Grow Your Earning Potential
Grow Your Earning Potential: Year-Round Side Gigs for Current and Future Educators
By Lucy Reed
As a teacher or recent recipient of an education degree, you know all too well the difference you make in the lives of each student you come in contact with. Teaching is your passion, but it is also your job. But like most people, you’ve got to find a way to pay the bills that also allows you to enjoy time away from the classroom free of financial stress. You could work for a delivery service or at the mall for a few weeks, but if you’re like many teachers and recent grads, you’ve got student debt to pay down and your share of bills. Plus, those who have yet to find a teaching position find themselves in a tough spot as well. What if you could find a side gig that could boost your earnings while making it possible to utilize your professional skills and experience? Well, thanks to the gig economy, there are more opportunities than ever to make good money doing what you love while maintaining a flexible schedule.
Set Yourself Up
When you decide to take the leap, it’s important to plan ahead before you take on a side gig. Whether it’s a home office that’s distraction-free, a quick and easy way to invoice your clients, or a plan to handle your taxes, it’s imperative that you set yourself up for success. Staying organized is critical, particularly if you decide to extend your side gig into the school year. Having a plan in place to manage the financial aspects of your business will also prove highly beneficial come tax time. Some people use programs like Quickbooks to invoice, while other people opt for mobile-friendly and less expensive invoicing apps. You can also set up a Paypal or Venmo account so people can pay you quickly and easily. No checks or cash to run to the bank!
Of course, finding the right gig comes next. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are some ideas to consider.
Be a Prof
Many people who go into education do so with the intention of becoming a college professor. However, that usually requires earning at least a master’s degree, but some colleges and technical schools will consider adjunct professor candidates who have a bachelor’s degree and sufficient professional experience. In many cases, there’s built-in flexibility because some colleges will allow you to use pre-recorded lectures each semester. And you can expect to earn up to $3,500 per course on an ongoing basis.
Online Focus Groups
Traditionally, focus groups are held in a specific physical location, where participants gather to render their opinions on a wide range of products and issues. It’s a valuable marketing tool for companies, advertising agencies, and public relations firms. While that probably wouldn’t work for a teacher on an ongoing basis, technology has caught up with focus groups, many of which are held online, with participants sitting in front of their computers as part of a video conferencing call.
Be Your Own Publisher
Many famous authors started out as teachers, including Kurt Vonnegut, Robert Frost, J.K. Rowling, Dan Brown, and William Golding. If you love to write and have a story to tell, you could be next. Self-publishing platforms like CreateSpace, Kobo, and Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing allow you to push your book directly into the market without going through a publishing company/distributor. All earnings go directly into your pocket, though Amazon does take a small percentage if you choose to publish via their platform.
Be a Blogger
Teachers have unique skill sets, such as writing and communication, that make them marketable in ways that other people aren’t. There are lots of opportunities today to earn a substantial second income as a freelance writer or blogger. Blogging is a fun way to earn because you’re writing about something you love and know a lot about. It’s also a terrific creative outlet. It can take a little time to build an online following, but advertising and affiliate partnership opportunities can turn it into a lucrative venture.
Consider using your chief skill set as a side gig that can provide a side income all year round. There’s always a need for good tutors, both during the summer and throughout the school year. And thanks to the Internet, you can do it on your own time. Many people tutor their clients via Skype or FaceTime.
Teaching is a personally rewarding profession, but it’s a calling that doesn’t offer a very rewarding salary. The gig economy offers ample opportunity to use your teaching and communication skills to bolster your teacher’s pay. And there are many ways to do it on your own time as often as you like.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com