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How to find and slide into your next side hustle.

Taking on a second (or third) gig in your spare time can be a great source of extra money. Explore ways you can earn more and chart a new career course.

What is a side hustle?

  • A side hustle is work or a part-time job that falls outside your day job.
  • Usually, side hustles are done to make money during off hours on evenings and weekends, or during downtime.
  • Side hustles range across many different skill sets and fields, from babysitting to freelance writing.

Turn your skills into a side hustle.

Side hustles offer extra cash and skill development. And, while a side hustle can be something that just gains you a little extra income, it can also be an opportunity to explore a new set of skills, increase know-how, or to develop a new passion.

 

Often, side hustles can lead to full-time jobs later down the road. Some companies are much more likely to hire a freelancer over an inexperienced full- or part-time employee. On top of that, many people don’t necessarily have the experience, audience, or reach to make a new side hustle profitable at first, but over time it can grow into something pretty impressive. 

A person in overalls talking on the phone while on a laptop discussing details of their pottery business.
Close-up of a craftsperson showing the finer details of the unfired clay bowl and mug they are holding

Types of side hustles.

There are endless options for side hustles, and you can often start by thinking about how to make money from an untapped skill set or passion. If you are unsure where to start, explore different options. Don’t worry about finding the best side hustle idea right away — the one that works for you today is the best one. 

1. Gig economy work.

The gig economy refers to folks who are working as independent or temporary contractors for a range of businesses. Often, these jobs offer the most flexibility in terms of scheduling and work hours. Uber and Lyft are good examples. You’ll need a working car for those two services, but you can earn quite a bit.

 

There are plenty of non-driving examples of gig work. Food delivery, personal shopping, and pet care are other options for those who have non-traditional transportation like bikes or scooters. Most of these options, which include UberEats, Grubhub, Postmates, DoorDash, Instacart, Rover, and Wag, average out to around $15 per hour, and usually you get to keep most of your tips.

2. Go freelance.

If you’ve got specialized skills, exploring side hustles as a freelancer is a great use of your resources. And it can be an opportunity to develop experience in a new field, be it graphic design, copywriting, coding, web design, personal finance, online surveys, proofreading, affiliate marketing, film editing, or even social media management for distant or local businesses. Using sites like Upwork, Fiverr, and other job boards to find work can be a great way to earn a few extra dollars.

 

These jobs might not be as high-earning as a full-time or part-time position, but they will help you build a portfolio that can lead to bigger and better jobs. For example, it’s not uncommon for freelance writers to be paid between 30 cents and $2 a word. This might not seem like a lot, but considering that many freelance articles are 400+ words, this can add up. 

3. Help others as a virtual assistant.

Many organizations need an extra hand with administrative tasks but don’t have the budget for a full-time position. Finding a good side hustle as a virtual assistant on a job board can be a great source of income. You can make good money by helping create workflows, assisting a blogger, managing files, creating schedules, or facilitating meetings. A common assistant job is as an audio transcriber or translator (for a podcast or other audio medium), which can earn you between $15 and 25 per audio hour.

4. Micro-ecommerce.

You can make money online by opening a small ecommerce startup to sell a passion project or something else you’ve created, such as templates for graphic designers, website themes, or homemade crafts. This path can give you a small source of income, as well as the opportunity to develop new connections with local businesses and customers. Plus, there are plenty of online marketplaces built to help you do just that, including Amazon, Shopify, Etsy, eBay, and Pinterest. Depending on how much work the store takes to maintain, you might discover a new source of passive income.

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Finding and managing your side job.

If you’re looking to start a great side hustle of your own, there are plenty of ways to get plugged into potential customers, services, and networks. Online job boards and networking sites like LinkedIn and Craigslist are excellent ways to start networking and meet potential customers and professional contacts.

 

For those looking to dive into the gig economy headfirst, all you need is a smartphone. There are mobile apps that are designed to be a clearinghouse for the side gigs above, and many of the services already mentioned have individual apps.

Get your documents in order.

No matter what type of side hustle you step into, you’re going to need to work with documents. For many hustles, organizing work documents is a crucial part of the bookkeeping process for a side hustle — whether you’re working with tax forms or resumes, a good organizational system keeps things moving along nicely.

Get work done. Anywhere.

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Various side hustle websites mocked up on a tablet, phone, and laptop on a red background with Adobe Acrobat Pro editing tools overlaid on top
  • Bring flexibility to your workflow:
    Side hustles may require you to work across a number of different tech suites. Convert files from Word-to-PDF and Excel-to-PDF with tools in Acrobat to make shifting from Microsoft applications to the PDF format seamless and easy.

  • Stay organized so you can focus on the hustle: 
    Shifting through documents can slow you down. Merge multiple PDFs into single sources of truth to save time tracking down pertinent side hustle details.

  • Share your work with ease: 
    Whatever your side hustle, don’t let trouble sharing your work create a road block. The Compress tool in Acrobat will help you reduce the size of PDFs for simple sharing.

  • Tap into the speed of digital business:
    Not only can you eliminate the costs of storing physical files by doing business digitally, you can save yourself a ton of time. Adobe Fill & Sign tools help you capture and complete signatures wherever digital signatures are accepted.

Whatever your hustle, Acrobat Pro can help you seize the extra cash — learn more about what you can do as a side hustler with Adobe tools. 

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