Tag Archives: job


5 Ways to Make Extra Cash While You’re Unemployed

Dreaming about money


About 9.3 million Americans were unemployed as of September 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you are looking for a job and panicked about running out of money, fear not—there are a multitude of ways to come up with extra cash while you search. These opportunities are a great way to supplement your income until you find full-time employment:

Use Your Car for Cash

It might be tempting to sell your car to get some extra padding for your wallet, but before you do, consider the many ways you can make money by simply owning that car. Start a side business running other people’s errands or helping people move heavy items (particularly good if you own a pickup truck). If you know your way around the city and own a reliable vehicle, you can also become an independent contractor with Uber. All you have to do is drive strangers to their destinations using your own car; it’s like running your very own taxi service.

Participate in Clinical Trials

Sure, it might not be the most glamorous job in the world, but participating in clinical trials can be lucrative. You’ll also help scientists find better ways to treat, prevent and diagnose disease. However, keep in mind that the higher the pay, the greater the risk. Phase I trials (meaning, it’s the first time researchers are testing a drug) usually pay the most, because side effects are more common. Read the informed consent paperwork carefully. You can find a clinical trial in your area on ClinicalTrials.gov or ResearchMatch.org.

Sell What You Can

If you have collectibles, furniture, electronics or exercise equipment you no longer use, consider selling the items on eBay or Craigslist. Learn what fetches big bucks on these websites, and then scour local thrift stores and estate sales for those goods. If you get periodic payouts from an annuity or structured settlement, you may be able to sell your future payments to J.G. Wentworth for a lump sum of cash. If you hold any stocks and bonds, this may be the time to sell those, too.

Sell Your Unique Talents

On Fiverr.com you can get paid for drawing a picture of a dog, recording your voice in a particular accent or even posting flyers around town. All you have to do is sign up and start selling whatever talent makes you uniquely you. Setting up an account is free, but keep in mind that Fiverr takes $1 for every $5 you make. Nevertheless, it’s an easy way to make a quick buck while doing the things you love.

Make Money House-Sitting

There are people out there willing to pay someone to babysit their home. Although compensation varies widely, the tasks are essentially the same and usually include watering plants, feeding pets, bringing in the mail, light cleaning duties and handling emergency situations that might arise. There is also a lot of freedom involved with the job. You can choose to sit only homes in your area or travel the country as a house-sitter. Additionally, you can earn money while house-sitting by also being a freelance writer, Web design contractor or data entry clerk. Find a house-sitting gig that’s right for you on TrustedHousesitters.com or House Sitters America.


Career Spotlight: Devin Romeo


Devin Romeo is a young graphic designer who works for a sports social media website called Sports 195. He has recently started working on web design for this site and we talked to him about the experience of working an entry level design job.

Creative Interns: What are your responsibilities as an entry-level designer?

Devin Romeo: I am responsible for designing parts of the website, which can include anything from what a news module looks like, to a UI element, to an intro page. It can be anything that involves that website. And a part of me does print designs for a co-brand we have. I also design brochures and pamphlets, so I kind of do everything.

CI: How did you come to work at Sports 195?

DR: I actually looked it up on Monster. At the time I was primarily a print designer but I had just finished an internship in web design and ended up liking it. I looked up this job and it said that they were looking for a graphic designer with a preference in web design. It was entry-level which turned out to be a good transition to learn how to do web design, and how to be involved with a web-based company. It allowed a lot of room for growth and it went as far into web design that I personally wanted to go.

CI: What advice do you have for recent graduates trying to get a graphic design job?

DR: In the creative world you have to not just stand out, but stand out in a good way. Don’t go over the top, but you have to be noticeable and memorable, and everything has to be clean. Make sure your work represents who you are. Apply to as many places as possible and make sure the first things these businesses see is the best that you have. Make a great personal website. People want to see visuals. I had a resume and I had attachments but my actual website was very primitive, so I ended up having to do a lot of persuading. When I finally got my job I was at the other end of the spectrum looking at applicants. The first thing my creative director would look at was the applicant’s website. If a website didn’t look good, or it had bugs, or you could tell they had used a template he almost just threw it away immediately.

