Saturday, January 31, 2009

Small Jobs Stimulate the Economy

A bad economy can provide a great opportunity to put a few “principles” on hold. First Lady Michelle Obama made news -- and made a lot of mothers proud -- when she announced that her daughters would still be making their own beds in the Whitehouse. Children should learn to participate in household chores, and those who don’t often grow up to be terrible spouses who seldom pick up their own socks much less make the bed or vacuum.

All good parents know that children need incremental responsibilities. But in this economy, there are a lot of adults who would welcome some extra hours a week working a side gig to bring in extra cash to keep their own families fed, clothed and taken care of. At the same time, there are a lot of nonprofit organizations in need of volunteers -- even the tiniest volunteers willing to sit and talk to a patient, fold towels or stuff envelopes.

What if every family with full-time employment, and $25 or more extra dollars available a week, were to hire a family in need of some extra cash to help with cleaning, yard work, organizing or errands for a couple of months while they found steady employment?

Could small jobs like this really stimulate the economy? Well, yes, actually any job that keeps money in motion stimulates the economy. [Be sure to check IRS guidelines for how much, and under what conditions, you can help out -- and what taxes, if any, need to be paid.]

If you’re reading this and you need to make some extra money, do you have friends or family who could use your time, help or expertise? With the job landscape changing, many people are returning to trades. Experienced workers 55+ are perfectly suited to offer apprenticeships to younger workers who are looking to develop skills to fall back on.

And of course there’s the matter of discretionary income. The economy has given a one-two punch to service industry workers who rely on tips for a significant portion of their income. Instead of going out to eat twice a week, what if you were to go out only once but double your tip? If your bill for two people is $30.50 and you usually add $4.50 twice a week, what if you only went once but tipped $10? You’d save tremendously and your server would feel very appreciated.

Indeed, there are small things everyone can do every week to make a big difference. If you’re in a position to give a little extra help, you’ll make a real difference to a family in need. If you find yourself needing some extra income, you might be surprised who would be willing to help out right in your inner circle. And the biggest surprise of all -- everyone wins. Because small jobs really do stimulate the economy.

Creating Job Security was featured in this week's edition of the California Job Journal on page 9. The article was called "Customer Service - Where People Skills Create the 'Face' of an Organization." You can read it at To purchase Creating Job Security Resource Guide for $8.95, visit

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