The Bad News
Whether we like it or not, we have to come to terms with the fact that our generation is being faced with multi-faceted financial problems. We are being forced to tackle a horrible job market, non-paying internships have replaced entry level jobs, entry level jobs don’t pay enough to meet our mounting financial needs, employers are cutting back on benefits, job security is essentially nonexistent, and we’ll be lucky if we have Social Security when we retire. Consequently, we must have more than one means of income: regular check and a hustle check.
The Good News
Before you have a heart attack I want you to know that although the situation may look bleak, we do have a couple of things working to our advantage. First, we are a generation of go-getters who are more petrified of settling than anything else. Second, we have grown up in an age of technology where anyone can have a voice and propel change. And lastly, we have lots of time. In other words, we have all the traits we need in order to thrive even when times get tough.
If you have fallen victim to this awful job market, I feel your pain. Just a few months ago I was struggling to find a decent job with a good company. Fortunately, from this struggle came creativity that eventually turned into a business. Thanks to my unemployment I was able to research how to run a freelance writing business. After some trial and error I founded Abella Media, and although I did eventually find a job with Berlitz Languages Inc., I still run Abella Media on the side as an extra means of income.
What You Can Do
You too can, and at this rate probably should, make some extra money on the side. Below you will find some examples of side businesses you can start on your own so that you too can have a hustle check coming in each month.
1. Freelance Writing and Blogging: Obviously I am a big fan of this. Thanks to the internet you can literally find writing jobs just about anywhere. If you are looking into making some money as a freelance writer I highly recommend checking out Make A Living Writing.
2. Virtual Assistant: This is actually a very interesting side business that is getting very popular. Small businesses are always looking for administrative assistants, and it just so happens that most administrative tasks can be done via telecommuting. For a great example of a Virtual Assistant Business check out Lisa Morosky’s Virtual Assistant Services for Bloggers.
3. Social Media Management: We are the kings and queens of social media. We run it, we produce it, hell, we even invented it (Mark Zuckerberg, anyone?). Small businesses and professionals are constantly looking for people to run their social media accounts and no one has more experience in this area than we do.
4. Online Tutoring: Have a special skill that you can help people with? All you need is Skype and a PayPal account and you can run your own online tutoring business. That’s what Ashley over at The Middle Finger Project did back in the day to make some extra cash and now she’s a web entrepreneur extraordinaire.
5. Web Design: Many of us computer savvy young people know our way around WordPress and Adobe Photoshop. Even if you only have basic skills you can still make some extra money by helping those who are absolutely oblivious about web design. If you need a good example of a web design business run by 20somethings check out Shatterboxx Media.
As you can see, earning some extra money is easier than you think. Sure, it will take time and perseverance to turn these ideas into money generating gigs, but hey, our generation’s got those two things covered.
Amanda Abella is a freelance writer, blogger, entrepreneur, and language instructor based out of Miami, Florida. She is also the author of the popular guide Goals Are Dreams with Expiration Dates. When she isn’t teaching she is busy running her own business (Abella Media) and blogging about the personal development of Gen Y (Grad Meets World). You can also find Amanda at the nearest Irish pub or watching Mad Men.