By Younas Chaudhary
In the deep-freezing cold of Edmonton in the 1970s, I would wake up at 5 a.m. to start my first job as a sheet metal helper or maintenance man, then go onto my part-time jobs as a used car salesman, cabbie, security guard, meat cutter, and/or door-to-door salesman. None of these jobs had anything in common, except as outlets for my perseverance, consistency, and hard work to make more money at that young age.
These part-time jobs done seven days a week later defined my success in the West. I was never afraid of taking on more jobs that I knew nothing about, because I had an inner zeal and confidence that I could grasp any job quickly and do it diligently. I gradually increased my income through these jobs.
Part-time jobs also helped me to brush up my English skills, develop cultural competence, build a solid work ethic, establish a habit of waking up early, and lay the groundwork for being a confident entrepreneur a few years later. Each part-time job opened a window of opportunity for me, as I learned new skills, gained confidence, and interacted with new people along with making additional money.
Today more than ever, we are in an economy where digital platforms provide ample opportunities to set our own work hours and make additional money. With a little bit of creativity, confidence, consistency, and an entrepreneurial risk-taking spirit, we can thrive through these part-time opportunities. It can be fun too, and it can help you find your passion while also being financially beneficial.
We can work part-time on Etsy, eBay, Airbnb, DoorDash, GrubHub, Uber, and countless other gigs. This is a far cry from the past. In 1979, when I started in the energy business, technology was not an enabler. It was an era in which finding opportunities in a crowded marketplace was a side hustle in itself.
Today, you can make extra dollars every day simply by registering on digital platforms from your own home, where you can be a writer, a digital marketer, a caregiver, or even a pet walker.
Eighty-one percent of Americans who currently have a part-time job are interested in taking it full-time, says a SunTrust survey from August 2019. More than half of Americans (54%) report having a part-time job at some point to generate extra money, pulling in $8,794 on average per year, the survey adds.
While doing part-time jobs in the 1970s, I wanted greater financial independence and simply did whatever work was available to me. However, today most jobseekers take side jobs that they find interesting in some fashion, and fortunately they have abundant choices for making money.
Today, you can begin a part-time job by learning new skills online for free or at affordable prices. With a laptop and a reliable internet connection, you can sit in any part of the world, and advance in life. Someone who can diligently manage their hours even with a full-time job can easily make an additional $1,000 or more through a part-time job every month.
Are you passionate about something beyond your daily job? Do you have a hobby that you are good at? These are great themes for starting side jobs, and there is no better time than now to start your own side gig if you feel this is the right path for you.
Here are a few tips to start a part-time job on your own:
- Recognize what you are good at. You need not be a perfectionist, but you should have above-average zeal to invest your time consistently and to gain knowledge in whatever you choose to do.
- Draw up a proposed business plan (free templates and knowledge kits are available at the Small Business Administration websites).
- Be cautious and conscientious about your current cash flow, assets, income, costs, and overall financials.
- Secure legal help from various online outlets.
- Time is of the essence so set a timeline for planning, managing, and investing your time in order to launch your business.
- Study and know your end user. Be a good marketer, and constantly keep a pulse of the market.
Below are few part-time jobs that you can think of and start today:
- Run a mobile kitchen serving great food.
- Be a driver for a ridesharing service and a food delivery driver.
- Lease mobile trailers or RVs and sub-let them for a profit.
- Convert a portion of your home into an AirBnB
- Provide caregiver services, as currently many baby-boomers need such daily services.
- Be a babysitter, dog walker, or pet sitter.
- Are you a good handyman? Do you want to run errands for someone else and get paid? Check Task Rabbit online for opportunities.
- Are you skilled in anything, and do you want to advertise your services? Check and use Upwork or Fiverr online.
- Are you good in writing, graphic design, or web design? There are plenty of freelance opportunities available online.
- Online teaching is in great demand.
- Yoga and several other physical daily exercise coaching can be easily started online.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article are my own and do not represent the opinions of any entity with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated. Further, I make no warranty regarding the accuracy or effectiveness of my recommendations, and readers are advised to consult other advisors as well as their own judgments in making business decisions.