9 Simple Side Jobs That Anyone Can Do

by RedBeard

These days many people want or need a second job. I started this blog as my “second job”, and while I was searching for ideas, I noticed that too many side hustle articles talk about selling courses, and creating blogs or YouTube channels etc.
If you’re looking for a more “traditional” second job with good income potential then take a look at these nine jobs with the pros, cons and how to get started.

1. Restaurant Server

Serving tables can be a fantastic way to make extra money. In the right restaurant, it is possible to earn $100 to $150 in a single evening shift. If you do that three to five times per week, it adds up quickly. Experienced staff can access higher end restaurants or night clubs where the tips can be significantly higher. Even if you don’t have experience, you can start somewhere and move to a better restaurant after six months.

Pros
  • Extra Income, and a portion may not be taxed (shhhh)
  • People skills – You will develop and improve as you deal with a lot of different people
  • Anyone can do it
  • Usually flexible roster available, so you can keep the day job
Cons
  • Sometimes the hours are unsociable. Friday and Saturday nights….
  • Like all side work, it can be difficult to balance the priorities of family, day job and side job
  • Customers can suck! It’s true. Not everyone is nice and polite…

2. Cleaning Houses

This is another way to make extra money where you don’t need any skills or advanced training. There are two options:
(1) You can sign up with an agency. They find the customers and you get paid a fixed hourly rate plus whatever tips are offered. They also provide the necessary equipment and cleaning supplies. You just turn up and clean. Simple!
(2) You find your own customers and provide your own supplies. This option requires more work, but the reward is better – you make more money. You can find customers via local newspapers, online ads, local notice board, word of mouth etc. etc.

Pros
  • If you find your own customers, the hours are flexible.
  • It’s a scalable business. You can take on more customers until you need a second pair of hands. Then you decide if want to take on help or stop with the current number customers.
  • Low start-up costs
Cons
  • Often, it’s a low paying job if you go via an agency
  • It can be challenging work sometimes (example: cleaning long term rental properties after a careless tenant.)

3. Rideshare Driver (Uber / Lift)

In most countries you don’t need any special permits to start working as rideshare driver. However, in some countries you need to be licenced taxi driver. In the US requirements to an Uber driver are generally easy, to meet. In Ireland however, you need a public service vehicle licence, be a licensed taxi driver, and have all the necessary insurance.
Please be sure to check out your local requirements before you sign up. It may not go well if you try to explain to a police officer that “it’s fine” ‘cos the internet says so.

Driving people around is an uncomplicated way to make extra cash. The app takes care of most of leg work including finding customers, processing payments, and deciding the best route. All you must do is follow the blue line. Easy, right? Well….

I spent some time reading different articles to prepare this section. It’s clear that the driver experience can vary wildly. Some drivers have an easy time with no terrible customers, while others have horrible stories to tell.

How much Does A Driver Make

In the articles that I read, there are significantly different estimates as to how much a rideshare driver can make. One short duration study performed by Cornell University suggests that in Seattle, it is possible to make $23 per hour after expenses. Another study from EPI (Economic Policy Institute) showed that Uber driver income was $11.77 per hour after expense. A Berkeley study estimated the income was even less at $9.73 an hour.

But if you are looking for flexibility, there is nothing more flexible than this. You can choose how many hours to put in and when. If you live in a populated area with demand, the more you work, the more you earn. You can try it for a short period. If the financial reward is not sufficient, you can add it to your lessons learned.

Pros
  • Very flexible hours and shift patterns
  • People skills – You will develop and improve as you deal with a lot of different people
  • Anyone can do it (as long as you have a car)
Cons
  • There are many costs that need to be considered:
    • Fuel
    • Insurance
    • maintenance & wear and tear
    • Tolls (you are liable to pay them)
  • Uber & Lyft take a slice of your money (20%-25%)
  • Dealing with drunk and aggressive people (just search YouTube for Uber driver experiences)

4. Handyman & Yard/Garden Maintenance Work

Mowing lawns, trimming hedges, painting, cleaning & tidying, unclogging drains and gutters, fence fixing, dryer vent cleaning, changing light bulbs, driveway scrubbing, clearing snow, rubbish removal, gathering leaves, heavy lifting, putting up shelves, assembling Ikea, hanging pictures, watering plants & grass, and basic repair…
Advertising in your local community and word of mouth are the best way to get business.
The real secret to success here to do a good job, to do more than you are asked to do. That will ensure repeat business and recommendations from one customer to next.

Pros
  • Should have flexible hours
  • Mostly cash based
  • Low start-up costs
Cons
  • Can be hard to get started and find consistent work.
  • May have a steep learning curve for some people.

5. Wash Windows

It’s possible to have a profitable window washing business, even if you live in a small town. The key is to do a fantastic job. This is crucial to securing reoccurring business.
The start-up costs are low (bucket, sponges, squeegee) and supplies can be purchased at your local hardware store. When you start your business, you don’t need to have a fancy purpose built vehicle with large quantities of water (you can take it from the business or residence where you are cleaning the windows). So, don’t use that as an excuse. All you really need is a small vehicle (or even is bicycle if you have the Ballance) to get from location to location. As your business grows, you can grow your vehicle and tools of the trade.

