With the unemployment rate on the rise and many jobs and salaries being affected by COVID-19, the workforce is filled with overqualified people looking for jobs to help make ends meet. Even pre-pandemic, many people were turning to gig economy jobs as an option for their side hustle. Forbes estimates that 36% of workers in the U.S. are doing one of these kinds of jobs in order to bring in some extra, or in some cases, main incomes.
What is a “gig economy” job exactly? The phrase refers to a freelance, short-term or temp job that you can do on your own schedule, usually to supplement your income without the commitment of a true part-time job. The flexibility is appealing, if you’ve got a slow week or two, you can work a lot, and on busier weeks or during crunch times, you can scale back. You can also pop on and off to most of these jobs without any kind of long-term commitment. Most often, these jobs tap into your existing skills. If you like kids, on-demand babysitting might be your jam. If you’re really good at shopping, turn that into a marketable skill without leaving your couch.
Most of these websites or apps do require a bit of a vetting process and often a background check, but it’s way less intensive and time-consuming than interviewing for jobs and trying to make a schedule work around kids or another job. With most of these websites, the amount you’ll make varies wildly on how much you work, the demand in your area or how much you charge.
If you’re looking for a side hustle or two, these simple gig economy jobs work around your schedule and are relatively easy to jump into. Get started earning some extra cash ASAP…
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You can drive people around.
You’ve likely used the services of Uber or Lyft in the past, but hopping behind-the-wheel of these ride sharing services is a great way to make a quick buck. Once you’ve done a simple background check and uploaded all your pertinent documents (license, registration, insurance) you can hit the road. If you’re in a popular area, or near a major airport, you can rake in some serious cash, and there are safety and cleaning protocols in place while driving during the pandemic to help keep you safer.
You can deliver food.
It used to be that you’d have to work for a local restaurant on set hours in order to deliver food. With food delivery apps you can pick up food at all the best spots (fair warning: your car may smell like fried chicken for days) and take the meals to their destination. With DoorDash, Uber Eats and GrubHub, you can pop on when you’ve got a couple hours to spare (though you’ll make more if you target dinner or lunch times) and use their apps to pick up and deliver food all over.
You can shop for clothes for other people.
If you have a knack for putting together the perfect outfit of the day, parlay that into some cash by styling clothes for StitchFix. You’ll curate a box of clothing each month based on a person’s specific requests for their wardrobe needs. You’ll get rated on how many items your customers end up keeping.
You can grocery shop for people.
Grocery delivery is now more popular than ever, since many people want to avoid the chore. That’s where apps like Instacart or Shipt come in. You can sign up to work for either of them, and quickly get approved to walk the grocery aisles picking up ingredients, purchase their items and deliver the food to someone’s door. Instacart also hires people to strictly be in-store shoppers (for pick-up orders), if you don’t have a car.
You can rent out your spare room or apartment.
No matter if you’ve got an apartment sitting vacant for the summer, or a tent set up for glamping in your backyard, you can use sites like Airbnb or VRBO for extra income. Create your own listings and fees easily once you’re set up, but be careful to check your local municipalities rules (and your lease if you’re a renter) to make sure it’s legal where you live.
You can rent your car.
If you’ve got a car in good condition that you aren’t using much right now, you can rent it out on Turo. Think AirBnB, but for your vehicle. You’ll want to take advantage of their insurance plans, just in case. If you are in a metropolitan area where parking is at a premium, but you and your car are elsewhere, you can rent out your parking space on Spothero.
You can deliver random items to people.
Beyond just groceries or food delivery, sites like Roadie, or Postmates will deliver almost anything, and signing up to work for Amazon Flex will have you dropping off their packages. So if you like to expect the unexpected, this might be the perfect job for you. With Roadie, you bid on jobs to locally deliver anything from band equipment to prescriptions, or you can take on longer distance jobs like delivering art across the country. As part of the Postmates fleet (in larger cities,) you can use your bike or car to do local shopping from most retailers and deliver them to your customers. Amazon is always looking for delivery drivers, with their Flex program, you can sign up, reserve a block of time, fill up your car and start your career as a courier.
You can do some heavy lifting.
Looking for a way to squeeze in a workout and make money? Wonolo or Dolly might be a good fit. Wonolo matches you with temp day jobs in your area, often in warehouses, sign up for days and times you’re free, and you’ll see exactly what you’ll be paid for your efforts. If you can lift over 75 lbs., Dolly will have you moving furniture and boxes in no time. Use your truck or van, or become a helper for someone else on bigger jobs.
You can sell your stuff.
If you’re crafty and creative, starting your own Etsy shop is a great option. Niche items do well, so if you’ve got an original twist on art, funky pottery, home decor or clothing, you’re golden. Set up is easy, just take some decent pics and pay the listing fee. And there’s always good old eBay. If you’ve Marie Kondo’d your life and have stuff to dispose of, turn your trash into cash on the famous auction site. There are other auction sites or Craigslist and Facebook marketplace, but eBay has a vast audience for your items.
You can put your design, music or writing skills to use.
If you’re a web designer, artist, writer or musician, you can snag freelance gigs on sites like Fiverr, Upwork or Freelancer. So put your experience and talents to good use. It’s also an added bonus that most jobs can be done in your home.
You can take care of kids, pets or seniors.
If you’re looking for a babysitting or nanny gig, try Care.com. The site asks you to list your experiences with kids, pets or seniors and then matches you with local families in need. They’ve also got housekeeping gigs available. If you just want to walk dogs, or are looking for some pet sitting gigs, try Wag or Rover.
You can do a host of odd jobs at people’s houses.
Great at assembling IKEA furniture, painting rooms, working as a personal assistant or doing clean up duty? You can become a tasker for TaskRabbit. Sign up and highlight your best skills. You’ll be matched with people in your neighborhood who need a quick handyman (or handywoman).
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