By Guest Blogger Lauren Warren
“Side hustles” are all the rage now. Between COVID, the slow down in the economy, and our consumer culture, we all could use some extra cash. And that is where the side gig comes in. But, what exactly is a side hustle? And, are they as lucrative as people on Instagram and Facebook lead you to believe?
Definitions of a side hustle vary widely, but the most common one seems to be “a part-time income in addition to your full-time income.” A side hustle is a job that you control, and you work when you want to. Most side hustlers are self-employed or contract workers. And the jobs can vary widely, from teaching to delivering food and products.
Here are some examples of jobs that you can do with little to no direct contact with other people. Keeping it safe during COVID and making money? That’s a win!
Online teaching is my current side gig. I teach for VIPKid, a Chinese company that hires native English speakers to teach students in China. And surprisingly, I like it a lot more than I thought I would. I especially like the hours. Because of the 12 hour time difference, I teach before my kids wake up. And then I am free to spend all day with them. My initial goal was to make $1,000.00 a month, and I was able to do that in my second month of teaching. The best part? You do not need any formal teaching experience. I don’t have any. I was able to use my time as a mother of two towards “teaching experience.” Several companies follow this same model and hire teachers in the United States. It is worth checking out if you do not mind the hours.
Another online teaching group I am fascinated by is Outschool. This is “…the largest marketplace of live online classes for kids. We connect learners, parents, and teachers to create interest-based, small-group learning experiences that take place over video chat.” I learned about Outschool through my online teaching adventures. The classes are something to marvel at. I know they are for kids, however, I want to try some of them myself! They vary from Smash Brothers and Harry Potter classes to courses that teach students how to invest in the stock market and build robots. I mean, anything you can think of seems to be on this platform. And teachers love it! I gather it pays incredibly well if you find your niche. However, it is highly competitive, and based on what I have read, the application process can be pretty tough. But, if you have the expertise, even if it is in creative pet grooming, I am sure there is a student for you!
There are tons of online teaching and tutoring jobs that seem legit and worthwhile. If you are interested in this, start with YouTube and watch some videos on these different platforms. I have found that many of these videos give you some pretty accurate information and can get you started in the side hustle that would be right for you.
Another side hustle that I have been curious about is the resale market. I have seen many Instagram influencers boast about the thousands of dollars they have made finding expensive clothing at thrift stores and then reselling it for a profit online. They show pictures of their Louis Vuitton clutches and Christian Louboutin shoes that they have found at Goodwill. (Insert eye roll here.) However, I do think there is some money to be made here if you have the patience to deal with online selling. I recently sat down and talked with a friend, Casie Mapes, about her experience selling on Poshmark. She has an excellent eye for fashion and has had a lot of luck selling the items she no longer uses on Poshmark. Casie showed me how the app works, and it seems pretty straight forward. You need to go over your items to check for flaws and be honest about your item’s condition. Items that are new with tags sell the best. Even if you do not have time to scour the local second-hand store, a good clean out of your closet (and your husband’s when he is not paying attention) might yield a surprising amount of cash.
Are you good with graphics? Are you spending extensive time designing and creating teaching tools to help your kids with virtual learning? Then why not sell them! There are some excellent resources on TeachersPayTeachers and Etsy for online and homeschool teaching. I have used some for my kids. If you are already putting the time into making teaching tools, why not make some money off your hard work? A lot of the VIPKid teachers I work with sell teaching tools on both of these platforms. They are creative, cute, and fit perfectly with the units we are expected to teach. This is an excellent and straightforward way to earn some extra cash by selling something you have already created.
Freelancing is becoming ever more popular, thanks to sites like UpWork. The basic concept works something like this: upload your resume, build a profile, bid on jobs. The jobs can be in all sorts of categories, from legal work to freelance writing. You get paid by the gig. This general concept appeals to me. I like the idea of being able to pick and choose jobs and work my own schedule. I plan to put some more energy into freelance writing this year and plan to start on a website like UpWork. I have done some reading on it, and it is undoubtedly a competitive market that will require some upfront work. If you have experience in a professional field, this is an option for you and a way to make some extra cash.
I would love to hear about your current side hustles! My best suggestion? I would find something that you love and run with it. I never thought I would enjoy teaching so much, and I am not a morning person, but waking up at 4:30 every morning is a lot more tolerable because I enjoy seeing my students.
Best of luck and may the side hustle be forever in your favor!
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