Don’t sleep on your side hustle!

Stock photo of a white vehicle with the Uber logo embossed on the side. CREDIT: CRISTI CROITORU
There are many ways to make a little money on the side while you wait to hear back about that dream job.

Canada has a disadvantage of an increasingly competitive job market. While it’s important to keep your eye on the prize for a job that is tailored just for you, it’s equally important to stay productive during your job search which can often include wearing your creative and entrepreneurial hat. Being a college student can be hard with living expenses, tuition, and if you hope to put some savings aside. It certainly doesn’t help when there are hundreds of individuals applying for one job. This is why having a side hustle can be helpful when it comes to meeting your financial needs.

Often side hustles require you to really channel your inner entrepreneur. I like to look at my side hustles as small businesses with a low risk factor. Your side hustle should be something that you’re either passionate about, or won’t get bored of, but hopefully both! Another tip for your side hustle is to remember that it is your side hustle and not to carve out too much time for that one thing, otherwise it will be easy for you to take your eye off your initial goal.

Below is a list of five side hustles suitable for students:

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1. Social media marketing or E-blast marketing

This seems like a side hustle that has taken over the world. For TikTok users, you know there isn’t one time where you’re scrolling on the app and an influencer doesn’t promote leaving your 9-5 job for social media marketing or affiliate marketing. It’s important to remember that there are people who will need the service of social media management. While you may not be super experienced or educated in this, you may have a passion to learn how to do this and if you look in the right places there just might be a business owner willing to take a chance on you! Small businesses with owners who don’t use social media every day or see it as second nature the way that some of us do may very well have the budget to onboard you as a freelance social media manager or E-blast manager.

2. Pet sitting

A popular pet sitting app that is used in London is called Rover. There’s always going to be people who are going on holiday and need someone to take care of their pets while they are away. Do your research and make your pricing competitive to build your client base. Additionally, I’ve heard of individuals who hire people from Rover to take their dogs on walks and play with them while they’re at their fulltime job.

3. Uber or delivery driver

This is probably one of the most well-known side hustles in North America right now. Uber and any kind of delivery service has become so integrated with this side of the world that there will always be a need for this service. Popular companies in this sector include Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart, Amazon, and more.

4. Babysitting

Facebook is a great place to start when it comes to babysitting. This is because of all the pages that have been created for babysitting in different regions. How these pages work is that individuals can either post their babysitting services, or people seeking babysitters can also post a request for applicants. Babysitting is also a side hustle that can thrive off networking. Leaving your child in the care of someone you just met can be daunting for some people which is why being somewhat familiar with people who might need this service could be beneficial.

5. Blank space

Pick up on that one hobby that you’ve neglected as life got in the way. Or maybe there’s an industry that you feel called towards. Now is the time for you to experiment and find your place in the professional world. This side hustle is called “blank space” because this part is up to you. Maybe you’ve done your research on side hustles, and nothing resonates with you and that’s why this section was created. Open your mind to the possibilities of making money from something that you can do whilst in school or on top of your part-time job that will fulfill your financial needs but also fill a void that you didn’t even know existed.

The key to every side hustle is to think outside the box. It’s unlikely that you will find that one niche market that no one has done and have that first-mover advantage into the market. That’s why adequate research and creativity will help you get a far way in your side hustle journey.