5 Ways To Earn Extra Money With A Side Job


If you are a recent college graduate you’ve probably already realized that for many people it’s almost impossible to earn living wages off of one job alone. Even if you’ve been working for years, you might find that it’s becoming increasingly harder to make ends meet with just one salary. If you find yourself in this boat in might be time to think about taking up a side job. Working more than one job can seem overwhelming and even kind of scary. After all, the “American Dream” only ever involved one great career in order to buy that beautiful house with a picket fence; nobody ever said anything about several jobs as part of the master plan. Alas, the times have changed and it’s becoming more and more common to work more than on gig at a time.

Working more than one job isn’t so scary and not only is it becoming more common, it’s also becoming easier with technological advances. There’s never been a better time than 2014 to get a second job and start bringing in more money to your household–here’s how to get started!

1. Figure out your talents, and pursue them!

When choosing your second job it’s important that you’re doing something that you enjoy and that you’re good at so that you’re reducing the added stress of working more than one job. Do you like writing? Consider work as a freelance journalist or writing for companies in need of writers for their websites or instruction manuals. Do you love crafting? Start making goods and make a page for yourself on Etsy.com. The most important thing is to get the ball rolling and to get involved in the right communities. Be open to taking opportunities that are presented to you, even if they are not doing the exact work that you’d like to be involved in. The more work you put into networking the more payoff you’ll see later down the road.

2. Don’t spend too much

It’s common networking advice that if you spend more you’ll make more, but this isn’t great advice when it comes to starting a second job with your free time because there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll make some mistakes, overestimate your time commitments, or even change what you’re doing. Don’t throw away a lot of money on classes if you’re not positive that you’ll see payoff from the extra education. Your second job is not meant to replace your first job, just supplement it.  It’s also not a great idea to throw too much money away on marketing or advertising your work before you have a decent client base in line.

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Once you know that your work or your product is well received by other people it’s time to start putting a little money here and there to get your name out. This can be done through advertisements, more expensive materials, paying your child to do some social media work for you, etc. Just keep things low-stress and low-budget at the beginning so that you don’t find yourself broke. The point is to make money, after all!

3. Remember that any progress is still progress

Starting out you may notice that you’re not bringing in a hugely significant income. It’s important to not let this get you down and keep on moving forward. If you’re having a hard time because the money that you’re bringing in isn’t a whole lot right off the bat, remember that this second job is only supplemental to your main career. Any extra money that you are bringing in with this second job is still more money than you would have had otherwise!

At least when you’re first getting started don’t stress too much about how much extra dough you have at the end of the month. However, if you’re several months in and feel like you’re putting in way more effort than your earnings are worth, it might be worth looking into something new because this project just might not be working out.

4. Don’t let your second job get in the way

Particularly if you’re doing something with your second job that is far more fun than your full-time job you may find yourself getting a little bit carried away. If you’re dedicating too much time to your second job in a way that is taking away from your first you’ll have to start cutting back. If you are putting so much effort into your new gig that its putting your main job–and more importantly your main source of income– at risk it’s definitely time to take a step back. At least starting out you probably won’t be able to live off of this second gig, and you won’t want to risk giving up your main source of income by getting yourself fired!

5. Sell yourself

Unlike working for a company that already has a strategic marketing team in place, you’re definitely going to be on your own when it comes to selling your product or skills as useful and worth investing in (see #2’s suggestion not to spend too much). You’re not only going to have to be your own production team, but you’ll also have to get the word out about the new work that you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to start small with your friends, family, and Facebook friends. Let them know what you’re doing and ask them to tell their friends! Before you know it your work will take off and promoting yourself won’t be nearly as big of an issue anymore. In the meantime, rely on the networks that you already have!

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