A 2016 survey released by Upwork and the Freelancers Union showed that 33 percent of the American workforce either freelance or work as contractors. Two-thirds of those freelancers chose to work that way because of their own personal preference, not out of necessity.
Some have an extra part-time job to make a bit more cash, to improve their job skills, or to try out a career different from their 9-to-5. These freelance gigs, whether they are regular or occasional, can be invaluable to your career path.
Here’s how to find the right one for you:
1. Don’t Rely on Traditional Job Hunt
Jobs that offer remote work, part-time hours, or even seasonal work, are more widespread than ever. With advances in remote work software like Slack, Basecamp, Asana and GoToMeeting, teams can keep in touch from anywhere, at all hours of the day. Remote work marketplaces, like FlexJobs, specifically offer listings for jobs geared to the remote and part-time worker.33 percent of the American workforce either freelance or work as contractors.Click To Tweet
2. Don’t Quit Your Day Job Just Yet
While the 2016 survey showed that over half of freelancers interviewed made more freelancing than at their previous full-time day job, it’s important to look before you leap, even if you hate your job, and even if you’re only looking for a side gig to do in your off hours.
Remember to consider any existing non-compete agreements you might have at your current (or recent past) jobs, so you don’t get into a legal bind moonlighting for the competition. Spreading the word on social media isn’t the best idea if HR will object to your extracurriculars.
3. It’s OK to Take Risks in Your Side Gig
The great thing about doing a part-time side job is that you get the opportunity to explore new skills and potential careers. It can be a chance to bring some passion back in your work life if your current job isn’t doing it for you anymore.
LinkedIn career expert Catherine Fisher recently told CBS This Morning “…let’s say you love teaching yoga but it’s not going to help you pay your bills — you do it on the side and that’s a side hustle.”
Think about which of your interests aren’t being fulfilled by your current, full-time job.
4. Talk to Your Friends
If you’ve got buddies who are starting a business, or who might just need an extra part-time hand, they can be the perfect way to get started with a side gig.
Networking is at the core of any side hustle, whether you’re looking to come on board at the gym as their new Pilates instructor, or fill in on some graphic design projects for a local non-profit. Letting friends know you’re looking (and keeping up that conversation) should keep your inbox busy.
It’s also good to talk to friends who already work at side jobs, to find out what to do (and what to avoid).
TELL US WHAT YOU THINK
How do you find side gigs? We want to hear from you. Tell us your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.