CI: What is the most unexpected thing about working in web design?

DR: It was probably the turnaround on projects. You would spend weeks putting in work to build a page and it looks incredible and you’re so happy with what you’ve done and you finally send it out, only to not hear back about it for weeks. The reason is that it might look nice and it might fit all the criteria but you have to worry about developers. They have to look at previous coding, create new style sheets and override old style sheets, and there’s so much more. I still don’t know half of what happens on the back end, but there’s so much time involved outside of designing the page to make a website work.

CI: What prepared you the most for a graphic design position?

DR: I think that as much as college helped prepared me for my career, my first internship absolutely prepared me the most. When you have an internship you aren’t worried about a grade, you’re worried about a client, who is worth a lot to that company, so you’re on the line for a number of reasons.

CI: Take me through a typical day at work for you.

DR: When I get in I will usually be working on something that’s left over from the day before. That could be a page we’re working on or a specific element of a page. If I don’t have anything to do, which is rare, I speak directly to my Art Director and he will give me work. Everything goes through him. Usually I’m given 2-3 projects a day. On the rare occasion I’ll be given one huge project or a number of miniature projects. I’ll work on them for the entire day and take lunch whenever I want to, and leave sometime after 5:30. My schedule is very flexible. It’s a laid back environment but it’s still very demanding.

CI: What influenced your career choice the most?

DR: My grandfather. He was a pioneer in the creative industry. During his prime he designed logos for brands, scoreboards at major stadiums, and so much more. It is just inspiring that someone I know has done all that. I want to follow in his footsteps and, more or less, change the way the world is looked at. Which is essentially what graphic design is. That’s what he did and that is what I want to do.


What You Missed from the LinkedIn Challenge


We kicked off the month of December with the LinkedIn Challenge. For 21 days, Sarah Santacroce sent us one tip for each day in order to share with our talent and employers on how to leverage many LinkedIn possibilities. Read our recap of the entire LinkedIn challenge…

Our favorite days

Day 6: Gaining more visibility by commenting on people’s updates.

Day 9: Send a personal thank you message, after accepting a LinkedIn connection. Lori Ruff said it best, “saying thank you when hardly anyone else does is a great way to standout in a crowded marketplace.”

What the experts had to say

Rick Itzkowich, the LinkedIn Guy, honed in on having a memorable headline.

Viveka von Rosen, the LinkedIn Expert, touched on the practice of “reverse engineering.” This is a way to communicate with individuals you share a group with by doing a simple people or advanced search. Through these searches, you can see if a person is a member of a shared group and send them a message to connect.

Jo Saunders of Wildfire Social Marketing expound on one of the most hated acts of social networking – being a spammer! Never treat LinkedIn as a mailing list. Like Saunders said, “being connected does not give you the okay to send me your bulk message via LinkedIn.”

Be sure to watch the Google+ video recap of the LinkedIn Challenge finale here!

For more tips on LinkedIn, join the #LinkedInchat on twitter every Tuesday at 8PM EST or follow @SarahSantacroce and @LinkedInExpert


Interview with Rena Tom of Makeshift Society


Some people may know Rena Tom as a business strategist consulting with product designers, while many others know her as the Founder of Makeshift Society San Francisco… and now Makeshift Society Brooklyn.

Makeshift Society is a clubhouse for creative freelancers and a space to sustain low-growth businesses. With the “make, learn, teach and think” motto at the core of the space, Rena Tom talks with Creative Interns about how she’s bringing that motto to Brooklyn.

Creative Interns: What made you create Makeshift society in San Francisco?

