It seems like almost everyone is having some sort of side gig these days.
In fact, according to SideHustleNation.com, 45% of American workers report having a side job. That’s about 70 million people! Not surprisingly, the number one motivation for starting a side hustle is a desire for more personal freedom.
Side bustles are also popular with all age groups. My 24 year old son has a few hustles, and so do I! People of all ages want to control their time and find creative ways to do so.
According to Bankrate.com, the median income of baby boomers who work on the sidelines is $500 per month. While it’s not a huge sum, it can definitely help pay the bills or buy those plane tickets. For people in our age group, many side gigs at work aren’t just about financial benefits.
Side gigs are a good way to keep your business skills up to date and can offer you a way to maintain your business affiliations without working full time. Side gigs are also a great way to meet people, which can be hard to do once you’re no longer working full time.
You can create your own side gig based on what’s important to you. Do you want a side concert that will allow you to pursue your creative passion? Looking for a side gig where you can use a specific skill you already have? How about a side gig where you could earn money and meet people?
Side hustle ideas are almost limitless today. So if you’re interested in pursuing a side gig, take some time to think about what exactly you want to get out of your side hustle, and then research ways to achieve it. There are thousands of side business ideas online. To inspire you, I’m sharing some of the different side gigs I’ve done.
1. Seasonal worker
I did several periods of work as a seasonal worker. Both of these jobs were very entry-level and required absolutely no qualifications. The best thing about seasonal work is that it is guaranteed work and income, but only for a fixed period.
Fall is pumpkin season. Where I live we have a mega pumpkin patch of over 400 acres. They hire tons of seasonal help to help run the farm. During the months of September and October, I worked in food concessions at the pumpkin patch, throwing pizzas and hot dogs. I enjoyed the fast pace of the work — we were busy!
I worked this side gig while employed full time, so I mostly worked nights and weekends, averaging about 15-20 hours a week. The pay wasn’t great, but the atmosphere was great fun. Seeing all those excited kids running around somehow makes your day. Also, I worked with a lot of high school and college kids, and getting their perspective on life in general was kind of fun.
During the Christmas season, I worked seasonally for a meat company. This national company, which I’m sure you’ve heard of, does a huge Christmas business and hires people to take orders over the phone. My job, as an entry-level order taker, was to answer incoming calls from customers, take their orders, and of course try to sell more meat!
The worst thing about this job was that it was work from home so there was no one to ask questions. It’s not so much fun figuring things out on the fly with an irate customer on the phone, but sometimes you’re just throwing it away! By far the best thing about this job was the amazing discount I received.
Seasonal employees benefit from an incredible in-store discount for the whole year. I’m considering this concert again this year, mainly to take advantage of this amazing discount. It is so good.
2. Flexible Grocer
My current job is as an online order filler for a local grocery store. If you’ve ever ordered groceries online, I’m one of the people who fills your order if you live in my city. This is a totally easy, mostly stress-free gig that doesn’t require any special skills. It’s a great hustle because the hourly rate is super competitive and I get to work when I want.
The reason I accepted this concert is that the schedule is 100% flexible. Stores upload their available shifts to an app and I sign up for the shift I want. If I’m out of town or can’t work for any reason, that’s okay. To keep my job active, I have to work about once every 60 days — that’s it! The flexibility is unmatched. Plus, I get a discount on groceries. While not as good as the discount at the seasonal meat concert, every little bit counts.
A version of this same side gig does grocery delivery on your own through one of the grocery delivery apps like Instacart. I see a lot of people shopping for others every day while I work. I even asked a few if they made a lot of money. Many of them said they made more hourly wages than I made. If you want to try Instacart, shop at the same stores each time so you can quickly learn the layout. This will save you immense time. And when you’re grocery shopping for others, time is money!
I’m a dog lover, so when I found Rover.com, of course I had to give it a try. Rover is a pet sitting app that helps pet owners find quality care for their puppies. As a care provider, I have created a profile, chosen the services I want to offer (overnight accommodation and daycare) and defined my rates. Pet parents who need to hire pet help use the app to connect with a care provider. All communications and payments are done through the app, so it’s secure.
I love Rover first and foremost because I love dogs, and I love having another dog here to play with my dog. I also like Rover because it’s flexible. I’ve set my availability on the app so it’s totally based on when I want to watch a pup. The salary is not very high, but I only watch one puppy at a time. I know other people who regularly scout a few dogs at a time, so obviously the more dogs you scout the more money you will make.
I became addicted to blogging very early. I loved reading all the wonderful things people were posting online. When blogs started, most were very personal, so reading them was like a window into the person’s life, and some were fascinating. After a few years of reading other people’s blogs, I decided to start my own travel site. And a few years later, I started my own pet site.
Blogging combines the best of creativity and technology, two things I love, so it’s the perfect outlet for me. Also, it can be very lucrative if you know what you’re doing, but there’s definitely a huge learning curve. And with blogging, you won’t make a quick buck. Experts say you need to invest at least two years before you can earn money consistently.
To me, it’s more of a labor of love. I learned so many skills from blogging. It was a game changer for me professionally and personally. If you want to try your hand at blogging, you’ll find a wealth of information online to help you get started.
5. Freelance Writer
I love to write, so freelance writing is a natural choice for me. There is a big market for writers. With the vast amount of content online these days, businesses need copywriters. To be successful, you must enjoy writing and have a good command of the English language. Other than that, experience matters more than a degree.
I would figure out what you want to write about and then look for work in those markets. My professional background is in finance, so writing articles related to personal finance made a lot of sense. I also like to travel, so sharing my experiences on The journey awaits you with other travelers my age who can enjoy the same type of experiences, it’s absolutely perfect for me.
The content market is so vast that you can specialize in almost any niche and find work. To find clients, it’s sometimes easier to start writing for personal blogs, then branch out into the bigger sites, then into magazines and journals. Facebook groups for content writers are a great way to find blogs to write for. Or just do a Google search for “blogs that pay freelance writers.” You can also create a profile on Fiverr or Upwork to get your feet wet. You won’t make a lot of money, but you will be able to build your writing portfolio, which is an important step in moving on to bigger clients.