Pros
  • Wide customer base – both residential and commercial
  • Minimal risk and low start-up costs and immense potential to scale up
  • Anyone can do it
  • Can start small and you can keep the day job
Cons
  • Business may have a seasonal basis (like many businesses, so you can plan for that)
  • Working outdoors in cold wet winter may be unpleasant

6. Teach a Language online

Many people think that you need to be qualified to teach a language, but if you choose your target audience you don’t need any experience. I personally have used https://www.italki.com/ both as a student and as a teacher. There are many websites that offer tips on how to get started, deal with technology, and plan lessions.

Teaching Options
(1) If you are a qualified language teacher, you can teach across all segments from complete beginner to advanced user. This gives you the most choice.
(2) If you don’t have any qualifications, you can target a niche segment for intermediate and advanced speakers. I’ve helped people to learn English for science and helped them to prepare for technical job interviews. I’ve also had conversations with people who already speak English and who simply want to practice. Having a specialty niche allowed me to charge a decent rate.

My Teaching Online Experience
In my experience, some classes and students were fantastic and fun. I really enjoyed it and it was like getting paid to chat with a friend. Other classes were more difficult; This was usually if the level of English of the student was below an intermediate level, or if they made no effort. Overall, it was a positive experience.

How it works
Register with one of the teaching sites and set your price and schedule. Don’t be too expensive starting off. If you can use a niche topic it will help you.
The site will take care of payment and ensure that both you and the student are taken care of, e.g., you get paid even if the student doesn’t turn up for a lesson. In return for finding customers the site will take slice of the revenue.

Pros
  • The hours are flexible.
  • It is fulfilling to help and see people progress in their language development.
  • Zero start-up costs
  • Work from home with a huge customer base.
Cons
  • It can be slow to get the first students (but persist)
  • Preparation time is needed. This is not included in the price. Only face to face time with students is paid.

7. Fast Food Delivery

If you live in a larger urban area, there is a lot of demand for fast food delivery, 7 days per week. This creates an opportunity for some additional income. If you need to use your own transport, you may use anything motorised. Scooters & motorbikes may be better than cars for parking and negotiating traffic, they also have lower running cost. But they have a downside in the rain and cold and the amount that you can carry.

You can get started by signing up for a “food delivery app” or looking the window of local fast-food businesses. An internet search will show you opportunities in your local area.

Pros
  • Tips can boost your normal pay
  • Usually flexible roster available, so you can keep the day job
  • The “food deliver apps” allow you to work for more than one company at a time.
  • Unlike being a rideshare driver, the food will not be drunk, or complain about the route
Cons
  • Sometimes the hours are unsociable. Friday and Saturday nights….
  • Parking can be difficult in some areas
  • Food delivery apps don’t guarantee an hourly wage
  • Not everyone tips
  • May be hidden costs if you use your own vehicle. (see number 3 above)

8. Virtual assistant

Being a virtual assistant is like being an ordinary assistant, except away from the location of the person that you are helping. Most of the time, there is high degree of flexibility as to when the work is done. That said, if you want to keep the business, the work must be done on time and done well.
The range to tasks that can be done is almost endless, here a just a few simple examples:

  • Customer support
  • Processing online orders and refunds
  • Making travel arrangements
  • Editing and proofreading
  • Transcription & data entry
  • Email management and priority setting

Getting started is easy. Register for fiveer or similar website, create an ad in local newspaper, through local contacts and/or word of mouth, or contact businesses offering your services. There are even agencies that you can use (for a fee).

Pros
  • If you find your own customers, the hours are flexible.
  • Larger variety of tasks & services can be offered
  • Low start-up costs
Cons
  • You may be competing with VA from very low-cost economies pushing down potential income.

9. Remote Customer Service

Many companies have realised that they do not need to have customer services in the office. They can use staff working from. In fact, this applies to many jobs now.

Amazon has a full job sections called “Virtual Locations”. Customer service, shipping & delivery support, software, planning, strategy…. etc etc. The advertised positions are usually full time, and the work needs to get done. Bearing that in mind, working from home offers a high degree of flexibility when dealing with school and family requirements. You can also look after you own needs too, and squeeze in a quick workout between meetings. The qualification requirements vary depending on the roles.

If you don’t want to work for the corporate man, there are many agencies that offer this type of work on a part time or gig basis. These positions offer the most amount of flexibility by may pay less.

Pros
  • Very flexible hours and shift patterns
  • Learn new skills
  • Home office
Cons
  • Need your own PC
  • Full time at home can cause cabin fever

Do you have any side jobs? Let us know in the comments below if you have tried any of these jobs either as a full-time job or as a side-job. What did you like or dislike? Maybe you’ve got your own lucrative venture, feel free to share that too!

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1 comment

Karl 18 September 2020 - 12:33

This is a good list of practice job. Thanks for sharing! I am interested in starting window cleaning (its warm almost all year around where I live ). Thanks again for sharing

Reply

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