3 side hustles for young professionals: One expert brought in $500-$600/month in passive income

"I'm of the belief that people should always know how to make money outside of their regular job."


Side hustles offer an opportunity to bring in a little extra cash per month ― or a lot. One third of side hustlers brought in an extra $500 to $1,000 per month in 2021, and another 14% brought in more than $1,500 per month, according to an October 2021 DollarSprout survey of 500 U.S. adults with side hustles.

"I'm of the belief that people should always know how to make money outside of their regular job," because you never know what could happen with that day job, says side hustle expert Michelle Jackson, who has more than half a dozen income streams.

If you're a young professional starting your career but still looking to earn more on the side or create a new income stream, there are plenty of possibilities to consider. Here are three side hustles for young professionals.

Teach people how to use some new tech

If you're especially tech savvy and love learning to use the newest app or software in a given field, consider gaining an in-depth knowledge in that app or software and teaching people how to use it.

This gig can be "very lucrative and very timely," says Jackson. And there are several ways to go about it, even if you're not interested in doing 1:1 lessons.

  • Instagram or TikTok tutorials: Once you've created and they've gained some traction, you can offer to consult companies or individuals on those apps or that software. Some may even reach out to you directly having seen your videos.

Pick up some freelance work

If you have skills you aren't necessarily using in your day job and know you want to develop them further, consider offering to do them as a freelancer.

Say you learned how to use graphic design software at school but aren't applying that knowledge in your 9-5. Look for projects on sites like FlexJobs or Facebook groups dedicated to graphic designers and offer your services. Graphic designers make an average of $19 per hour, according to Indeed.

5 most popular side hustles of 2020

Video by Stephen Parkhurst

Or say you're particularly good at writing resumes. You might list your services on sites like Fiverr, where resume writers are charging as much as $160 per resume.   

If you have a more unique skill, like gift wrapping, consider listing it on sites like TaskRabbit. Gift wrappers make an average of $14 per hour, according to Indeed.

"A lot of these freelancing sites don't need experts," says Jen Glantz, founder of Bridesmaid for Hire and the Odd Jobs Newsletter. "They just need people at a very intro level."

Be a brand ambassador

Brand ambassadors go to events like concerts, food festivals, or large sporting events, on behalf of a company. They are responsible for handing out samples of that company's products, handing out fliers, and telling passersby about it.

"I've done a lot of special events side hustles and they typically will pay a lot more" than an ongoing brand ambassador role, says Jackson. If you don't necessarily have time to commit to a weekly part-time gig with a company, one-off brand ambassador events can work because "you're optimizing your time and you're experiencing something really fun," she says.

Brand ambassadors make an average of $18 per hour in the U.S., according to Indeed. Look for brand ambassador gigs on sites like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, or LinkedIn.

Ultimately, "there's not one right route" to finding the right hustle, says Glantz. "I think it's all about trying and learning."

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