By Ryan Elizabeth Burch
I recently opened up here about the ups and downs of my journey as a writer and blogger. Although it wasn’t easy to reveal the details of my emotional and financial situation over the past year, I believe it’s important to be honest about the challenges that come with pursuing a non-traditional career path.
I often hear people talk about how easy it must be to be a blogger or creative– as they seem to imagine it meaning non-stop luncheon dates, frivolous “to dos” and a super lax lifestyle. But the reality is, most bloggers (or photographers, artists, freelancers, etc…) are juggling multiple jobs to support their creative passion, and those who are successful now, generally had to grind for several years before they made any money at it.
With that being said, this post is not meant to discourage anyone from pursuing a creative career path—but rather to ensure that those who DO are prepared for what’s ahead and armed with the tools to be successful!
Since quitting my full-time job in 2014, I’ve become an expert (of sorts) at hunting down part-time, flexible gigs—and highly recommend the following 3 techniques to anyone looking for a way to support their creative endeavors.
#1: Take Your Skills Freelance
If you’re coming out of a full-time career or have a college degree, then you’ve likely picked up skills that could be monetized as a freelancer.
Start by reaching out to people in your network who might benefit from your skill set, and check out the following sites to explore freelance opportunities:
24 Seven Talent: Recruiting / staffing agency offering short term and long term career opportunities
UpWork: Hub for online freelance job opportunities
Creative Circle: Specialized staffing agency hiring advertising, marketing, creative positions
The Create Daily: Job postings & career resources for creatives (sign up for their newsletter!)
#2. Get a Flexible Part-Time Job!
Restaurant server: Servers have flexible hours, great tips, and are constantly making connections.
(TIP: If you don’t have the experience to be a server right away (where the real money is), take a host or an expo position! If you take it seriously and always find something to do (or clean!) – management will take notice and move you up quickly).
Catering server: As a catering server you’ll have flexible hours and get to be a part of fun and interesting events. And once you’re “IN” with a catering company, you’ll frequently be hit up for gigs, and can set your own schedule!
(TIP: Create a resume focused on your skills dealing with people. Do a Google search of catering companies in your city and call, email or visit them in person. Explain that you’re a hustler, that you understand the importance of attention to detail and would be dedicated to providing guests with superior service).
Brand ambassador: Many major brands now hire ambassadors to engage with consumers and maximize exposure for their products. These gigs can be high paying and lots of fun!
(TIP: Search “brand ambassador agencies” or “experiential staffing” in your city. Some that I’ve worked with include):
Driver: With more and more apps based on delivered products and services, there is an increasing need for drivers in every city.
(TIP: Search “delivery driver” in your city and see what comes up!)
#3: Find Simple Ways to Make Extra Cash
When I’ve been really strapped for cash, I’ve managed to cover my bills creatively, scrapping together money from surprising sources like:
Task Rabbit: allows you to make extra cash helping others with simple tasks
Rover: Get paid to babysit dogs!
Ebay: Sell old clothes and items you aren’t using!
Airbnb: If you’ve got a spare room, or an apartment in a great area, consider putting it on Airbnb!
Yes, you’ll need to check your ego at the door for some of these jobs and NO—it’s not always going to be glamorous, but you’ll have control over your finances, as well as the freedom (and flexibility) to continue chasing your creative dreams!
(( Do you have any suggestions for in-between work? I'd love to hear them & add to the list! ))
xoxo - Ryan Elizabeth
- this post originally appeared on Best Kept Self -