DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!

Odd Jobs

Jun 25 2012

I want to do that!

by Amanda L

I have a confession to make, I watch reality television. I love Ax Men, Wild Justice, Swamp People, American Pickers etc.  Recently, I realized that all of these shows are about the interaction between the people within a variety of careers. Watching Ax Men and Wild Justice it gives me a glimpse at what my life would have been like if I hadn’t changed my major in college at the end of my freshman year.

Swamp People and American Pickers fascinate me with how people can earn a learning. I never knew that people could earn a living hunting alligators or buying and selling old things.  There are so many careers out there that I never would have thought were available to people looking for a way to earn a living. What career did you aspire to be a part of when you were younger or what career would you like to pursue now? The library has many books that can give you a glimpse or information about a variety of careers.

Best green careers: explore opportunities in this rapid growing field by Jeffrey Dinsmore

The career chronicles: an insider’s guide to what jobs are really like: the good, the bad, and the ugly from over 750 professionals by Michael Gregory

 Odd jobs: 101 ways to make an extra buck by Abigail Gehring

The complete idiot’s guide to dream jobs by Brian O’Connell


Has “the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression” gotten you down? Okay, I just bummed myself out by writing that. Are you anxiously awaiting the fast-approaching holiday season? Could you maybe just use some extra pocket change? Well, let’s all put down the worries and pick up a fun, insightful book instead.

Odd Jobs: 101 Ways To Make An Extra Buck (Skyhorse Publishing) is a quirky, compact handbook full of information about…well, odd jobs. In this book author Abigail R. Gehring highlights some unique ways to bring in some additional income. The 101 featured jobs cover a broad spectrum of fields. There are hospitality and service positions such as barista, hospice/elderly care and house cleaner. Other occupations are for the truly adventurous like shell picking in Kauai, commercial skydiving in New Zealand or even FEMA Disaster Assistant. Still other gigs listed in this book can best be described as “off-the-beaten path” including lipstick reading (think Mary Kay lady meets Psychic Friends Hotline) or vacuum dust sorter.

Gehring offers some helpful hints on how to break into each of these professions–yes, they are all doable, believe it or not–and what to expect once you’ve become, say, a human scarecrow (yep!). I’ve borrowed this book from the library three times now because, for starters, I always feel like I can use some extra dough . But the main reason I enjoy Odd Jobs is because it’s a very well-written and entertaining read. The author, who has held 24 of the jobs featured here, fills the book with many of her own personal insights and experiences. The key to most of these jobs is an open mind, creativity, a fair bit of elbow-grease and a touch of luck. It’s a great way to think about one’s own job and life in general.

Hop over to DCPL and give Odd Jobs a try. You could be well on your way to becoming a top notch Betta Fish Breeder!

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Mar 26 2008

Not your run-of-the-mill jobs…

by David T

IndexShort on funds after paying your taxes? Want to sock away a little money for your summer vacation?  Check out Odd Jobs: 101 Ways to Make an Extra Buck, by Abigail R. Gehring.

According to the book’s publicity, the author herself has held 24 of the 101 jobs listed in its pages, some of which truly merit the adjective “odd.” In her introduction, Gehring says her book is for “anyone who could use a little extra cash, who wants to add some spice to his normal work routine, or who’s ready to murder his boss and jump the next plane to New Zealand.”

The book lists a multitude of part-time, temporary, and seasonal employment opportunities, from Crossing Guard to Mystery Shopper to Virtual Assistant. Among the many choices are ones that can be done from home or online, as well as some that require travel. For each, she provides the typical duties of the job, how to apply, what pay you can expect, expenses you’d have in getting started, and websites where more detailed information can be found. She also notes, with a nice sense of irony, “perks” and “downsides” of each job. Though you might not see yourself posing nude for a college art class, Gehring points out that the job is open to men and women of all body types, normally pays at least $15 an hour, and says encouragingly, “You’ll probably never make money doing less physically or mentally. Most of the time you just sit there.”

Even if you’re not in the market for part-time work, Odd Jobs is fun to browse, and some of the occupations we’ll bet you’ve never heard of. Somewhere in the world today, there’s a worker earning money as a Motivational Dancer, Vacuum Dust Sorter, or Gustatory Athlete. Just think — it could be you.

So, DCPLivers, what’s the most unusual job you’ve ever had?