Monday, March 4, 2019

Side Gigs while Transitioning Careers (or in general)

I've gotten this question a lot lately, so decided to just make a post about it: "What are side gigs I can do to earn money while transitioning careers?" I will list out all the ideas I can think of here and more details for the ones I know about.

Why do I know about these? I needed some of these when I switched from medicine to software and did some on the side on night/weekends.  I have friends with flexible work. I traveled a lot for work and talked to people around me. Sometimes I was on the customer side. And, reading PennyHoarder for kicks.

The list below will be mostly applicable to US residents. Some of this is available in other countries/regions, but I live in the US and can provide a list that is useful for where I live. If you are a good writer, don't mind driving, or are bilingual, you will have lots of options!

Google Ads Rater - look at google search queries and see if the results are good, see if ads graphics are related to the text topic, see if queries for videos bring back a good result video, etc. To do this, basically apply for a spot within one of the below companies, wait for them to select you, you start taking exams from them based on material they send you (usually a large-ish PDF manual), pass tests, start doing work.  It can be a bit brain numbing but easy money around $13/hour that you can do while watching Netflix. It's not very intensive or hard as long as you are good at absorbing the rating requirements that were taught in the training manuals. Note historically there were 4 companies when I did this 5 years ago, it looks like in 2019 it is down to 2.
    • LionBridge - Current Job Openings (click on testers, raters, and curators for Google Ads rater jobs, if you are bilingual you can investigate the translator or interpreter options).
    • Appen Butler - Current Job Openings (click raters for google ads, or if interested checkout language jobs or micro tasks).
    • Leapforce has been acquired by Appen.
    • ZeroChaos <-- I believe was dropped from Google in 2017 due to this article.
VIPKID Teachers - teaching English via online conference call to children in China. Need to be very enthusiastic and require a Bachelor's degree in any field and to be in the US or Canada.
Amazon Turk - basically random tasks people need a person, not a robot to do. It could be literally anything manual, reading/writing/recording audio, analyzing, testing things out, checking grammar, translating, making subtitles, you name it. You can screw up and make like $1 an hour picking low paying tasks, or as much as $20ish an hour. I believe most folk average around $10 an hour. Do your research based on the links below and do your own research before embarking on this one so you know how to earn a decent hourly wage.
iTalki - If you can speak a foreign language and want to teach the foreign language, or teach English to those who know the same foreign language as you, this is a top notch website.  I used this site as a learner to learn a foreign language and its a reliable and well put-together process.  You sign up as a tutor, put up your schedule, and people sign up for lessons with you.  You do lessons via Skype video typically, unless you and the student agree on a different video conferencing program.  You can teach in any way you choose, come up with your own materials and plan based on the student.
  • Freelance Writing - I don't know much about this area but just giving this as an idea.
  • Translator - I don't know much about this area but just giving this as an idea.
Local In-Person Flexible Jobs:

  • Bartending - find a local bartending job at a hotel or restaurant.  The more expensive the joint, the better the tips will be.
  • Mystery Shopping -  You get paid to pretend to be a shopper and make sure employees are doing what they are supposed to (coffee at the right temperature, introductions, talk about some sales/rewards program, checking IDs for alcohol, etc.). Typically you get reimbursed for whatever item you buy and a payment for your time for doing the task and writing up a report.  You need to have decent grammar/writing/spelling skills and do a good job on the report.  If you mess up the report, you won't get paid or reimbursed, so be careful, but most people who are very meticulous will have no issues with this. Typically you pay for items with your credit card and are reimbursed, so you need a credit card and have to be ok with a reimbursement coming 7-90 days later.
  • Pet Sitting - you either visit/stay at someone else's place or take in their pet to your home.  There are websites that are local to your area and more national reach ones, search for pet sitter on google and you can checkout options for your area.
    • Rover - large customer/sitter base nationwide
  • Dog Walker - walk dogs! Google this and find out what you have locally, etc.
    • Rover - large customer/sitter base nationwide
  • Focus Groups - Usually target some specific demographic, if you are in it, apply! Mostly one and done, you apply, if you get in, you do some task, easy money, and they pay you right after.
  • Tutoring - tutor adults and kids in some topic! Could be elementary school math, SAT, MCAT, languages, anything! Do some research online for other options, the one I used was below:
  • Research Studies / Medical Research Trials - just an idea

Local In-Person Flexible Jobs Related to Driving and Food:

  • Uber - rideshare option, drive folk around on your own schedule. Most people join both Uber and Lyft to make sure they get rides from both. There are a lot of strategies to get the most rides, rush hour, weekend nights, and hovering around the airport are all good ideas.  You do often wait in a queue if you are in an airport or busy location like that.  Stick to downtown areas for weekend nights if you want the bar scene, also wrap up your car with plastic wrap in the back and provide doggy bags in case of sick folk who drank too much if you do this. 
  • InstaCart - food delivery or in-store shopper, sometimes the same person does both, but usually these are two separate jobs.
  • PrimeNow Shopper - work in Whole Foods and assemble orders
  • UberEats - food delivery
  • DoorDash - food delivery
  • GrubHub - food delivery
  • BiteSquad - food delivery
  • Postmates - food delivery
One last note, a pretty good website to come through for more ideas is The Penny Hoarder.