Stuck in a small town with no companies nearby and ready to give up hope for a job? Pump those breaks my friend. There is still hope and I want to share a few ideas that I found worth exploring no matter where you live. You may have to work a little harder and get a bit creative but you can do it.
Remote Work from Home Jobs are Your Friend. If you need a full-time job and can learn your way around a computer, these are the highest demand and easiest to get remote jobs - customer support where you handle customer calls, transcription jobs where you type out forms, and virtual assistant where you are helping people manage odd requests like data entry, scheduling appointments, or research. A few sites to help you get started:
Flex Jobs - Top Remote Customer Service Companies
Vital Dollar - Best Transcription Jobs
The Penny Hoarder - Virtual Assistant Sites
If computers aren't your friend but you have a car, find the nearest major city with an airport and drive for Uber or Lyft. I was in an Uber in California once and the driver told me that he drove all the way from LA to San Francisco and spent an entire weekend driving non-stop for Uber (LA is 8 hours away from San Francisco!). He told me it was worth it for the busy weekends with surge rates and the airport runs which could net him higher rates worth hundreds of dollars a day. This more than paid for the gas it took for the 8 hour drive.
If you are unable to land a full time remote job or do the drive to a big city for Uber, there are other small ways to make a few dollars to hold you over until something better comes along:
Take online surveys. Did you know you can make a few dollars just by answering a few questions on a survey? Companies want to pay you for your opinion. Not all survey sites are created equal so check out this NerdWallet article that reviews the main ones:
NerdWallet- Survey Site Reviews
Try Amazon Mechanical Turk. Weird name but an interesting concept. If you have an Amazon account, a computer, and a few minutes, Amazon offers you the ability to make a few dollars by doing very easy virtual tasks like listening to audio recordings and typing out the text, taking surveys, or performing Google searches. The pay is peanuts but the work is quick and easy for someone who can work a computer. Clark.com - Amazon Mechanical Turk
Reach out for odd jobs and volunteer with people around town. Relationships go a long way and when you do someone a favor and help them, it's likely they will go out of the way to return the favor for you whether that is keeping an eye out for jobs on your behalf or offering you a referral to a hiring manager. Spend time with a church or school and start building relationships with people even if there isn't a paying gig involved.
Listen I grew up in a small town of 7,000 people in SC, and I know what if feels like to have the odds against you. But there is hope if you push yourself to be creative and hustle. You have to make opportunities for yourself because they sure aren't going to come looking for you. Believe in yourself and don't stop exploring new ways to make it.
Let me know if the comments below if any of these ideas actually work out for you or if you have other ideas that I did call out. Good luck!