Between ridesharing gigs, delivery driving gigs, work at home jobs, and all of the various things available it can seem a bit overwhelming when you are trying to come up with ways to earn extra income.
Thus I’ve come up with some strategies to help you sift through the gigs and determine what is going to be right for you! First you’ll need to identify your three “S” words- your strengths, your skills, and your spark!
What are Your Strengths?
Think of these as your “soft-skills” or the things that you might not necessarily be able to major in with a college degree, but come in handy in the job market. Are you a great communicator? Are you a creative person? Do you work well with children? These are some examples of your strengths as they pertain to your potential side gigs.
It’s always important to consider that just because a certain side gig might be available, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be the right one for you to choose. For example, everyone has heard about ridesharing apps, but if navigation (or driving!) isn’t one of your strengths then you should probably think about doing something else.
The thing about a side gig is you have a little more flexibility to break away from it as opposed to your regular full-time job. Thus, you can be a bit more selective when it comes to finding something you will truly excel at. So use this an opportunity to find something that really plays well to your strengths.
What are Your Skills?
There are many areas of technical expertise that can be profitable if you turn them into side gigs. Are you bilingual? Do you know how to code software? Have you had a specific training or certification that is in demand? All of these specific skills can be utilized towards making additional income.
You might even consider taking up a new skill or hobby in order to find a new way to make money. Check with your local community college to see what continuing education classes are offered or consider enrolling in an online training on websites like Udemy, CreativeLive, or Skillshare.
Of course, you will need to put some money down if you are looking to take a class and learn a new skill, so consider this as more of a long-term investment.
What is Your Spark?
Here’s the fun part- think of something that makes your eyes light up when you talk about it. What is an interest or hobby that you spend time on whether you are making money or not? A piece of advice I once heard was to look at how you spend your free time, and whatever you spend the most time doing find a way to monetize that.
For me, I’ve always spent lots of time on the computer. The internet sucks up a lot of my free time, so it would make sense for me to find ways to make money online like blogging. I also have always been a more creative person, so a creative gig that involves things like writing and graphic design is perfect for me.
The great thing about a side gig is that you can take a break from the typical grind of a 9-5 job to do something that you actually want to spend time on. And, if the stars align just right, over time you can possibly make a full-time career out of it.
Where to Look?
Of course, there are lots of great resources on the internet if you are looking for side gigs. There’s a whole bunch of blogs out there (including, but not limited to, thriftysquad.com) that regularly list information on available side gigs.
You can also check out job boards and websites like Craigslist for available gigs, in addition to websites for temp agencies that sometimes post gigs as well. For paid research studies, you can always check with local colleges and universities.
Since many of the gigs that have come about over the last several years have come as a result of the app economy, another option is to just search for a specific skill on Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store. Searching for things like “dog sitting,” “vocal lessons,” or “IT help” will pull up apps that are likely fueled by a fleet of on-demand, independent contractors.
These might not be the words you might you think of when you hear “s” word (get your head out of the gutter!) but they should help you identity some ways to earn income in a way that best utilizes your time and talents.
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