Have you ever fantasized about quitting your current job to follow your passion or are you chomping at the bit to try something new? You can do both without leaving your current day job with gig work. It may not seem like it, but there are ways to make money on the side with a full time job. Gig work provides opportunities in various fields like order fulfillment, healthcare, hospitality, construction, retail, plus so much more.
We all need money to get by, so it’s important to figure out ways to make money on the side with a full time job. There’s no reason to quit a job that’s paying the bills, but that doesn’t mean you need to abandon hopes for a new career. In order to transition to your dream job, you need to start gaining the right experience. Taking gig jobs can help you get there. Select gigs in your “transition field” to expand your knowledge and skillset and land that new job.
Before starting, get out a piece of paper and pen. Jot down what types of gigs you want to do. See if there’s a common thread running through them. Perhaps all the jobs you listed involve being the center of attention in a crowd of people. Or, maybe you’re happier working solo, inputting numbers into a spreadsheet. Examine any emerging themes and look for gigs that allow you to expand your knowledge and skillset and gain the necessary skills.
There are numbers of ways people have used the gig economy as a stepping stone to a new career or to satisfy their creative needs and passions. Here are two:
Andrew is a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and wants to earn some extra money and expand his software skills at the same time. In the office, he is the go-to person for any computer-related software questions that have to do with billing, health information, and medical record charting. Finding a gig that utilizes his computer interest, like working the help desk at a software company, working retail at a mobile phone kiosk at a local mall, or performing data entry can all help him work toward achieving his goal of working IT. Combining his medical experience with newly gained IT experience, makes him eligible to work as a medical software trainer, a medical coder/biller at a hospital, or an office manager at a doctor’s office.
Josie’s worked construction for the last five years. She’s discovered a passion for staging the finished apartments and homes, using her natural talent for colors, space and fabrics. In her spare time she watches HGTV compulsively and reads all the home decorating magazines and websites that she can. She’d really like to be an interior designer, but knows she lacks the people skills and education required for the job. Picking up some retail gigs in a furniture or home décor store can provide her with the necessary experience and confidence she needs to make the move.
Life is too short to be doing something that you don’t love. By exposing yourself to different situations and scenarios through gig work, you expand your knowledge and skillset and open the door to endless possibilities. It’s a way to test the waters and to see where you best fit without diving in headfirst. Experiment, put on different hats, and try different trades and professions. You might even decide to become an entrepreneur and open your own business. The sky’s the limit.
Sometimes it can be intimidating venturing out of your comfort zone, but working a gig job allows you to explore other fields on a very short term basis. If you love the job, you can pick up more shifts. If you don’t, it’s okay to move on to another field of work to gain different experience. Either way, there are ways to make money on the side with a full time job and still find the job you love.