First of all, a quick ode to these scones. Fie, blueberries. Fie ‘pon thee! You rotund, juicy temptresses cloaked in sugar twinkling and finely-granulated as the stars. GO. Take thy hideous, buttered charms with thee! No, NO! Prithee…return again, sweet friends, once the sun has set. Verily, we shall “hit the town,” hand in hand, FOR I LOVE THEE WITHOUT TEMPERANCE OR HEED FOR THE FACT THAT I AM WOMAN AND YOU ARE FRUIT.
Ahem. Now, for something completely different.
When you’re in a financial situation that requires you to work double shifts or take on additional gigs outside of your already-consuming day job, it’s important to honor your entrepreneurial spirit (get that money) while taking your mental and physical wellbeing into account. Striking such a balance between industriousness and sanity requires some introspection and specialized job-searching; that’s why I’ve drawn up a starter list of suggestions for side-gigs that don’t involve the fun, soul-crushing go-to’s like data entry (o haiiiii, spreadsheets) and office temp work (the copier is up and running again, everyone! JK, it just combusted before my eyes).
1. For Kid-Lovers
I’ve found that babysitting — while sometimes fatiguing, frustrating, and yes, poop-strewn — is an active, mobile way to revive your own inner child. I like kids, so of course, I’m biased; I understand that playing tag and going on the swings and reading “Barbar” isn’t for everyone. But, if you’re like me and geeked out about Developmental Psychology in college, you’ll find the first-time life realizations and day-to-day social behavior of each age group genuinely fascinating. I’ll never forget the time one of my youngest wards, a baby who wasn’t yet eating solid foods, recognized her reflection as a projected image of herself, not a separate yet uncannily-similar-looking baby! You…had to be there, guys.
Pro tip: the older the kids, the less poop you’re going to have to deal with. Though bathroom accidents are always on the table, so to speak. Care.com will help you create a detailed profile and source gigs in your area.
2. For Socialites
Depending on what nights of the week you work — and how affluent or hefty-tabbing your clientèle is — you can rake in serious cash by bartending. My little brother has been shaking cocktails and pouring beers, on and off, since he graduated from culinary school. I am amazed by how much he consistently nets on a busy Saturday night. (Plus, he’s gotten the chops to hold an affable conversation — and pump the breaks on a contentious one — with just about every type of human on the planet.) If you’re a Chatty Cathy who’s gets a kick out of listening to the tall tales and dark secrets that total strangers spill at the bar (and you’re not afraid to assert yourself when folks get rowdy), you can stand to make very good money by working just a few nights a week.
Feel like you need to give yourself a crash course before you start handing out your resume at pubs? Take a look at BartendingBlueprint. They’ve got instructional videos and a Youtube channel that will walk you through everything you need to know about the basics.
3. For Artists & Introverts
If you’ve got a purple mohawk and a knack for latte art, you’re basically a walking reply to the “baristas needed” sign in the window of your corner coffeeshop. Apart from taking orders, ringing up receipts, and calling out milk-to-espresso ratios to your comrades behind the counter, this job doesn’t (necessarily) require massive interpersonal engagement. In other words, you can be shy and still slay at being a barista.
Pro tip: the more local (and less corporate), the fewer people you’ll have to deal with. There will undoubtedly be crunch times (rabid commuters elbowing each other to the counter at 8am, grumbling about insufficiently-steamed milk), but it won’t be the unrelenting, eight-hour slog of foot traffic that you’ll deal with at a corporate café (hint: the one I’m thinking of starts with an “S”). I don’t have a barista network to cite, here, but the good news is that everyone on the planet is addicted to caffeine, so you won’t have to go far to find a café to inquire about a part-time job.
4. For Neat Freaks & Tinkerers
Are you good with power tools or a wrench? Do you derive a perverse pleasure from assembling IKEA furniture and scrubbing the grout between bathroom tiles? I’m a neat freak when it comes to my own apartment, but I don’t love cleaning nearly as much as a few, special friends of mine do. They’re energized by scrubbing floors and bleaching bathtubs and, for them, vacuuming is a Zen-like, rhythmic form of meditation. (Quick privilege note, here: they have the education, college degrees, and income to afford to make cleaning a part-time source of income, instead of relying on it as a full-time job; that’s not the case for many house cleaners). They make a solid buck from a few hours of work every week. Handy is a good entry point into building your profile, experience, and client base!
5. For Ramblers
If sitting still depresses you, or you own a bike and adore flipping off pickup trucks and speeding over bridges and walkways, or you already work an office job that staples your ass to a rotating chair for eight hours a day, then…A) please wear a helmet on that bike, and B) you might actually enjoy working as a courier. Couriers are catch-all folks who make money by physically carrying out tasks that are often physically-taxing or require traveling a not-negligible distance on foot or by bike. These tasks run the gamut from grocery pickup to package delivery to moving help. TaskRabbit is a great place to start.
Image via Unsplash