an office. As a home-based worker, you need your own computer/laptop, a good headset, and a stable internet connection. But, if you choose to work in an office, all you need are your skills, the company will provide the rest.

Coping with Change

Why is a job loss or not landing on any job very traumatic?

It is because your job is much more than the way you make a living. A job influences how you see yourself, as well as how others see you. A job provides you with structure, drive, and meaning. With the loss, one can self-destruct.

Aside from the loss of income, losing a job or not landing on any job also comes with other huge losses. They are a lot tougher to face:

  1. Loss of professional identity
  2. Damage to pride and self-image
  3. Disruption of a day-to-day routine
  4. Absence of purposeful activity
  5. Lack of work-based social network
  6. Vanished sense of security

When you lose a job or are being rejected, you begin having negative feelings. It is normal for you to feel a wave of lingering anger. For instance, you blame the government for not creating enough jobs. Then you go into self-denial. As an example, you convince yourself organizations use incompetent people as their staff. Then you try to experiment even when you don’t know exactly where it will lead you. You go into business without the necessary preparations. Finally, you accept your fate. You resign from life and wait for the end of the world.

That is not the way to do it, jobless friends.

Yes, it’s not always easy to stay positive when you’re dealing with uncertainty. When there are people depending on you. But, if you’re willing to look at your situation as a challenge, you can find a sense of direction. Not only when you find a job, but while you’re looking for another fixed-job. Or trying to shift to another career path different from what you had before.

There are DON’Ts when you’re jobless:

  • DON’T insulate yourself and become a hermit

Without a job, some people become recluse. They avoid social connections. Never do this! You NEED support to make it through this switch in your life. Don’t push them away from you. Another reason to maintain connections is that it’s one way to find a job or your next job. So, don’t be a hermit, go out and seek that opportunity you’ve always been dreaming of.

  • DON’T cling to a NEGATIVE mindset

Being positive during rough times may not be your first reaction. But if you work hard at maintaining a positive point of view, you will keep yourself open to new things and new ideas. 

  • DON’T quit!

It is very easy to surrender and submit to despondency when you're out of job or get rejected all the time. While it is difficult to push yourself to keep going, it is actually what you should do. It is the more worthwhile route to take. As the saying goes, “a quitter never wins and a winner never quits.”

Being unemployed only means that you DON’T HAVE AN 8-5 JOB. It definitely does not mean you’re paralyzed. It does not mean that you cannot be productive. Since you’re not paralyzed and your mental faculties are still intact, you can do an awful lot of things.

With all these baffling problems, it is very easy to choose to think of suicide. But wait! Not so fast, as there are three things you need to remember before you do anything stupid —–

REMINDER #1 – You’re not alone

Were you retrenched? Or did you, against your better judgment, leave your job? Finding yourself without steady work is a frightening situation. Thus, you find college graduates settling for a job that is way out of their academic training. These people “underrate” themselves so they can have an 8-5 job and a fixed income. But don’t fret. There are millions like you in this world. You’re not alone!

A survey says that in 2017, there were 192 million jobless people. International Labor Organization (ILO) data credited this to several issues — global population, weakening commodities prices, and sluggish economic growth. 

This is not to say that it is OK to not have a source of income because there are so many of you out there. This is to stress the fact that if you’re jobless it is because of so many reasons. Not because you’re stupid or worthless!

REMINDER #2 – You’re Alive & Healthy

OK, you don’t have a job and it’s pathetic. But didn’t it occur to you that there are millions of people out there who might have a job but also have cancer? Or receiving paychecks but are going to the hospital for regular blood transfusions? Or have you thought of that person who can no longer enjoy his pension because he is 6-feet below the ground? Again, this is not saying that you have to thank God for not having a job and cancer. This is to highlight the truth that despite not having a steady source of income, God is good to you. You are still breathing and is not beleaguered by some outrageous ailment. Thus, if you’re unemployed but very much alive and well, it’s not the end of the road. 

REMINDER #3 – Not the End of the World 

Despite natural and man-made calamities that have transpired, the world has not ended. Whether it’s a 7.5 earthquake, a typhoon with a tsunami or a life-changing heartbreak — life goes on. The world has not stopped turning. The birds are still chirping, the ocean breeze still touches your face. Thus, if you’re still standing (because the world still exists), then do something about your life! If planet Earth has not given up (despite all types of cataclysms), then why should you?


So now that you’ve decided what to do, what next?

NEVER stop learning

One of the finest truths about life is that we never have to stop learning. There are new skills to learn, innovative techniques to espouse. New procedures to try, and new systems to experiment with.

The most fruitful and the most effective people in the world understand this. They don't act like they know everything. As Albert Einstein said, “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”

HONE your craft

A few extra minutes working on a write-up or graphic design each day will have a much effect on your style. You can learn from mistakes or make changes to your work. You are sanitizing how you express yourself.

Thus, with consistent commitment, more and more people will talk about it. People will share your work, and get referrals and projects for you. The more time you devote to developing your craft, the more you will learn about what you are capable of doing. The more polished your craft is, the more you become prominent in your field. 

Keep UPDATING yourself

You should always better yourself and never settle for less. Remaining where you are because you are comfortable is convenient but not the right path to take. That is if you want to succeed and achieve your goals.

A mindset that says you’re “too old” shouldn’t exist. Also, stop resorting to excuses such as, “I don’t have time.” Keep working on your strengths, or better still, create new strengths. So never wait for offers in a silver platter. Or that they will be shimmering and will drop down from the sky. You’ve got to work and aim for the stars!