The problem with trying to find a side hustle is that there sometimes aren’t enough hours in the week to make extra money. And if you work full-time during the week, by the time you get to the weekend, all you want to do is drop onto the couch and stay there for 48 hours. So I tried to find side jobs that would specifically complement a full-time work schedule, and would be fun, experiential work that wouldn’t make you feel like you were detracting from the weekend. For example, when I worked at a winery, several of our employees worked full-time jobs in the area and would come in to work a shift on the weekends during the busy season and events. It was perfect for us at the winery (for budget reasons), and perfect for them because one additional day of work was all their schedules would allow. (And it satisfied their interest in learning about wine!)
There’s something appealing about making extra money on the weekend without having to use your brain in the same way you’ve been using it all week. And if you have the option of heading to a side job you actually enjoy (and fulfills a different passion in your life), you might find that it contributes to your professional happiness, while giving you an extra paycheck.
Here are nine unconventional (and fun) side jobs to consider if you’re busy during the week, but are interested in making extra cash on the weekend:
1. Ushering at a local theater. People never think of this and it’s honestly a win-win. Of course small theaters can’t afford to pay much, so you’re looking at a minimum wage payment. But it’s not more than a four-hour commitment, you get to see a free show, and it allows you to get involved in a culture in your city/town that you haven’t explored yet. Sometimes they also need a helping hand at the box office for a few hours before a show, which is also a simple and easy way to make money. All you have to do is Google the theaters near you and see who’s paying and needs an extra hand.
2. Get a job at a winery or a brewery for Saturday or Sunday. I know from experience that wineries, breweries and distilleries (especially in the busy season) want to hire competent people with other full time jobs just to help out on the weekends. The local booze industry means events and festivals during the summer, and if you’re offering help once a week, that’s ideal for their hiring needs. Once upon a time it was a stretch to see if there were wineries/breweries in your neighborhood, but now they’re everywhere — maybe near you.
3. Catering jobs. It’s wedding and event season, which means caterers are always looking to pick up extra workers who won’t need to depend on them for money in the off season. Beyond weddings, there’s no shortage of family reunions, graduation parties and Saturday evening events where the head of a catering company is willing to pay you $15-$18/hour cash to carry some trays around for a few hours. If you assist with set up and break down, you can double the time. These are the postings for New York City, but feel free to search your specific area.
4. Work the bar INSIDE a shop or supermarket. I understand that it’s challenging to get a bartending or serving job and convince them to only let you work once a week. But there are local artisan shops that open their bars for a few hours and need someone to bartend. Not only that, but many Whole Foods have a bar in-store, so look at their career page. Because the money isn’t as good as a busy sports bar, they aren’t hiring career bartenders, so someone who’s just looking for something on the side would be ideal.
5. One day a week personal assistant. A lot of swamped professionals (typically business owners) employ someone to assist them once a week because their business can’t afford a full-time assistant. A business owner I know has employed a college student with aspirations in their field and paid a very good wage for her to just come help sort through mail, pack for long business trips and get to all the things that they never get to. Often times these business owners will advertise on Craigslist (see these postings) or even on Care.com, and are more willing to work with your schedule than major corporations would be.
6. A weekend nanny gig. Many families with young children employ a full-time nanny, but they give them the weekend off. So there’s some time left over on a Friday night, or for part of the day Saturday when they need a fill in. Forming a relationship with one of these families (especially when the kids are still young) is ideal because then they’ll have you as a go-to if the parents need a little time off next weekend. It’s cash with no additional obligation added during the week. Care.com has specific weekend work search options.
7. Sign up for opt-in promotional work online. I’ve actually signed up and am on their list. Every week I get an email from them with jobs in my area and how much they pay hourly. The promotional gig is typically at a local mall, beauty salon or event venue, and the ask is that you pass out nail polish samples (or what have you) for 3 hours. The pay offered is typically between $15-$25/hour. One of the companies you can sign up through is GC Marketing Services.
8. Use one of the new petsitting apps, like Wag Walking. It really is like Uber for dogs. I applied to be a dog walker with Wag and it was incredibly simple to sign up, and chat with them on the phone. All they’re looking for is a genuine love for animals and experience owning or caring for a pet (plus extra experience is always good). While it didn’t end up fitting in my schedule, I would definitely recommend getting involved. Here’s the Wag Walker application.
9. Brand ambassador jobs through Craigslist. Essentially, you can be one of the people who hands out food samples at local grocery stores. You find these gigs under the service jobs tab on Craigslist, and they can be one-time or recurring. You have to pay for your own transport typically, and often bring your own folding table, but you can make over $20/hour easily. I’ve talked to a friend who has done this for a cOmPeTitiVE yogurt brand, and she said it was worth the money and simple after you set up. The jobs are typically labeled “Brand Ambassador” on Craigslist.