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How to Get a Side Gig During the Furlough

career direction tips networking tips practical advice Jan 25, 2019

Take Care of Yourself-

For many government employees, one of the reasons to work for the government is job security. This recent furlough has shattered that sense of security which takes both a financial and emotional toll.

First things first, if you have been furloughed, take care of yourself. Let yourself feel your emotions, whatever they might be- grief, anger, and disappointment. It is important to acknowledge your feelings because stuffing them below the surface never works.

Don’t Put Your Head in the Sand-

The reality is that NO JOB IS STABLE AND SECURE. Companies of all sectors lay off employees by the thousands. Side hustles, freelancing, and gigs are becoming more prevalent. In 2016, 34% of the workforce was freelancing, and projections show that by 2020, 43% of the workforce will be freelancing (

Perhaps you might consider this furlough as an opportunity to become competitive in the gig economy and to find a side hustle now.

Find a Gig, Side-Hustle, or Freelance Opportunity-

Look at your hard skills. Business owners like me pay individuals to help with their social media, graphic design, administration, emails, QuickBooks- you name it! Post that you are independent contracting on Facebook, LinkedIn, and any other social media site. There is so much compassion for government employees at this time, so take advantage of it! You can also expand to freelance websites such as Fiverr, Thumbtack, LinkedIn Profinder, Upwork and more.

Build Your Network-

Business owners are more likely to hire someone they know, like and trust. Expand your network by attending association events, chamber events, alumni network meetings, and more.

Build Your Skillset- 

Take free classes on, Skillshare, Lynda, and more (use Google to research). This is an incredible time to build your skillset and market it both online and through networking.

Think Like a College Student-

Start becoming resourceful like a college student. Think back to that time where you had to make ends meet- you can work as an usher at your local museum, tutor a high school student, shovel a driveway, babysit, pet sit, operate the cash register at a local shop, and more. There is no shame in honest work.

Stay Active with Your Side-Hustle/Gig when the Furlough Ends-

It will be wonderful to go back to work when the government reopens, however, with the growing divide in our political system- a furlough and layoffs can happen again. Stay active with your network and continue to foster your relationships even if you cannot freelance or side-hustle any longer. Consider keeping on or two small projects on the side to have multiple sources of income. And most importantly, continue to evolve your skills so that you remain competitive in the workforce and freelance economy.

Reach Out for Support-

If you need help with brainstorming potential gigs/side hustles, please schedule a complimentary consultation here (I promise no selling). Like Jose Andres and other business owners, this is my way that I can give back to the community as a career coach.

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