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If you’re like many Americans, you might be underemployed or working fewer hours than you’d like. You’ve been affected by a layoff, or you can’t find the full-time work you need to make ends meet. Whatever the reason, if you’re looking for ways to bring in some extra money, you’re not alone.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options for making extra money, even if you’re not currently employed full-time. From starting a side gig to finding marketable talents you were unaware of, there are many ways to make extra money and get your financial life back on track. The Wealthy Boomers has provided some tips for getting started:
Exploring Side Gigs
One of the best ways to make extra money is to start a side gig. With a side gig, you can work as much or as little as you want, and you can often do it on your own schedule. If you have a creative talent or skill that others would be willing to pay for, that’s a wonderful place to start.
For example, if you’re a talented artist, you could start selling your artwork online or at local craft fairs. Or, if you’re good with computers, you could offer your services as a freelance web designer or developer.
There are also many “gig economy” apps and websites that make it easy to get started with a side gig. For example, Uber and Lyft both allow people with qualifying vehicles to sign up and start driving passengers around town. Or, if you have a knack for repair person work, TaskRabbit lets you find local clients who need help with odd jobs and errands. And if you love animals but don’t want the hassle of owning your own pet, Rover lets you sign up to be a dog walker or dog sitter in your area.
Here are some other side gig ideas to consider:
- Rent out a room in your house on Airbnb.
- Offer pet-sitting services through Rover or another pet-sitting service.
- Do odd jobs for people in your community through TaskRabbit or Craigslist.
- Offer your services as a personal assistant through sites like Zirtual or Fancy Hands.
- Provide professional home cleaning services through companies like Homejoy or Springsteeps.
- Be a personal shopper through companies like Instacart or Shipt.
The challenge is not that there’s a lack of side gig opportunities but that you must find one that fits your knowledge and skill set. That said, you might be surprised at how quickly you can settle on an idea once you do a bit of self-evaluation.
Returning to School for a Degree
If finding a new job is what you’re after, then returning to school for a degree might be the best option for you. Although going back to school can be costly upfront, it can pay off overall by giving you the skills and knowledge necessary to land a high-paying job in your field of choice. And with so many colleges and universities offering flexible online programs, it’s easier than ever to start your educational journey—even if you’re currently working full-time.
One way to make yourself more marketable in the job market is to choose a program that offers industry certification exams. Earning a certification in a specific field shows potential employers that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to do the job well. Plus, certification exams are often difficult and require a lot of studying and preparation, so earning one demonstrates your dedication and commitment to your career.
Say, for instance, that you’re interested in an IT career. Getting both a degree and a CompTIA certification can help you lay a solid foundation for top-notch opportunities.
Finding Marketable Talents, You Were Unaware Of
In addition to starting a side gig, another great way to make extra money is to discover hidden talents or skills that can serve you in the job market.
For example, you’ve always been good at writing but never considered it as a potential source of income. Well, good news—there are plenty of opportunities for writers! Whether it’s writing blog posts or articles for online publications, someone always needs useful content, and they’re usually willing to pay for it. So if writing is something that interests you, consider it to make some extra cash.
Other marketable talents include:
- Designing websites or logos
- Doing customer service
- Editing and proofreading
- Doing data entry
- Transcribing audio or video files
- Providing administrative support
- Managing social media accounts
- Teaching English to students online
The possibilities are endless, so take some time to think about what you’re good at and how you could use those talents to make some extra money. You might be surprised at how many opportunities are out there!
Building Your Brand
Whether you decide to start a side gig or get another job, you’ll need to establish a professional brand for yourself to attract clients/employers. Here are seven strategies for building a formidable reputation and getting the word out about your skills:
- Have a strong resume that displays your skills and experience.
- Make a website that reflects your personal brand and includes samples of your work.
- Use social media to connect with other professionals and promote your work.
- Attend industry events and network with other professionals.
- Get involved in professional organizations related to your field.
- Stay up to date on the latest trends and news in your industry.
- Be active on forums, discussion boards, and Q&A sites related to your field.
Tips for Saving Money and Adjusting Your Budget
No matter what route you decide to take to make extra money when underemployed, some general tips can help stretch your budget further and make ends meet until things start looking up financially. One of the best things you can do is take inventory of what bills and expenses are essential—such as rent/mortgage payments, groceries, utility bills—and which ones can be put on hold for now (like subscriptions, memberships, etc.).
Lastly, try cutting costs where possible by downsizing your living situation or eliminating unnecessary expenses altogether. By following these tips and taking advantage of the resources available to you, making ends meet during tough financial times will hopefully be just a little bit easier.
Making extra money when you’re underemployed can be a challenge, but it’s possible. There are many things you can do to bring in some extra cash, including looking for side gigs, going back to school, discovering hidden talents, and managing your finances. We hope the tips in this article have given you some ideas on how you can make more money while you’re working towards finding a full-time job.
If you enjoyed this article, you can find more helpful content on TheWealthyBoomers.com!