July 28, 2019

Alyssa Tufts

Here’s how to pick up a lucrative side hustle

Wouldn’t it be nice to book that vacation, be able to pay off debts, buy a house or invest the money for a more secure future? If you pick up a side hustle, you can make steady progress in reaching those kinds of goals by earning additional income.

A second job, usually a part-time or temporary position, otherwise known as a side hustle, is growing in popularity. Summer can be a more popular time of year for side hustles due to factors such as school, less busy work environments for some industries or a change in main job responsibilities or commitments.

Jennifer Ward, Arizona president of the Employers Council says if a working professional is completing a degree at the same time or at night, they could look to fill some of those hours with a job to make additional money while in school or a full-time student could obtain a temporary or part-time position before school begins again.

Jennifer Ward is the Arizona president of the Employers Council.

According to CNBC, 45 percent of Americans have side hustles which earn them an extra $1,122 per month on average, and 40 percent of millennials say they earn more than half their income from side gigs. Whether the extra income is going towards living expenses, paying off student loans, credit card debt or a vacation, side hustles are a lucrative way to supplement your main income.

Ward says some of the most popular side hustles include on-demand gig economy positions such as Lyft, Uber, DoorDash and childcare opportunities like babysitting or working at day camps for kids are more abundant in the summer because kids are out of school. Per the best side hustles in America based on a survey by GOBankingRates, Lyft or Uber drivers, a tutor, repair worker, freelancing and brand ambassadors are among the highest paying side hustles.

One of the most important things to consider when looking for a side hustle? Your main commitment.

“You have to work around whatever your main focus is, whether it’s work or school,” Ward says, in addition to what kind of position you’re looking for in what industry, scheduling, commuting to an office or a remote position and other commitments. “If you’re looking to add some additional money in your pocket, I think there are two possibilities: you’re either trading your time for money or you’re trading your expertise for money.”

If you aren’t sure where to start, Ward suggests a side hustle that involves doing something you’re passionate about and finding a way to monetize it.

For example, “If you love to knit, can you teach somebody to knit? Could you sell your knitted products on Etsy? I think those end up being the most fulfilling side hustles for someone because they are spending their time doing something they love, and hopefully can figure out how to get paid for it.”

When seeking out potential side hustle opportunities, Ward recommends reaching out to temp agencies who can help you find an opportunity or apply for an open one. Job boards and social networking sites can also be options to see what types of positions are available.

“I think the Internet is such a powerful tool and Googling around in your area of interest, posting on message boards, posting on Facebook groups and seeing in your particular industry, or in your niche, what the options are and what other people are doing,” Ward says. “Are there successful side hustles that people are talking about on the internet that maybe you can replicate?”

While job boards, social media, and temp agencies are all great options, networking with current colleagues and speaking with friends and family can also be a way to learn about other fields and explore if they could be a good fit.

“If you are not sure what direction you might want to take your life or if you are asking most people, ‘What do you do for a living?’ kind of thing, maybe you’ll learn about some interesting jobs that you weren’t aware even existed,” Ward says.

In addition to making more money, some benefits from taking on a side gig include exploring a new career field or opportunity that’s outside your comfort zone Ward says.

“I think challenging yourself at something that you don’t do every day can give you a boost of self-confidence and open your perspective and horizons to things that you may not have even realized that you were good at or like doing,” Ward says.

Although taking on another position can come with challenges including scheduling and time management, it can also be fulfilling.

“At the end of the day, you have to figure out what you want your life to look like and what your goals and reasons for doing it are. I think everybody has slightly different reasons,” Ward says.

“If you are able to focus on something you’re excited about and get paid for it, it’s very exciting. I think if the side hustle helps you get closer to your personal goals, whether that’s professional or financial and is helping you move towards the life you want to live, that’s the reward.”