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How to pick the right side hustle

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A notebook with the word "Side Hustle" written in it.

Everywhere we look nowadays it feels that there are options for the ‘side-hustle’ – the supplemental source of income that helps cushion the monthly budget. Having many choices, coupled with the stress of budgetary restrictions, it can feel overwhelming. Here are a couple tips for navigating the second-job market:

  1. Determine what you need from the job financially. 
    If the purpose of the second job is to generate extra income, you want to make sure you’re looking for jobs that meet the income need. Similarly, if funds in the budget are a little strained, avoid work that requires an upfront cash investment, like beauty supply sales. You can always get into this type of work down the road, once you’ve had a chance to plan and save for the initial costs to start up.
  2. Decide what you need to get from the position. 
    Are you interested in expanding your skillset in one particular area, or are really just in need of some extra cash? How long are you wanting to keep this secondary source of income? Answering these questions up front will help you identify the right type of job to look for. For example, if you are just in need of some extra income and don’t want to do this longer-term, maybe finding seasonal work would fit the need. But let’s say you are in a tech-savvy industry and want to continue working on typing skills, maybe a part time job as a transcriber would be helpful.
  3. Look for options that fit comfortably in your schedule. 
    Do you have significant scheduling limitations, or a lot of flexibility? How many hours a week do you expect to work? If you have a lot of schedule flexibility, finding a job that has a structured schedule would be no problem, such as online teaching or working part-time in a retail location. However, if you have significant schedule limitations, maybe looking for something with a little more flexibility would be helpful, like driving for Lyft or Amazon Prime Now.
  4. Take a job that is in-line with what you like to do.
    Stress surely will increase if extra time is committed to something we don’t enjoy doing. Make a list of some skills you possess that are marketable, then activities that you find fulfilling. If you hate busy traffic, being a delivery driver may not be the best option, for example. On the other hand, maybe there’s a cause you support; there’s a chance to see if groups involved in this type of work are hiring for part time administrative work.

All in all, finding a supplemental source of income can definitely help relieve stress and help your family achieve financial goals. It shouldn’t, however, be an extra source of stress with little benefit. By using these tips, you can find a supplemental source of income that is rewarding and engaging.