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Good Second Jobs to Earn Extra Cash Outside Your 9-to-5

May 25, 2016 TopResume

Good Second Jobs to Earn Extra Cash Outside Your 9-to-5

If you have a full-time job, but you're still looking to make some extra money, you might be wondering where to look for side job ideas. In a January 2016 survey released by research and employment company Indeed, 33.6 percent of the 3058 Americans surveyed moonlight, or work a second job. For the majority of that crowd, the second job helped make ends meet. For others, they saw it as a way to start their own business or make money doing something they enjoy. For me, I was often working a second gig because I liked the idea of being my own boss and having some extra cash on hand to pay off debt or save. I also love experiencing new things, and I even worked part-time as an independent jewelry consultant to have some extra money to donate to charities one year.

Whether you're looking to pay down those ever lingering student loans, want to build that emergency fund of at least $1000, as recommended by personal finance expert Dave Ramsey, or you're looking to save some money for your dream vacation or home, you definitely have options.

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What type of side job ideas would you be good at or enjoy?

There are a number of good second job opportunities available. To begin the process of identifying what's best for you, brainstorm and make a list that includes all of your competencies and the tasks you enjoy doing. For example, do you love helping others succeed and enjoy your current line of work? Maybe part-time coaching is in your future. Do you enjoy hosting parties for your friends and family? Maybe the service industry or wedding planning would be right for you. Are you good at photography, graphic design, or writing? Then freelance work might be a great fit for you.

If you still need help coming up with side job ideas, peruse the Job Posting page of your local Craigslist ads to see what employers or individuals are currently requesting. You might also consider asking friends or family members what they think you might be good at. Mind Tools and My Career Quizzes have some fun (free!) quizzes that might help you answer this question, as well. Below, I've also provided a list of potential opportunities to help you lay out your roadmap to part-time income success.

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Part-time and Work from Home Opportunities

Freelance work

Writing, graphic design, video editing, photography, web design, coding, and internet marketing are just some of the areas where freelancers are making some nice part-time, and often full-time, income. Sites such are,, and are sites where companies and individuals turn to for help in completing various tasks and projects. Each site works a bit differently, but for the most part, freelancers build a profile page and pay to post bids for jobs. It can take some time to understand the process and build a portfolio, but with time, these can be lucrative opportunities. Personally, I've had success in securing freelance writing work from sites such as these. You can also do an online search for training resources to help you start a freelance business. For example, is one resource for those looking to secure freelance work. You can also search for jobs on your local newspaper job posting boards, as well as on Craigslist mentioned earlier.

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Personal and Business Coaching

If you have a knack for business or are the go-to person for advice, then you might consider business or life coaching as a good second job. A quality coach can make anywhere from $100 to $300 per hour and upward. Workshops and Webinars are also a way to make some extra money by offering your services or expertise to a group.

If you think this might be a good fit for you, there are certifications available to help boost your credibility. When researching coaching and certifications, not all programs are created equal. The International Coach Federation holds a particular set of standards for accrediting organizations that offer coaching certifications. That's not to say that programs without accreditation aren't of value, so do your homework and find a program that's affordable and a good fit for your current circumstances and needs.

If you have a skill in the arts, such as acting or singing, then you might also consider being a voice or acting coach.

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Serving and Bartending

If you have experience in the service industry or think waiting tables or bartending would be fun for you; then finding part-time work in the evenings or on weekends at a local restaurant might be a good fit. The great thing about these side job ideas is the fact that the schedule is often flexible, and you can request others to pick up shifts when you need to. Not to mention, at a steady restaurant, servers can easily make $15 an hour plus on average, and bartenders tend to make even more. I've held this type of job in the past and made good money while having fun doing it.

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Direct Sales

It's not for everyone, but network marketing and direct sales can be a nice way to make some part time income. I have several friends who do it, and they love it. They make anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand per month. Some even use it as their primary source of income. Another great thing about becoming an independent consultant for a reputable direct sales company is the fact that they can have reasonably priced marketing materials that are already designed for you, such as websites and business cards.

Having personal experience in direct sales, it does take some time and effort, but if you're a good self-starter, it's worth looking into for a good second job. It can be a fun way to make some extra money while also building your professional network. Plus, there are direct sales companies for a variety of niches, from health and wellness (Isagenix) to cosmetics (Jafra, Mark Kay) to jewelry (Stella & Dot). There are service-based direct sales companies, as well, such as Legal Shield, a company offering pre-paid legal services to individuals and businesses. Do some research to determine what companies have the best reputations and support that you need.

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Child and Senior Care

Tutoring, babysitting and offering senior care services is another way to make some extra cash. Sites such as can be a helpful place to secure these types of jobs. They also require a background check, which provides peace of mind to those hiring for such services.

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Driving and Courier Services

Uber and Lyft have become popular means of transportation for the night time party goer to the frugal business traveler. I recently used Uber quite frequently when in Los Angeles, and I made it a habit of asking the drivers how long they'd been driving and if they enjoyed it. With one exception, every one of them seemed to enjoy it. They made their own schedules and decent money on the side if they were consistent in their pick-ups. To join a company like Uber, it's relatively straightforward, and the process is laid out on their website. They are location specific and require you to have a driver's license in the state in which you'll be driving. There are also certain vehicle requirements.

Courier services, such as PostMates, has also had success in recent months. These types of companies offer courier services to customers. Your job would be to accept a job via their app, pick up the order, check it twice, pay for it with the company card PostMates gives you at orientation and then deliver the order. ForPostMates, you're paid a percentage of the customer's fee, and your income is deposited weekly into the account you set up when you sign up.  They serve several areas throughout the United States, and once you're a PostMates, you can work in any of those locations.

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Other Options

Teaching a fitness class (lots of options by entering "become a fitness instructor" for an online search), mowing lawns, housecleaning or becoming a virtual assistant (check out are additional side job ideas that allow you to make some extra cash.

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Words of Wisdom (or Caution)

The good news is, as you can see, there are numerous ways to make money outside of a full-time job. At the same time, you do want to clarify how much you can handle, so you don't stretch yourself thin. Keeping your stress level manageable with a full-time job can be challenging enough, the last thing you want to do is add stress to the situation. Get clear on how many hours you can manage outside of your current job, determine the days per week you're available, stick to a schedule, and cut back if you begin getting sick or feel overwhelmed. Take it from me, your health needs to be a priority.

You also want to play it safe. Do your due diligence and beware of scams. Proceed with caution before providing your personal information, and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. All the organizations and resources provided here are ones that I, or someone I know, have had some experience with. However, everyone's experience is different, and organizations can change over time. It's important for you to find reputable organizations and opportunities that work for you. Also, check with your current organization's Moonlighting and Conflict of Interest policies to ensure you're not out of alignment with those policies when choosing your desired part-time gig(s).

Now that you have some side job ideas and resources to work with, give yourself some time and be patient as you venture into this brave new world; and don't forget to have fun with it!

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Note: this article was originally published on TopResume.

TopResume is a Talent Inc. company, the personal branding destination for all career-driven professionals. Through our extensive network of professional writers, we offer career advice and analyze and write more resumes and LinkedIn profiles than any other service in the world. Ready to get started? Request a free resume critique today.

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