If you've been thinking about getting a side hustle, you're in good company. Zapier reports that 40% of Americans held down a side gig in 2022. And if you're able to carve out the time for a second job, the extra cash might benefit your finances in a very big way.
If you have credit card debt, for example, a side hustle could be your ticket to whittling it away. If your emergency fund needs work, a side hustle could make it possible to build up some cash reserves. And if you're trying to buy a home, a side hustle could help you get closer to your down payment.
Now, I'll admit that these days, I don't really work a side hustle per se. That's because I'm a self-employed freelance writer. So when I take on additional clients, I don't consider it a side hustle so much as an extension of the job I already do.
But there was a point when I worked full time for a marketing company and did freelance writing gigs on the side. Back then, I used that money to build my savings account balance, pay for travel, and buy extra things for the home my husband and I had recently purchased.
If my writing work were to slow down in the near term, I'd definitely look to a side hustle to try to make up that income. But here are three gigs I really won't consider.
I like kids, which is a good thing considering that I have three of them. But taking care of kids can be very draining. So the idea of having to look after kids that aren't mine just doesn't appeal to me.
It's hard enough wrangling my gang to do homework and breaking up the fights that inevitably erupt on a daily basis. I'm not looking to repeat that process in another household.
2. Driving for a ride-hailing company
I've been driving for years and do it regularly to get to where I need to go. But driving is something I generally don't enjoy doing. In fact, I find it stressful.
Maybe that's because I live in an area where drivers tend to be rude, aggressive, or downright careless. And the frequent traffic doesn't help. But all told, I know that having to spend extra time on the road as a side hustle would not be a good thing for me at all.
Since I have a background in marketing and am a writer, pivoting to social media marketing as a side gig seems like it would be a good fit. The problem? I really don't like social media.
The only reason I'm on social media is because without it, I'd miss out on updates for some of my kids' clubs and activities. But I've found that spending time on social media isn't actually so good for my mental health. So I wouldn't want to be forced to do it more than necessary.
It's important to find the right side hustle
Pushing yourself to work a second gig on top of a primary job is not an easy thing to do. After all, you're giving up free time and making your schedule more hectic. So it's important to find a side hustle that's a good fit for you.
If there are certain side gigs that truly don't appeal to you, don't pursue them. Driving for a ride-hailing service may be a popular side hustle, and it's one that can be lucrative. But if you hate to drive, or you hate the idea of having to come home late at night and search for parking in your crowded neighborhood, then it's not the gig for you.
In fact, if anything, your ideal side hustle should be something you get some degree of enjoyment out of. This isn't always possible — but remember, I said “ideal.” But even if you don't love your side hustle, you also shouldn't hate it.
For me, walking dogs and caring for pets would be a great side gig since I enjoy getting fresh air and exercise, and I'm an animal lover. You might love playing music. In that case, performing at birthday parties, corporate events, and cafes might be a good way to earn extra money while doing work you enjoy.
A side hustle that makes you miserable is one that's unlikely to be sustainable. So your best bet is to take the time to find a gig that's great for you, as well as your finances.
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