It is great to have a job which pays extremely well; one can afford to live a comfortable life laced with some luxuries or simply a life without debt. On the other hand one could be underpaid and struggle not to borrow all the time. With the current unstable economic conditions and high cost of living, you would be treading on precarious grounds if you quit your job just because your pay is not enough. People always need extra money for various reasons, for spending, for savings, for investments and the like. Even if you are well paid sometimes you need to make some extra cash to help you save more towards a cushy retirement.
Once you start growing older, your responsibilities automatically increase. Let’s picture this; a 23 year old graduate lands a great job and is paid well; he will certainly be comfortable because more often than not, he has no one else to cater for. He will think mostly about himself, his needs and his wants. In some five or six years he will be thinking about marriage. He now has to think about his future children even before they are born. There is also the marriage ceremony to think about and this will definitely drain a chunk out of his savings unless he gets some level of support from others. When he officially becomes a married man, he will have to give his wife money for food on a daily, weekly or monthly basis depending on what suits him. He will probably think of building a house. He will start thinking of enrolling his children in the best schools, and then he will realize he might need a little help if he intends to go through with all these plans.
This is where the side job comes in. This side job, or side hustle as some prefer to call it, is simply a secondary occupation, a job one can do in addition to his main job. This side job however could also be one’s main job. The huge advantage associated with the side job is that you choose to do what suits you. You can choose to turn a hobby such as cooking or baking into an actual business. Probably you have the gift of gab, you are skilled in the art of persuading someone to buy something, and so you will delve in something that has to do with marketing products. Another advantage of this side job is that you are not restrained by retirement factors. Most of the time you are your own boss and it helps you learn a thing or two about leadership.
A disadvantage would be that if you do not prioritize well, you might end up using working hours meant for your primary occupation for your secondary occupation. Perhaps the biggest advantage associated with the side hustle is that you could make much more money than your primary occupation. Sometimes people end up quitting their main job in order to focus on their side hustles. Nevertheless make sure whichever side hustle you decide on you work as hard as you can. Not only will it supplement the money you get from your main job, it will also help reduce the rate at which you take loans or borrow money from people.
There are many different side jobs. Probably the commonest is catering. If you love to cook or bake, this could be your ideal side job. Instead of generally cooking stuff, you could decide to specialize in one aspect of cooking. Let’s say you can whip up delicious cupcakes or mini cakes. You could decide to do only this, and sell it to kids for their various birthday parties and the likes. With this option, you need to perfect your baking skills and also learn how to decorate these cupcakes. Since most parties are hosted on weekends, the timing would be sublime for you. If it is sandwiches you’re good at, you can also perfect your sandwich skills and probably send it to work in the mornings and sell it to your colleagues. You could use this opportunity to learn new recipes and new attractive ways of packaging. Since you come into direct contact with your customers you need to learn how to relate with them. Pay attention to them, and pay attention to details. Surprise your clients at times. Make sure you stand out, because you’re probably not the only baker around, but you can be the baker they love!
Other side jobs include buying and reselling items: You could buy something, add value to it, and then resell it. You could also specialize in wedding souvenirs (favours). Instead of just selling them you could have someone customize them for the couple who need it. It is easier than the couple buying from you and then taking it to someone else to have them customized. That way you get paid for two services.
If you have exceptional writing skills too you could think about Freelance writing or Proofreading and editing people’s work. You could also open a cleaning service for businesses; organize cleaners to clean people’s homes. Another great side job is to sell smoothies. For starters you could package the smoothies in plastic cups or bottles for them. You could sell snacks, you could create custom clothing: you can buy plain clothes, for example, plain ones for babies and have them customized for their birthdays or other celebrations. If you think you are really good in cooking you could find a family to cook for them on weekends, and charge them for it.
The possibilities are endless; you have to find what works for you and start accordingly. One caution is not to think about some huge profit the moment you start with your side job. People might need some time to warm up to the services you’re providing, especially if it is a new idea or if it is foreign to them. Do not commit too much money if you are testing how customers will respond to your services. Plan; think through it and test it before you commit a lot of money to the job. Of course some side jobs might not even need money to start up, you just need customers. You would therefore have to work hard to please the first customers you get, because referrals and word of mouth advertisements can work wonders.
Never think you’re too young to consider a side job. It might be the one you’ll depend on in your sixties and seventies. Make sure it is something you enjoy, such that even after a day’s work, you will be brimming with ideas on how to better your side hustle. All the best and never give up on what could be your lifelong money maker.
Author : Akua Serwaa Amankwah