Working during a pandemic: side hustles for young adults

Written by: Rayni Skaggs
April 23, 2020

“Good things happen to those who hustle.” ~Anais Nin

COVID-19 has prompted many people to begin searching for somewhat unconventional sources of income, especially college students and young adults. This isn’t surprising, considering the US economy lost 701,000 jobs in March, according to a recent report from the Labor Department. (Read about the state of the job market here, and find out about programs that can help you pay your bills here.) Luckily, the internet offers a lot of opportunities to earn a quick buck or even a sustainable income during this hectic time. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Use Your Skills

Home Renovations and Maintenance

Home Advisor

Set up an online business profile with HomeAdvisor and start collecting customer reviews to launch a full-on side hustle. New projects are coming in every day, and there’s something for everyone. Whether you find your passion mowing lawns, painting, or larger projects like fence or roof installations, there are people out there who need your skill. Create your account here.

Random Tasks

TaskRabbit

TaskRabbit is a platform that allows you to market your handywoman/handyman services in your area. Earn anywhere from $20 - $150 per job. Even during social distancing, there are plenty of tasks that you can advertise on TaskRabbit. These tasks include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Delivery
  • Shopping
  • Yard Work
  • Errands

Become a Tasker here.


Creative Skills

Fiverr 

Hone your creative skills by signing up for Fiverr’s freelance services. Whether you specialize in writing, graphic design, digital marketing, or any other creative endeavor, Fiverr offers you the chance to market your skills and work where and when you want. Some examples of marketable skills include logo design, proofreading, resume writing, web programming, and video editing, among many others. 


Education

Tutor.com

Become a tutor in the subject of your choice. With students across the country currently attempting to learn from home, the need for virtual tutors is soaring. Tutor.com’s platform makes connecting with students (and earning extra income!) simple, convenient, and flexible. You can log on whenever you’re available, tutor remotely from anywhere, and get paid on a regular schedule (no invoice needed). Start your application here.


Sell Your Belongings

Okay, so it’s not glamorous. But selling some of your older possessions can be a great way to make a quick buck, especially if you have some bills looming on the horizon. Consider selling your used technology, furniture, clothing, and other items that no longer spark joy. Check out Marie Kondo’s book Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up to learn when it’s time to give up some of those clothes in your closet that you haven’t worn in ages. Here are a few sites that allow you to post the items you’re looking to sell:

For our students out there- the semester is coming to an end, and one opportunity to make some extra cash is sitting right there in your backpack: textbooks. There are number of online sets that allow you to sell your used textbooks, and we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorites below:

Sustainable side-hustles

Create a blog: if you can foster a reasonable following, the opportunities for earning an income from your blog are extensive. To begin earning money, you’ll want to look into advertising and affiliate marketing. With affiliate advertising, you will be paid by an advertiser every time a paying customer accesses their site through your blog. This is a popular way to keep start-up blogs in business. 


Check out this easy, step-by-step beginner’s guide to starting a blog.

Start a podcast: you can earn money through a podcast similarly to the way you might earn money through a blog. Your podcast should stick to a niche theme in order to attract a specific audience and affiliate market. 


Check out this step-by-step guide to starting your podcast.


Search some work-from-home job postings to find a traditional job that allows you to work remotely. Here are some of our favorites sites:

For our quirky hustlers

Become a Friend-for-Hire

RentAFriend

Do you love to socialize and meet new people? Do you know of all the best places in town to visit, and all the best sites to see? People who are traveling, new to town, or just looking for someone to hang out with are willing to pay you to become their friend! You can set your own rate (usually $20-$50/hr) and earn while you socialize. Due to COVID-19, friends are currently offering “Virtual Friend Services,” which include Facetime, Zoom, texting, PenPals, and more.

Earn commission by sharing products

Split.co

If you love to make recommendations to your friends, whether it be your favorite clothing brand, restaurant, or any other business, this may be the job for you. Essentially, each time you share a link with a friend who ends up becoming a paying customer, you both receive a small commission on the purchase.


Sell your smartphone pictures

Shutterstock

If you love taking artsy pics on your iPhone, you may be able to make money by selling them on popular platforms like Shutterstock. Taking pictures that businesses may want to include on their websites could earn you some serious cash.


Find some more great side-hustle ideas by reading here and here.

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