You’re out of college. Congrats! Now it’s time to get a job. Unfortunately, you’re slowly coming to the realization that life out of college is not as glamorous as it has been made to be — after racking up all that college debt with the impression that you’ll be settled as soon as you graduate college and get a job, you are slowly realizing that it is not that easy to get a job.
Unfortunately, you’re not alone.
According to data from Experience.com, the average college graduate will have to wait up to nine months after graduating to get a job. The fact that the average college student now graduate with debt of about $37,172 — a number that keeps increasing every year — doesn’t help matters.
All hope is not lost, though. As a fresh college graduate, you can easily take care of your immediate needs by taking on side gigs. In fact, you might even earn enough to start paying off your college debts -- all while you wait to get a job. Below are seven side gigs you can do while waiting to get hired:
Become a Freelancer
According to research from Upwork and Freelancers Union, freelancers earned an estimated $1 trillion in 2016, and the freelance workforce grew to about 55 million Americans — or 35 percent of total U.S. workforce.
Becoming a freelancer is one of the easiest and smartest ways to earn a side income, with freelancers on the high end of the chain earning up to $100 or more per hour. Below are some freelancing side gigs you can do:
1. Freelance Content Writer: While many people’s knowledge of freelance writing is that it mainly involves low paying gigs (in which they earn about $3 per article) on bidding sites like Upwork or Freelancer, the reality is that being a freelance content writer can be much more profitable. Besides the fact that there are lots of alternative sites to Upwork that enable a community in which writers are treated fairly — allowing you to earn up to $50 per hour, a quick Google search will easily reveal dozens of individual sites, across various niches, that will pay you up to $100 or more for your articles they accept.
2. Freelance Web Developer: Another side gig you can take is that of a freelance web developer. Even if you’re not that skilled as a web developer, there are several detailed resources that will get you started on the basics of being a web developer at no cost to you. As a freelance web developer, you can easily earn $50 to $100 or more per hour doing web development work. More importantly, most web development work is large in scope, ensuring you have a consistent stream of work and a lot of income from just a few clients.
3. Freelance Consultant: In case you’re not too comfortable with the technical aspects, or you don’t have many technical skills you can offer, but you’re more equipped with the know-how and strategic aspect of how certain niches work, you can work as a freelance consultant. Your role could vary from simply preparing strategy to helping outline or even direct teams that execute your suggestions. It all depends on the organization you are consulting for.
How to Get Freelance Clients
If you decide to go the freelance route, one of the top questions that comes to mind is that of how you can get clients who need your services. So many options are available:
- Make use of individual freelance job boards — these are more likely to have good paying gigs.
- Leverage bidding sites like Upwork and Freelancer — although, these often provide offers on the lower end of the scale, something good often turns up there.
- Cold pitch companies and organizations that you think could make use of your services.
Take Advantage of the Sharing Economy
You can also earn a good living, especially to offset some of your basic costs while you wait to get hired, by taking advantage of the share economy. Here are a few gigs for you:
4. Share Your House: Depending on how big your home is, you can rent out a room or even your whole house to people who are traveling or who are looking for accommodations in your area. The good news is that this isn’t as complicated as being a landlord, and people staying at your house might stay for a few days or a few weeks depending on what arrangement you want. If this is your cup of tea, you might want to look into Airbnb.
5. Give People a Ride: Similar to sharing your house, the sharing economy also provides opportunity to earn quick income by giving people a ride in your car, and this gives you practically limitless potential to earn. It isn’t unusual to earn up to $35 or more per hour doing this gig. You might want to checkout Lyft or Uber if you’re interested in this.
6. Engage in Other Sharing Activities: Besides sharing your house, the sharing economy also makes it easy to earn by engaging in other sharing activities. For example, sites like DogVacay make it easy to earn up to $30 per night taking care of other people’s dogs. Sites like Getaround lets you lend out your car in exchange for a fee. Many more services like these abound, and you can even combine several of them for maximum income.
7. Start a Content-Driven Business: While this can take much longer than all the other options on this list, you can start to generate an income in just a few months. Search engines like Google generate billions of hits every day, thanks to people looking for content. The top social media sites are also driven by content. YouTube, the number one video site in the world, is driven by content as well. You can generate serious income, even potentially turning it into a full-time job, by starting a content business: start a blog, start your own YouTube channel, etc, and actively monetize it by partnering with local and international businesses who want access to your audience. This can generate a few hundred dollars per month, a few thousand dollars, or much more.