Many people don’t like their corporate jobs and want to do something for themselves. Many other people complain that they are being underpaid for the amount of work they do. Joining another big corporate is an option, but it may not solve the underlying issues. The work may still be boring and you still may be underpaid. There is a stop-gap measure to this problem and that is the side-gig. This gives full-time workers the chance to experiment with other roles in the free time and see if they work out. Some types of side-gigs can even be done alongside corporate roles indefinitely and offer people a significant income. This short guide outlines the different kinds of side-gigs available and pitfalls that you should be careful of.
1. Taking advantage of the sharing economy
The sharing economy encompasses services such as AirBnB, where you can let out extra space in your home to paying guests. Other services allow you to rent out storage space, or even your time to do odd tasks. This is the easiest option and barely counts as a side-gig, but it does bring in income and can be lucrative. The best thing about this option is that you can start and stop whenever you want – there is no long-term obligation.
2. Technical Startup
If you are a coder or can work with someone who is, this becomes an option. These days, an app or a website can be built quickly or cheaply. This is work that can easily be done after work in the evening or on weekends. Once a product is built, a decision can be made about whether there is enough traction to leave the corporate role and do the startup full time.
3. Making Stuff
Building a product and selling it is something pretty much anyone can do. This ranges from making a food item and selling it at food markets on the weekend (e.g. jam or baked goods) or making carvings out of wood and selling them on websites such as Etsy. For creative people, or people good with their hands, making stuff to sell is a great way to dip your toes in entrepreneurism.
Providing a service for someone else is a great way to make a bit of cash. There are jobs that don’t require much skill that pretty much anyone can do, for example dog walking and house painting. There are also services that require a bit more skills and education, the most obvious being tutoring. Teach your skills to the young can be a potentially lucrative side-gig.
Things to be Cautious About
One of the things to be careful of when setting up a side business is a non-compete clause. Many corporate jobs have contracts that indicate you cannot setup another business that competes against your current company. Some companies go further and require permission for employees to setup any side-business, irrespective of competition.
You should also be careful about over extending yourself. A full-time job takes leaves little time for leisure activities. Adding a side job will take up even more time. Anyone doing a side-gig needs to evaluate whether they will be able to maintain an acceptable work-life balance.
Despite a few pitfalls, a good side-gig can supplement your income from a full-time job and potentially lead into something rewarding. A successful side-gig can turn into a full-time role that means leaving the drudgery of corporate life forever.