As a longtime executive recruiter and career coach, I can appreciate the recent articles offering quick opportunities for people to supplement their incomes with “gig” type jobs. Pet sitting, running errands, doing telemarketing work, and getting a part-time job at Walmart or McDonald’s or Chipotle which may continue on for a few months or weeks after the furloughs end in order to make up lost pay are all great ideas. For administrative, marketing, web design, and more technically savvy people, is a great place to post your background and pick up some side jobs while you aren’t reporting to your regular place of work.

In addition, this can be a time to improve your skillset:

  • Brush up on a language you learned in the past that you haven’t been using.
  • Take an online course or view tutorials on software that’s relevant to your professional job that may enhance your background and improve your marketability.
  • Maybe you can improve your Microsoft Office skills (PowerPoint, Outlook, Excel, or Word) via a YouTube video or two.
  • Take some time to do a tutorial on the software you already know to learn the more advanced functions.
  • Take a tutorial on a software that compliments one you already work on. As an example, an accountant that works on Oracle might want to explore Microsoft Dynamics to learn more about its functionality and usage.
  • Look into data analytics tools if you haven’t had time – or even social media platforms – and how they are being used commercially if you haven’t had formal training in social media marketing.

There are many free ways to improve your skill sets and knowledge. So, between cleaning closets and getting more exercise than you normally might while you’re off work, consider looking at some of the online learning platforms. You never know what interesting topics you might find.


Post by Carolyn Thompson. As Principal of the Merito Group, she leads a team that performs the executive search, contract labor placement, executive coaching, RPO, and human resources consulting services. Carolyn’s passion is to help others by teaching, coaching, and motivating them on how to get ahead in their careers and in life. Merito Group is a small women-owned business providing excellence in outsourced talent acquisition solutions including retained executive search, RPO, and consulting services. Looking to hire exceptional talent? Contact us by email or 703-734-6340. To view our current career opportunities, click here.