Rena Tom: I was doing consulting work, some in-person and some over the phone. I was having trouble finding a place to work, so I started renting space at Workshop during the daytime hours when no one was there. While renting the space, I was sitting there basically by myself. Over time, I found myself at the coffee shop more and more just to be around people.

I started talking to my friends who were independent workers, bloggers and designers and I realized we were all in the same boat (wanting to engage with others while working). So I decided I would make a little office space for people and the more people I talked to, the more people wanted to be involved with the space. And so it evolved into a working space – Makeshift Society.


CI: Why did you decide to expand to Brooklyn?

RT: As soon as we opened in San Francisco, we were getting a lot of requests all over the country saying this is a great idea and wishing we were in their city. My friend, Bryan Boyer, was moving to New York and was interested in developing another Makeshift location.

CI: Do you feel Makeshift Society Brooklyn will contribute to the growing creative digital space that is happening in Brooklyn?

RT: Definitely! That’s the reason why we thought it would be ideal to have our second space in Brooklyn – sort of a hub for the east coast. Brooklyn has an enormously large creative population, especially in the freelance side and it does have a good tie to San Francisco. We are there for the independent consultants and entrepreneurs in Brooklyn – designers who want to remain freelance; photographers who get hired to take product shots; or copywriters who are brought in to work on a collection.

CI: Will there be opportunities to work directly with Makeshift Society Brooklyn?

RT: There will be employees on site and we would like to take on interns in marketing, event planning and programming. Beyond that, we are leaving a lot of it up to the members and the companies we will be partnering with.

CI: When can emerging creatives expect to use the Brooklyn space?

RT: We are depending on the completed construction of the site, but first quarter of 2014 is our goal.

For more about Makeshift Society Brooklyn, connect with them on twitter: @MakeshiftSocBK



Job-hunting Nightmares


Job-hunting can be daunting, even frightening. While emerging creatives may have encountered their own scares today, here is a list of “job-hunting nightmares” we’re releasing into the universe this Halloween – don’t read them alone…

  1. Realizing your dream job is with your former internship employer – yes, the internship employer that you never stayed in contact with
  2. Creating a video reel of your amazing work, sending the reel out to prospective employers and then realizing the reel video has a glitch
  3. Finding a job, spending time crafting the perfect cover letter and then realizing the job posting has been taken down
  4. Realizing a job prospect went to your spam mail and now it’s just too late
  5. Interviewing for a job, thinking you nailed the interview and then getting the “we’ve filled the positon” notice
  6. Online job applications and systems that seem only to exist to cause job seekers even more pain
  7. Months of applying, networking and no leads
  8. The well known recruiter who says “you’re perfect for the job” and then suddenly disappears
  9. The reference that never really refers you (be careful of who you ask)
  10. You’re current employer finds out your on the job search before you even give notice (yikes)

Can you think of any other job-hunting nightmares emerging creative professionals may encounter? 


What My College and Grad School Degrees Didn’t Teach Me


It has been officially five months since I completed my Masters program and two years since I completed my undergraduate career. Within these last two years, I learned things about myself, my career and future that a college or grad school degree couldn’t teach me. The courses of life are ones you have to sign up and pass on your own.

Progress is a process
I’ve heard this cliché over and over, but the past two years it has rung louder than ever. Trust, that wherever you are in your life it is exactly where you’re suppose to be. The Dalai Lama said it best, “I find light in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.”

Always educate yourself
After completing my Master’s thesis in May 2013 I didn’t want to touch another communication ethics book or social media journal article for months. I knew that wouldn’t last for long. Every week, I’m checking the latest blogs for industry trends and searching what book I can get my hand on next (Now reading: The Personal Touch: What You Really Need to Succeed in Today’s Fast-Paced Business World by Terrie Williams). If you are no longer in school, you still need to educate yourself and continue to perfect your skills. Complacency in the global marketplace is not an option.

