With the national unemployment rate higher than 9 percent for the first time in decades, many baby boomers are being forced to find alternate ways to bide their time between jobs.

Here's a crash course in four ways you can step outside of your box in this difficult job market.

Start a "Slash Career"

Do people always praise your cooking? Are you really good with animals? If you're restless in your corporate America job but can't afford to give up that paycheck, now just might be the time to take up that passion and create a side job for yourself.

Marci Alboher is the author of One Person/Multiple Careers and writes the blog, "Working the New Economy" on Yahoo! She's an expert on "slash careers," which means having multiple jobs in different fields.

"This is a way to survive these rocky economic times," Alboher says. "I also think it fits in with people's desire to not be confined by narrow labels and [finally] admit that … we all have varied interests and varied talents and we [should] be able to pursue them, not just as a hobby."

If you're interested in starting a slash career, Alboher says to find ways to experiment with your passions and see if you could create a career out of them.

Deborah Rivera was profiled in Alboher's book as a slash careerist who runs an executive head-hunting business by day and owns and operates a hotel and bistro by night.

This businesswoman was able to blend her love for hospitality with her desire to get people back into the job market, and although she works at least 60 hours a week at her two careers, she says it's all worth it because she is able to do two things she loves.

Open a franchise


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