Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Do You Work Two or More Gigs?


I think as freelancers, we all want something that will fill in the empty hours (or at least make the most of working hours with as little distraction as possible).  We may have learned the art of listening to new streaming music while coding a simple web page or writing out notes for that next article or blog post while doing a restaurant mystery shop.  For a lot of us, the freelance hustle is very real.

Although this is nice for some who don't need to work full time, you may want something a little more steady or at least pays better.  In a climate where many former full-timers are doing what they can to remain paid (including underbidding experienced workers, which really hurts them later if they don't have a real plan of action), it can't hurt to see what else is out there.  My advice is to do a thorough exploration of marketable skills and talents that can be transferred to $$ the quickest way possible.

Taking Career Assessment Tests

These are a little more advanced than the tests you may have taken in school.  Thankfully, many career assessment tests are free and don't require you to give up your personal information.  Although many assessments work directly with college counselors, many are accessible without having to enroll or claiming to be a student.

While you may have a strong idea of what you want to do, sometimes Holland codes or Myers-Briggs results can shine a light on an area that may be overlooked by many job seekers or freelancers.  My recommendation would be to take as many as you can tolerate and consider three results that come to a close match for your current situation.  In other words, if you decide you want t work with animals but are still struggling with the pandemic and money, looking into pet grooming classes or veterinary tech training at your public vocational institution may work in your favor for now.

Knowing Your Skillset

Sometimes we underestimate what we can do in order to make money.  One day in my local big box store, the cashier was telling a customer that she had three jobs.  Her current was the place where she could get medical and vacation benefits.  The other was helping out at a family catering business and she sold online items.  Her logic was not just money but being able to diversify her income as needed.

So if you have culinary skills that have yet to be discovered or a ground-breaking book idea that can place you in a much higher income bracket, now's the time to test things out.  The lady mentioned in the previous paragraph worked for a Caribbean food business, not something people that don't live in large cities run into every day.  You may have some ideas on how people can learn to cook at home since people are limiting how often they leave the house.

A Plan of Action

There's nothing worse than jumping headfirst into something you know little to nothing about and losing money in the process, right?  Not talking about the fundamentals but what goes on behind the scenes.  In the clip below, Back to School (1986), Rodney Dangerfield's character (a self-made retail tycoon) breaks down to the stuffy instructor how it really goes in business.  In other words, most of the theory we learn in Business 101 or whatever goes down the drain.

Jumping from the late 80s back into the 21st Century, you want to make sure that your gourmet, gluten-free donut truck won't have to pay some fees not included in the space lease.  Or there isn't some powerful organization that may have a conflict of interest with your presence, which is why you never see a hot dog or pizza stand within walking range of a gym franchise.

Then there's you and what's in your control.  If your new career aspirations have support from family and friends, make sure that operational plans are reasonable and won't burn you out in the first year.  Oftentimes, it takes a minute to find out if ongoing sales are a good thing or a way to age yourself overnight.

Money Now (and in the Future)

Maybe you're one of the lucky ones that hasn't had to sacrifice much in the past year.  No roommates or having to move back home and maybe...your finances have stayed pretty much intact.  None of this means that you can't devise a sensible savings and investment plan today that's sure to pay off in the future.

You're never too young, old, uneducated, or ignorant to find a way to make your money work for you.  The best time to do this is when you have income and learning is easier than you may think.  So instead of splurging on meal delivery services because you can, find out how you can make your new income stream work for you.  Just remember, it's a two-way effort.

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