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  • Kristin Doherty

7 Ways to Make Money After Graduation

June 12, 2014

Let’s face it: the job market is tough, and it’s hard to find a “big girl job” after graduation. Even though you filled out application after application, you might still be without a full-time job. The biggest problem with this situation? You need money! Don’t worry, collegiettes; there are plenty of ways to make some cash while you continue the post-grad job hunt. These mini jobs can give you a little extra income in the meantime until you snag that fabulous dream position. Try one of these methods to rake in some money!

1. Start an Etsy Shop

If you're an avid crafter and have lots of time on your hands, try setting up an Etsy shop to sell your creations. Etsy offers a way for crafters to sell an array of handmade and vintage products, ranging from jewelry and fashion to art and home decor. It's free to join as a seller, and it only costs $0.20 to post an item for four months or until it’s sold. When one of your items is sold, Etsy collects a 3.5 percent transaction fee on the item’s sale price. Those small charges will pay off after you rake in some cash for your crafts, though!

Emily Cromwell, a student at Framingham State University, sells her artwork, jewelry, beaded projects, glass ornaments, and more on Etsy. So far, she’s made more than $300! “I sell at craft shows, too, but Etsy is a completely different experience because I am able to meet people from all across the world; it's pretty amazing!” Emily says. “For college students who want to start an Etsy shop, I say go for it! It is a great experience and although it does require some extra work to keep up with, it is definitely worth it and it is so much fun to do.”

What could you make? For sorority alumnae, try making and selling crafts with your sorority letters and symbols on them—other Greek collegiettes will love them! Or, browse your Pinterest crafting board for ideas. When you have an idea, start a shop and get selling!

2. Babysit

Now that school is out for summer, parents are searching for someone to entertain and supervise their kids. Here’s some great news: because you have a degree, you’re older, and you’re more qualified, you can expect to make more per hour than you did babysitting in high school or college! And for education majors or those looking to work with children in the future, nannying can provide useful experience to prepare for your future interviews and jobs.

Briana Morgan from Georgia College & State University babysits for her father’s colleagues. “It’s a great way to make money because you have a lot of time off and you get a taste of what parenthood could be like,” she says.

Don't know any families with young children? Sign up for nanny search websites like SitterCity,,, or You'll have to go through a background check, but you're likely to find lots of moms and dads who could use your help.

3. Find Small Jobs Online

Rake in a few extra dollars by doing simple tasks! At Fiverr and Gigbucks, you can post a “gig,” which is simply when you advertise something you'll do for a specific price. On Fiverr, the task will earn you $5, and on Gigbucks, you can charge up to $50 for each task you do. The gigs can be almost anything! Some of the tasks are no-brainers for recent college grads, like working with social media, creating slideshow presentations, or editing others’ cover letters and resumes (which we're sure you're experts at by now after reading HC!). And if you come up with gigs that are relevant to your career field, you can include the tasks you did in your portfolio or on your resume. For example, aspiring graphic designers can offer to design business cards, flyers, logos, and more. You can do more fun tasks, too! Host make-up or styling lessons via Skype, do celebrity impersonations, offer relationship advice—anything you think someone would pay a few dollars for. While you probably won’t earn big bucks on Fiverr or Gigbucks, you can rake in a little extra cash on the side—maybe enough to amp up your summer wardrobe!

Morissa Schwartz, a collegiette from Drew University, has found plenty of success on Fiverr. In fact, in the past year or so, she’s made enough to cover her living expenses and to start paying off college loans! Morissa started with singing gigs, but when she saw someone was looking for a book editor, she jumped at the chance. Since then, she’s become one of the top editors on Fiverr. “My Fiverr experience has been incredible. I’ve been on the site a little over a year and am already a top-rated seller,” Morissa says. “Students should fully embrace their talents and use them.”

Another site where you can find small tasks to do for money is TaskRabbit. If you’re in a major city (like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Austin, and more), you can apply to become a TaskRabbit and do simple chores for people. For example, you can make more than $30 doing grocery shopping or returning purchases to stores for someone. We love how simple it is!

4. Sell Your Old Stuff

As a recent college graduate, you've probably got a lot of old stuff on your hands that you don't need anymore. Rather than throw it out or shove in the back of your bedroom closet, sell it! Try selling old textbooks on Amazon or sell DVDs you won't watch again on eBay. Depending on what and how much you sell, the money can add up pretty quickly!

Meghan Gibbons, a recent grad of Boston College, often sells clothes she no longer wears to resale stores like Plato's Closet. "It's an easy way to clean out your closet," Meghan says. In addition to retail stores, you can also sell your clothes online. If you own any high-end designer items, you can sell them on Shop Hers. Or, sell some lightly worn clothes and accessories on Poshmark, Tradesy, or Shopify.

NYU collegiette Hannah Orenstein suggests selling items through your school's Facebook groups. "My school has a Facebook group called ‘Buying and Selling for Girls at NYU.’ It's basically an NYU-only version of Craigslist," Hannah says. Students post items they want to sell, like clothing, household goods, or concert tickets. "I've sold a few pieces of clothing through the group,” she says. “It's a really easy way to make some extra cash.”

You can also sell clothes on Facebook without the help of a group. Brinton Parker, a student at UC Davis, photographed items she wanted to sell and made a Facebook album that included information about the clothes and their prices, but advises to think through all the details before you do the same. “I made a grand total of about $400, but spent a lot of it on gas when I went to drop off the purchases to Facebook friends,” Brinton says. “My advice to somebody who wants to do this would be NOT to offer delivery, but rather schedule times and certain days in which buyers can come pick up their items. That way, you won't spend all of what you just made!”

5. Teach Private Lessons

Share your expertise by offering private lessons to younger kids. Are you a piano virtuoso? Studied violin in college? Teach kids what you know! You can even host them at your own house. Simply suggest a few beginners’ level music books and have the student come to your house—or go to theirs—for a half hour- or hour-long session. You can make plenty of money; not to mention, it’s a great resume booster for music aficionados!

If music isn’t your thing, you can also teach your other skills. If you were a varsity athlete in high school or played sports in college, try individual coaching sessions, where you work one-on-one with a young athlete to develop her skills. Or, if you’re more artsy, offer short lessons on drawing, painting, knitting, or other techniques. If you’re more book smart, try tutoring! Because you’ll be tutoring elementary or middle school-aged kids, the content should be easy for you to master and teach.

Kelsey Beyer, a student at Drake University, taught piano to elementary and middle school students from her church. Another bonus to teaching lessons is that you can set your own prices. Kelsey makes between $30 and $40 per hour for piano lessons, which is more than many part-time jobs! “My advice to someone [who wants to teach private lessons] is to be extremely confident in the field they're instructing. Otherwise, it can be awkward, and it's a waste of money for the customer,” Kelsey says. “I also recommend using books with which either the teacher or student are already familiar.”

While these small jobs might not pay off all your student loan debt, they can help put a little extra cash in your pocket. With enough hard work, you can earn enough to buy a new interview outfit that will help you land your dream job!

What other ideas do you have for making money post-graduation? Share them in the comments!

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