Laryssa Wirstiuk was looking for a job -- any job -- that would allow her to use her writing skills.
Wirstiuk's open-mindedness finally paid off when she landed a part-time job as a marketing assistant for a small agency in northern New Jersey. She commutes three days a week to the office, where she writes content for clients' Web sites, analyzes search rankings and serves as the resident social-media expert.
"I made sure to show off my writing skills in the interview," Wirstiuk said. "I think everyone is looking for those communication skills, especially when you can show you're on the cutting edge of new media."
Wirstiuk hopes the position will eventually transition into a full-time job, but in the meantime she says she's developing her own "brand." That includes running an online magazine called Too Shy to Stop (www.tooshytostop.com) and a personal blog, Comma 'n Sentence (http://www.commansentence.com). She stopped working as a personal trainer, which she had been doing over the summer.
Even as a part-timer, working collaboratively in an office has broadened Wirstiuk's worldview, she said: "I have a better handle on the big picture now. It's about my place in the larger world, not just me in my little cubicle."
NEXT: Jared Garfield - Self-employed