Today, folks, we’re talking about the art of the ever-present Side Hustle. What is it, what are the most popular choices and what will this mean for the future of work? The Side Hustle, part-time job, or financially viable hobby, whatever you want to call it, became part of the fabric of our lives long before COVID-19. No doubt you’ve heard people talk about it, seen people brag about it on Instagram, hell, you probably have one yourself. Yes, it seems that all over the world people are filling their “down time” with something a little more lucrative than watching Netflix and making some sweet coin in the process.
But what is a side hustle?
The humble history of the word side hustle came about in the 1950s in America when it first began to appear in newspapers. However, back then, it had the more unsavoury meaning of a scam or a swindle. Nowadays, the word and the act itself has become embedded in the language of the modern-day person’s life and has taken off in the internet age.
It is defined as being “a side business that a person performs in addition to his/her full-time job that generates additional income”. That’s just fancy talk for a hobby that you do when you’re not working that also adds to your bank balance. In an age of TikTok, lockdowns, influencers, and the rising cost of living, the side hustle has never been more important. In fact, today 25% of people in the UK and 45% of Americans claim to have a side hustle, with Ireland coming in at just 13%, showing not only its popularity but growing necessity.
Top Side Hustles today – easiest and most profitable
With this in mind, you’re probably wondering how best to go about choosing a side hustle of your own. Not to point out the obvious, but it would be wise to choose something that you are already passionate about, no matter how niche. Remember, with a side hustle there are no rules as to what is acceptable or not, if it works for you then do it! But, if you’re still a little stuck and don’t know where to start, then keep reading.
For the writers and tech savvy – Freelance writing is a goldmine if you are looking for work that you can do from the comfort of your couch. With sites like fiverr and Upwork, job offers can range from writing product descriptions for Amazon to captioning Instagram posts for influencers. The online world of writing really is your oyster and the best part is that you don’t have to have a degree in English to do it! Simply pitch a proposal and away you go. There are more writing jobs online than you can shake a stick at, so, if you don’t get the first one, simply apply for the next. These sites also work for graphic designer enthusiasts and illustrators, so no need to worry if writing is not your passion.
For the teachers and linguists – For those with language skills or even if you are just passionate about something niche, online tutoring can be a real winner. Helping someone practice their French pronunciation on iTalki or even just teaching someone the basics of their ABCs through an online tutoring service, can help put cash in your pocket and you’ve taught someone a valuable lesson, bonus! This is particularly great for expats who want to make a little extra cash in a foreign country as native-level fluency in a language will also be in demand.
For the active hustlers and influencers – Whoever said “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” clearly underestimated the determination of the 21st century influencer. Nowadays, it’s all about sponsorship deals and brand ambassadors, so, if you fancy yourself as a bit of a fitness fanatic, then jump on that bandwagon. Lockdown has paved the way for home workouts, so there has never been a better time to monetise that action, and it helps you stay fit and healthy which is always a plus. Now, before you start sharing your deadlift form on TikTok, invest in an online Personal trainer certificate and away you go.
On the other hand, if jump squats aren’t your thing but you still want to get out of the house, becoming a delivery driver is a great choice for a side hustle. After all, the world may be on lockdown but someone still has to deliver those Amazon packages to the door, don’t they? So, why not pick up some extra spending money and work for Uber Eats or simply type “delivery jobs near me” into the search bar and see what pops up. You’ll thank me later.
For the creatives – For those of you who cannot face the idea of another Zoom call, there is also the chance to make money through online social media management and crafts. All over Instagram and Facebook there are people regularly starting up cottage industries of baking, knitting, creating decorations, or offering hair and beauty services. You can also sell your artwork or handmade jewellery on Etsy, if that’s your thing. The point is it’s a chance to make easy money doing something that you love.
Finally, as our last piece of advice regarding the Side Hustle: if you’re not creative, you can still pick up good money as the supplier to the creative people. Look on Etsy today and you will no doubt see hundreds, if not thousands, of suppliers; you know, the people selling the cake tins to the home bakers and the cards to the stationary queens. A side hustle can be any cog in the machine, not just the final product.
The future of the Side Hustle
With all of this advice, it is wise to wonder what the future of the Side Hustle will look like. As someone, somewhere, once said, we are living in a “gig economy” which means that freelance work, which is essentially what most side hustles are, is becoming more popular. Time is moving fast but the internet moves faster and Covid has ensured that online work is here to stay. Therefore, it seems like the side hustle is a safe bet. It also gives you a chance to pursue that career that you always felt was too financially risky or wouldn’t work whilst safe in the knowledge that you have a steady 9-5 job to pay the rent. Side Hustles are the epitome of flexibility and allow people to take back control of their lives and fit things around what they deem most important.
So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start hustling!