Keep Family close
My father has had a constant battle with his health for years, but over the last two it has become progressively worse. This alone has taught me to keep family close. We often get so busy or even caught up with “our circle” that we tend to see family only on big occasions – weddings, reunions, birthdays, etc. The saying “family over everything” has always meant so much to me, but even more within the last two years.

A wise person once told me, “the best education is seeing two worlds and comparing it.” See the world and all it’s wonders. The last two years I embarked on trips to Cozumel, Mexico, Labadee, Haiti, Toronto, DR and some american cities learning their culture and tasting their food — simply experiencing life outside of my home in Brooklyn. Emerging creatives, now is the time to travel and see the world – the time when we have less obligations (children, etc). I can’t wait for the places I’ll visit in the coming years. #LiveLoveTravel

Be of service
As young professionals and creatives, we often get so caught up in our career journey that we forget to serve others. Whatever community or group you decide to serve is up to you. “Your service to others is the rent you pay while on earth.” As you continue to climb the ladder of greatness, take others with you.


Fall Season = New Beginnings


The cool air outside is the tantalizing warning that fall is rapidly approaching. With the fall season comes new beginnings: the new school year, internships, jobs and more. This read is for the young professional looking to turn this fall into a way to jump-start their personal journey and professional path.

Attend events

Feeling like your network is getting a little stale? Make it your goal for the fall to attend at least three events per month to expand who is in your network. Let others besides those in your circle know your work ethic.

Pick up a great self/professional development book

Head to your nearest bookstore and pick up a self or professional development book to inspire you or to take your particular skills from level five to level ten. The Start-Up of You by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha is a great blueprint that allows you to adapt to the world of work and to transform your career. Produced By Faith by Devon Franklin is a phenomenal book promoting how to stay grounded in your faith and beliefs while accelerating in your career.

Have Fun

As a young emerging professional, sometimes we forget the most important thing – to have fun. This is your 20s (your most crucial years) and these are the times where exploring is most necessary. Create a bucket list and check things off. Travel to new places. While your professional life is important, don’t forget about what’s most important – your personal growth.


The NEW Purpose of Fashion

Verneda White HUMAN INTONATIONVerneda Adele White is the Founder and Creative Director of HUMAN INTONATION, a charity-driven, premium apparel brand that uses fashion as a platform to raise awareness for social and human rights issues like HIV/AIDS prevention, rebuilding New Orleans and educating children in Darfur. Creative Interns has the story of how an emerging creative talent became a dedicated entrepreneur by turning her single vision into “The NEW Purpose of Fashion”.

Creative Interns: What inspired Human Intonation?

Verneda White: Two separate events that happened close together drove the development of Human Intonation – my family’s experience with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 and the death of my close first cousin to AIDS in February 2006. I first started designing T-shirts for Hands on New Orleans, our longest existing non-profit partnership, to promote volunteerism in the Gulf Coast following the hurricane. I wanted to do something constructive with my energy and create a positive project out of my experiences that would be beneficial to others. Today we support four causes in total.

CI: As the founder and creative director of Human Intonation, where do your creative ideas flow from?

VW: Inspiration comes from a combination of things from the missions of our non-profit partners to researching new colors and textures. My first objective is to create quality garments with a creative design that carries the message of the causes we support into everyday life: how can we create a call to action or start a conversation about these issues? I also graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in Textile and Apparel Management, and some of my creative ideas stemmed from there in terms of garment construction and sourcing organic and environmentally sustainable fabrics.

CI: After just recently celebrating your five-year anniversary, what would you attribute the success of your business to?

VW: 99 percent is having the sheer determination to make it happen. As a small business owner and social entrepreneur, you have to be determined to do things most people aren’t willing to do. The other 1 percent I would have to say is really knowing your business – trial and error and taking those lessons learned in order to do things differently next time. Some of the things I am doing now were not on my radar five years ago. For example, if you asked me five years ago if I envisioned writing my own blog for the Huffington Post or speaking to high school students across Brooklyn I would have told you no.

CI: What was your most recent event/endeavor? What do you hope to do next?

