You work the 9 to 5, and do your best to stay on top of your bills. But maybe you’re not earning as much as you need, and you experience lean times during the month. If you need to take on an extra gig or two to keep your bank account in the flush, how do you keep it from feeling like another tedious obligation? You already have a day job, after all.
Here are 5 ways you can boost the fun factor when side hustling:
Tap in to what’s fun for you
While side hustling doesn’t necessarily equate to awesome fun time — it is still a job — home in on what you like to do after hours. While other jobs might be more profitable or easier, if you’re not enjoying yourself, you could get burnt out and start to hate life.
Love driving around town and meeting new people? Consider being a Lyft driver. If perusing the aisles of a supermarket gives you a sublime feeling of peace, or you just like checking out products that line grocery shelves, sign up to be an Instacart shopper.
Do something different than your day job
If you feel shackled to a desk and glued to a computer screen all day at work, you might want a job where you’re on your feet more. Want to get the blood flowing and stroll around neighborhoods? Take up dog walking. On the flip side, if you’re constantly on your feet all day, then staying home and being a paid survey taker, or signing up for focus groups might be a nice change of pace.
By doing something that’s different than your regular job, even though you’re still working, you’re taking a break from the day-to-day grind. For about 10 years, I test proctored at a local college during finals for extra cash. It gave me a chance to meander around campus, and sitting in a quiet room for hours was a welcome break from the stress of my full-time job.
Team up with a friend
Get some social time in by side hustling with a friend. If you and your bestie both love animals, specialize in walking large packs of dogs, and split up dog-walking gigs. Or if you are a science nerd and one of your good pals is amazing at math, offer tutoring services as a pair. While you might not make as much by going solo, it could be more fun to have a partner in crime in your money-making endeavors.
Do a bunch of different gigs
The beauty of side hustling is that you don’t have to do just one thing. If you ever get tired of one, you can take a break and do something else for a while. Another idea: You can also “stack side hustles” by using the same set of equipment or tools. For example, if you’re side hustling on the weekends as a Lyft driver, you could break up your day and deliver food for a few hours, then shift to being a ride share driver during the peak periods.
Learn new job skills
Don’t be afraid to learn something. Learning can be super fun, and bring about sense of discovery, wonder, and newness. Plus, by getting some training in a new skill or expanding your know-how, you could boost the value you bring to your current job. In turn, you could get paid more. And you never know — a side hustle could lead to starting your own little business.
When I had a full-time job and was moonlighting to earn extra cash, I wanted to use side hustles as a way to afford opportunities I couldn’t get at my day job. For instance, I wanted to sharpen my editorial chops, so took on copywriting and proofreading gigs whenever I could. Over time, I got enough experience to land my next full-time job, which came with a 20% bump in pay.
Working after your 9 to 5 doesn’t have to be a boring chore. Remember: fun begets more fun. By tuning in to what you naturally enjoy, and choosing gigs that give you a break from your daily routine, you could actually have some fun side hustling.