Times are hard, but making extra money doesn’t always have to be. More people are turning to side jobs to keep the bills paid during the pandemic.
If you have the time, there’s a wealth of opportunities out there to earn extra income—whether online, in your community, or within your own network.
Here are some of our tips to help you find that side hustle and get started.
Identify what you’re good at
If you can’t answer this question yet, think again! There might be some things you do every day that might seem simple to you, but might actually be challenging for others.
Are there things your friends or colleagues usually consult with you about? For example, do they ask you to check and leave feedback on their writing? Do you maintain a blog? You might want to try writing content for online publications.
Do they ask you for cooking tips? You might want to start a small food delivery business. Do you like to draw or create digital graphics? Someone’s bound to need help with that for their own business.
Does your boss always ask you to take charge of doing the slides fo the client presentation? Many employers are outsourcing the production of these decks to third parties. Do you work fast, and are you good at organizing? Working as a virtual assistant might be the job for you.
Network and market your talents
While looking for opportunities on freelancer platforms like Upwork is pretty easy, actually getting your foot in the door may be harder than you think, as these listings are accessible by millions, and you might be competing with at least a dozen others for the spot.
How do you increase your chances of finding your new source of income, then? Let’s take a step back and see what you can do with the resources you have: your own friends on social media. It’s time to put yourself out there and network!
Networking doesn’t have to mean handing out your business cards or sending a bunch of cold emails to complete strangers.
It can be as simple as sharing your passions on social media to show what you’re good at doing. Post great pictures of your baking, share some of your writing, show artfully taken photos. Your friends and acquaintances will take notice, and they could keep you in mind should they need the kinds of services you offer.
Decide what you can commit to
Once you’ve decided what you want to do, you also have to consider what kind of schedule or routine you can hold down once you start working. You wouldn’t want to stretch yourself too thinly!
If you already have a full-time job, or if you have many obligations at home, you might benefit from something that can be done with flexibility, such as freelance writing, or graphic design. If you’ve decided that you want to sell baked goods, for example, you might want to identify which hours and/or days you’ll be spending in the kitchen, whether you’ll need an extra hand, and how much time and money you’ll also need to take care of shopping for ingredients, packaging, and logistics.
Be kind to yourself
Once you’ve found that side gig, you might find yourself a little challenged in terms of balancing your schedule or fitting into the job. That’s okay! If it doesn’t seem right for you, you always have the option to move on to another opportunity. Don’t force yourself to stick to a job that you’ll only end up hating.
Try out different side gigs for size, and you might eventually find something you can stick to for the long haul.
With enough patience and dedication, you should be able to find yourself the perfect side job to supplement your regular paycheck. Good luck with the job hunt!