How to make extra cash - short-term jobs

Extra cash in pocket
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There are jobs that people study for, practise, love and hope to stay in for a long time. Then there are jobs that actually get us through the study – jobs that we may not necessarily like, but short careers that earn us a quick buck and are mere stepping stones to get to a better place. Popular among students and travellers, these jobs can be boring, tedious, frustrating, dirty and sometimes dangerous. They get you the cash you need to get you where you want to go – they are a means to an end.

Here’s a look at the good, the bad and the ugly of short-term jobs that people do for a quick buck.


Telemarketing requires little to no experience and involves selling products or services over the telephone. Probably not a job you would want to make a career out of (unless you like being abused all day), but it’s a great way to make a quick buck. Perfect for students as telemarketers work any time of day – including holidays, evenings and weekends. Depending on the company, hours can be flexible so it’s usually pretty easy to fit your work around study. The downsides are that the vast majority of your potential customers don’t appreciate being called at home, so be prepared for some rejections and insults. In a shift, you will probably have a calling list to get through or a sales target to reach, so there may be a bit of pressure to sell, sell, sell! Persistence and a tough skin are must-haves for this role.


This is a great job for anyone interested in making some quick cash. Whether it’s a part-time, full-time or second job, waiting on people in a restaurant or working the bar are very popular short-term gigs. You don’t need any particular skills or qualifications (for bar work you may need a Responsible Service of Alcohol Certificate in some states, so check this out) – you can work night or day and it’s usually OK money. It’s a great way to make friends as people in the hospitality industry are usually young and know how to party – if you work in a bar you’ll always be where the action is. The best thing about this short-term job? If you work hard and customers like you, you can make a lot of money from tips! The downsides include long hours on your feet, abusive drunk people and often an uncertain finish time, depending on how busy the restaurant or bar is.


This job isn’t for everyone, but if you’ve got what it takes you can make a lot of money. If you fancy yourself as not bad-looking, you could consider a bit of part-time modelling to earn yourself some extra cash. The perks for this job are great – photo shoots at exotic locations, free designer clothes and your face in magazines and catalogues. However, this money-maker has its fair share of downsides. Work is unpredictable so you may not have a constant stream of cash coming in each week. Being beautiful also requires a bit of maintenance – gym memberships, manicures and hair appointments may end up costing you more than you’re earning. Also, be prepared for criticism – this industry can be brutal.

Medical tester

This job can earn you a lot of cash very quickly but is by far the most dangerous. Most popular among backpackers and travellers, this involves allowing medical professionals to trial previously untested drugs on you in exchange for cash. In other words, you are the human guinea pig. It often involves free food, magazines, hotel-like accommodation for the duration of the testing and a few thousand dollars cash. It may sound great, and harmless, as large pharmaceutical companies test new doses of aspirin and drugs for the common cold, schizophrenia and painkillers, but there are real and definite risks. There have been recorded instances of things going horribly wrong in these trials because that’s what they are – trials. Medical professionals are not even sure of what the outcome will be, which is why they are testing it. If you decide to go down this road, do your research. Also, check the fine print – the company will take no responsibility if anything goes wrong. If you end up with three arms and no toes as a result of the medication, you have to live with it.

Dog walker

If you like dogs and walking, why not put them together and earn a bit of extra cash? This is a job that you will either love or hate. Dogs can be unpredictable so you could end up with a group of mutts that jump around and cause fights with other dogs, making your bid for extra cash a living nightmare. Or, you could be blessed with some well-behaved cuties that allow you to get some sunshine and a bit of exercise while earning a quick buck. Make sure you know the type of dog before you start so you know what to expect. Another thing to consider when choosing this job is that your work hours may be limited to short one- to two-hour shifts each day. Also, be prepared with several plastic bags for the trip – if the dogs decide to do their business in public, you have to pick it up and dispose of it yourself. Eeww!


This is a popular money-maker among students. Obviously, you have to love kids and be able to handle them. It’s great work experience to put on your resume if you’re studying to be a teacher! It’s usually quite a good amount of money per hour for this type of work, and if the kids are good and go to bed early, you may even get to do some study – or watch a movie as you raid the pantry. Drawbacks are that you don’t have set shifts each week – however, this could be a good thing as you can choose when you want to work. Also, weekends are in high demand for babysitters. You need to build a strong customer base to ensure that you have a steady flow of babysitting jobs.

The bottom line

Whether you need some money for travelling, are in a lot of debt or need to pay your uni fees, these are just some of the jobs that are high on the list of short-term gigs. While you may not want to make a career out of them, they can add a bit of cash to your bank account, give you a few extra skills for your resume and make you a couple of friends. There are plenty of jobs out there to help you make a quick buck – get creative and start earning!

Is there a job you’ve done to make a bit of extra money? Tell us about it below.

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