Side hustles can be a great way to make extra money, gain new skills, and explore different career paths. Whether you’re looking for something part-time or full-time, there are plenty of options out there. Here’s a guide to help you get started:
Identify your interests & skills
Before you decide what to pursue, it’s important to evaluate which of your interests and skills could translate into a side hustle. Think about activities that come easily to you and things that bring joy—then use these insights when considering potential side jobs. Consider whether there’s an industry you want to pivot to and whether having some related work in your portfolio could give you an edge.
Figure out what you want to offer
After identifying your interests and skills, figure out what kind of service or expertise you can offer. Consider what makes you valuable to potential customers—whether that is your experience level, certifications, educational background, or something else.
Decide how to differentiate yourself
Once you know what product or service you want to offer, brainstorm ways to make yourself stand out from the competition. Consider how you can differentiate yourself—whether that’s through creating a niche product or specializing in a certain skill set.
Create your online presence
Now that you’ve solidified what you want to do and how to position your product or service, it’s time to create an online presence to attract potential customers. Think about building a personal website, which can include your résumé, portfolio samples, and contact information. Investigate whether social media is an important component for what you’re offering and join industry-specific platforms where relevant.
Start drumming up business
After you’ve set up your portfolio, it’s time to start looking for clients. Use resources like online job boards or call up employers directly to inquire about projects. You may also want to look into freelancing platforms that match you with employers looking for temporary workers or freelancers.
Networking can be a great way to find projects, build relationships with potential clients, and get to know people who might be able to offer referrals. You can network by attending events relevant to your industry or joining online groups related to what you offer.
Clear goals can help you stay on track as you build your business. It’s important that these goals are realistic and achievable—being able to hit benchmarks and measure progress can keep you motivated. Whether it’s increasing your income by a certain amount each month or learning something that makes you more competitive, having realistic goals can help you stay focused.
This is also a good time to consider what you want your eventual volume of work to be. Do you just want to do a few hours of work every week? Do you want to be self-employed full-time or pivot to another industry and eventually land a full-time job? Consider what each choice might look like in the long run. For example, what would it be like working full-time in this industry? Would it be something you enjoy? Consider the practical aspects as well. If you decide to become a full-time freelancer, you’ll lose your employer’s benefits, including health insurance, dental coverage, vision, and life insurance (though, this doesn’t affect your individual whole life insurance or other type of individual life insurance policy). Consider each scenario and decide what you want to achieve.