New Year, New Job Hunt

The Web is brimming with freelance job sites (a number of them are listed here) but that doesn't mean they're all good. For "work from home" job listings you can trust, see (free). And for quality freelance job listings, see ($7 a month).

Take Odd Jobs

I have a friend who was laid off from the mortgage industry this past summer who's now driving a school bus part time while going to business school at night and plotting her next career move.

Some people I know would turn down their nose at taking stopgap work like this but my friend couldn't be happier: For one thing, she has a job to go to each week, and it comes with health insurance. For another, she has worked in banks and offices for 15 years and loves the change of scenery her new job affords her.

If you decide to tutor, bar-tend, babysit, walk dogs, clean houses or rent yourself out as a handyperson, there's no law that says you have to put it on your resume or bring it up in interviews for the higher-end jobs you really want. To find odd jobs or list your services online, see this list of job sites on

Don't be afraid to let friends and family know that you're available for such work, too. My bus driver pal helped a friend clean out her garage for $12 an hour not too long ago. In fact, I was thinking of asking her to help me whip my disaster area of an office into shape this winter.

Get Certified

Even the top economists can't agree on how long this recession will last and when the employment outlook will perk up. If the well has run dry in your field and none of the previous options appeal to you, it might be time for a complete career overhaul.

One of the quickest and least costly ways to get trained to do something else is to get your certification in a field that's still hiring, like insurance appraisal, court reporting and massage therapy.

Certifications from a community college or vocational school take six months to a year on average and will run you anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars (financial aid is sometimes available).

To check on the job prospects for any career training program you're considering, see the Bureau of Labor Statistics' current Occupational Outlook Handbook.

At the very least, you may discover that pushing papers or painting basements is your best bet for the time being.

This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.

Michelle Goodman is a freelance journalist, author and former cubicle dweller. Her books — "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide: Practical Career Advice for Women Who Think Outside the Cube" and "My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire" (October 2008) -- offer an irreverent take on the traditional career guide. More tips on career change, flex work and the freelance life can be found on her blog,

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