VW: On August 19, 2013 we hosted our five year anniversary celebration, “For the Love of Life: Human Intonation”, where we presented our new collection of women and men t-shirts, tank tops, and dresses from which we donate 20 percent of the proceeds from each sale to our non-profit partners. After the event we were able to highlight the evolution of Human Intonation over five years and what is next for the brand.

I want to focus more on our community programs and expand on our workshops for teens and adults. On our business side, I want to continue to grow our wholesale partnerships. What is unique about our brand is that we have created our own T-shirts/wholesale line where we can produce the t-shirts for any occasion (we’ve created special edition shirts for the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS and others). This piece of our business really helps us to move forward and expand.

CI: What advice would you give to emerging creative talent?

VW: First and foremost, learning your craft is key and it will help you to successfully execute. You need to be able to provide value to your customers and create something that is memorable.

Secondly, take your time. Sometimes I get so passionate about what I’m doing that I get ahead of myself and it has not been beneficial for me or our team. The opportunity for greatness will always be there, so take your time.


To support Human Intonation, shop www.humanintonation.com. You also have the option of donating directly to the organization’s non-profit partners


Time Management 101


Ok seriously, your day-to-day tasks have become overbearing and you’re beginning to feel like you have no time to breathe (that may be a bit of a problem). It is time, to refocus your energy and truly practice real time management so you’re not feeling the dreaded “burn-out”.

Plan each day

Plan out your day the night before and that will help you feel more control of your life. Write a to-do list, putting only the most important tasks at the top. On your to-do list include the time of when each task should be completed to avoid spending too much time on a task and to minimize last-minute rushes.


Take a look at your to-do list and consider a task that you possibly can pass to someone else or even seek help. The best projects weren’t built by one individual.

Limit distractions

Block out time on your calendar to do big projects – like an analyst for your boss or a major term paper. During that time, turn off your phone, iPad, email and focus solely on the project. Yes at work you can put on an automated message on your phone and email to get a large project done on time.

Evaluate how you’re spending your time

Try something different: Keep a diary of everything you do for three days to determine how you’re spending your time. Spending three hours surfing the Internet with no purpose? Maybe take one of those hours to exercise, another to hang out with family or friends. Your three-day diary track will show you how you need to spend your time more wisely.

Create a healthy environment

Get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly and have a healthy diet. A healthy lifestyle will improve your focus and concentration, which helps to improve your efficiency so that you can complete your work in a reasonable time.


PR Life: In-house vs. Agency

PR professionals – What is it about in-house or agency PR that made you decide that particular path for your career?

inhouse vs agency pr

In the field of public relations, you always hear the age-old debate about what is better: in-house or agency life. The many factors that play into this debate are the number of clients, hours spent in the office, leadership roles, the company’s culture and the possibility of “burn-out”. As a growing professional, you may be searching for the right fit – whether in-house or agency. Explore what you can expect from both to see where you would like to start your PR career.


Typically at an in-house company or organization you are working on one particular client and becoming totally immersed into the company/organization. Since there are fewer clients when doing in-house PR, the team is often smaller. With a smaller team, it is possible for your boss to see your work ethic possibly granting you more opportunities within the company.

In regards to hours and the pace of work, it is said that hours are more predictable and the pace is slower than the agency side (but this is PR and hours are never usually that predictable). According to PRWeek, Kevin Taylor the founder of Robertson Taylor PR says “variety and pace of work are the two most obvious things that differ in agency and in-house life.”


At an agency, you are juggling different clients and accounts exposing you to different PR strategies based on the need of the client.

While working on various clients you may also have the opportunity to manage and lead team members as you progress throughout the agency. Most agencies, like Edelman for example, consist of the following positions Assistant Account Executive (AAE), Account Executive (AE), Senior Account Executive (SAE) and so forth. With a larger team dynamic, you have the opportunity to brainstorm with more individuals allowing you to grow as a young professional.