The job market is tough these days. Many people are coping with sudden layoffs, and others are struggling to find work after completing college or earning a new degree. Skilled professionals could wait months or years to find a job in the field of their expertise.

But if one of these descriptions matches you, that doesn't mean you can’t find exciting ways to earn money.

If you are between dream careers, you might consider turning one of your hobbies into your job. You might form your own cottage industry and love what you do so much that you don’t go back to that dream career.

Loving what you’re doing can bring you renewed vigor during a time when you might be feeling a lot of rejection in the job market. You can get your energy for work back by doing things you enjoy while you are in the midst of going to interviews and hearing the reasons why you might not be getting hired. And you can make some money.

Just be careful that it doesn’t happen the other way around. You don’t want to turn your hobby into your job only to have it turn into the kind of job you are tired of and can’t stand. Don’t burn out on your hobby, or you’ll be left with no job and no hobby.

But it’s definitely worth a try. These are just a few of the examples we came up with; other lucrative hobby jobs include Web design, crafts, coaching sports, gardening, decorating, woodworking and shopping. There’s really no limit.


This is a hobby that may cost a bit more to turn into a job, but if you’re an amateur photographer, you probably already have some of the stuff amassed. You need to start finding a way to pay for those fancy photography toys. Get some practice with your friends at taking portraits or shooting events and then market yourself. If you’ve got a good eye and work ethic, wedding photography can be very lucrative.

But that’s not the only option. People want family portraits, baby photos, pregnancy pics and pet photos all the time. Or, if you’re really creative, you can take beauty shots, frame them and sell them at art fairs. This is one hobby that can really pay off for skilled, organized and resourceful photographers.


If you were the kid in home ec who could make all the things during the sewing/craft section, you can make some cash. Not very many of us can buy clothes off the rack that fit us perfectly. Not all of us (or our kids) can keep our clothes from getting worn or ripping. Not all of us—in fact, very few of us—can fix our clothes ourselves. This is where you, the master of sewing, come in. You can make cash doing alterations and repairs for your friends.

And fast cash it is, because a capable person can do alterations rather quickly. Also, a good sewer can outfit a wedding party and walk away with a pile of money—and still charge less than dresses off the rack. If you can sew, you may never have to go back to work.


Potlucks, family events and work break rooms are fun places for people who are good at baking and cooking because they always bring something wonderful and everyone loves the food and pile accolades on the maker of such delicious treats. These people who bake and cook well should be getting money instead of compliments.

If you bake cookies and cupcakes to die for or can put together a great meal or appetizers, you can make a job out of this skill. From helping busy parents with making treats for school or other kids’ events, to catering your friends’ parties and gatherings, your cooking talents can make you some coin. If you want to broaden your business beyond just friends and acquaintances, you’ll need to look into licensing and insurance for food service, but that’s a minor step for a business that can be a lot of fun.

Building/Fixing Things

Similar to making money with sewing skills, if you’re the person who could make or fix anything in shop class, you need to get off your couch and monetize your awesomeness. Everyone has things around the house that need fixing, but they just ignore them because they’re not sure what to do. If you’re handy, enjoy tinkering or like building things, you should be the person they turn to.

If you want to work outside your circle, you’ll need to look into getting bonded or insured to protect yourself and your clients, but opening a handyman business is not difficult to do. And at the end of your day, you’ll have accomplished something instead of suffering through endless meetings and missed milestones. How refreshing is that?


You had the high-powered office-administration job. You are a very organized, A-type control person. Now you are at home most of the time, you’ve got your office organized (five times over), your house is immaculate, your job search is under control, and you have nothing left to organize. Have you been to your friends’ houses recently? They need your help.

You love organizing, and they have scary closets. Make some coin by helping your friends get their stuff under control. So many people struggle with organizing their homes or offices, and if you have a knack for it you can make a lot of money doing something that will amaze them.

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