The Perks of a Side Job Outside Your Industry

One option for a side job is working as a barista. Photo credit:

After graduating from Syracuse University, I came home to find an application for Bed, Bath & Beyond sitting on my desk. Trying to be helpful, my mom had picked it up for me when she saw they were hiring. “It would just be a little something while you’re applying for full-time jobs,” she explained when I approached her about it. I was furious – didn’t she realize that applying to full-time jobs was a full-time job?

However, the more I thought about it, the more my mom’s logic began to make sense. Here’s why.

1. Cash is the most obvious reason for a side job. Before you accept a position, though, make sure the hours are reasonable and flexible – your search for a “real job” should take precedence. For example, you might only want to work nights and weekends so that your days are free for potential interviews.

2. The skills you’ll hone are extremely marketable for any position. Working as a host/hostess, waiter/waitress, or salesperson shows you’re able to handle cranky customers, use common sense, work hard, and get your hands dirty. As much as employers are looking for qualified and accomplished candidates, they also want to hire someone who will be perfectly happy to make copies or go on a coffee run.

3. Working anywhere keeps your focus clear. It’s easy to get down on yourself while sitting on the couch all day, applying for job after job after job. Surrounding yourself with a productive working culture – being around others who are also working – will keep you more motivated and have a positive impact on your overall performance.

Want to make quick cash without leaving home? >>
1. Collect all the stuff that has been sitting in your room collecting dust over the past four years (start with jewelry and CDs). Instead of keeping 60 Beanie Babies lined up on your desk, choose one or two with sentimental value and sell the rest on eBay. The site even offers a Beanie Babies Buying Guide!

2. Utilize local networks. If you’re passionate about graphic design, approach local businesses in your town and offer to design flyers for a small fee. If you’re a techie, ask your parents to email their friends to see if anyone needs computer help (chances are, they do, and are willing to pay for it). Have a younger sibling? Tap into his/her friends for babysitting jobs.

3. Get paid to try new products, services, or programs on “Get Paid To” sites (called GPT for short). Advertisers pay GPT sites to have people try their products. GPT sites then pass a portion of that money to the members who sign up to try various “services,” which can be as simple as filling out surveys or playing online games. There are hundreds of GPT sites to choose from, including CashCrate, RewardPort, and UniqueRewards.

What are your thoughts on getting a side job while looking for a full-time gig? Comment below with your opinion.

PLUS: Introducing the No Joe Schmo Facebook page — please become a fan!

5 thoughts on “The Perks of a Side Job Outside Your Industry

  1. Hi Megan, I really enjoy your blog and the quirky jobs you highlight! I’ve had my fair share of side jobs, and while they weren’t always my cup of tea, they’re good not only for the extra cash and experience, but they make you a more desirable hire. It’s always easier get a job while you’re already employed than when you’re out of a job.

  2. Hi Jennifer – thanks so much for your feedback! Great point: I totally agree that it’s easier to land a job once you’re already working. Hope you keep reading No Joe Schmo, and definitely feel free to suggest a quirky job to be highlighted!

  3. […] 2. Oscar Mayer recruiters look for a four-year degree, but you don’t need a specific major. It’s all about personality and what you can bring to the table that makes you sparkle. You need to be fun, animated, and really flexible, since people will be talking to you all the time. (SEE: the perks of a side job outside your industry.) […]

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