I’m not sure you have lived if you haven’t had a side hustle. A side hustle is a part time job, or maybe business, that generally has nothing to do with your full time job and provides some extra cash. How To Figure Out The Right Side Hustle can be the difference between a side hustle you love and one you loathe!
I have had many side hustles in my life. Most people who meet me would never believe I pierced ears and sold scrunchies at Claire’s to pay for my backpacking trip through Europe after college. During the day I ran a training department at a local bank.
I hostessed in an Italian restaurant with singing wait staff. During the day I was a receptionist at an investment firm.
At night I taught voice and piano lessons at a local studio while going to grad school. During the day I was an office manager for a disaster restoration construction company.
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Think about something you have always wanted to do—work in a flower shop, learn how to tend bar, spend more time with animals, or even getting a job outside after you sit at a desk all day long. Whatever it is, pursue it if you have the time and inclination.
Here is my advice on How To Figure Out The Right Side Hustle:
Pick a job or people you like. I didn’t work at Claire’s because I liked scrunchies. I had a friend who worked there I enjoyed being around. I took the job to work with her and the other people she liked working with. We had a blast! If you like animals, maybe try to find some dog sitting clients. If you like craft beer, find a brewery looking for a bartender. If you play piano, take on a few students. The world is your oyster.
Make sure the pay is worth the time. Since my part-time job was with a big company, it paid a decent amount per hour, plus we had some quarterly bonus opportunities. So I didn’t mind the time and energy I put into it. If the job has a ton of expenses or requires lots of travel without reimbursement, it might not be worth your time for the money it pays. Be sure to calculate all the costs compared to the pay and make the best use of your time.
Find something with flexible hours. If you have a regular 40 hour a week job that pays the bills and provides the health insurance, your side hustle cannot get in the way. So be sure you find something with a schedule that works for you.
If you really think you like a job, look long term. I wasn’t looking to create a career at Claire’s, but my bartender friends who work at breweries are often trying to move from front of house to back of house. Use a part-time job to break into the field you want and search for opportunities to move to full-time.
Laura M. Oliver is the author of Singles: Take Control of Your Own Financial Journey. It is available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon.