In this post you’ll discover:
- A look at how the gig economy has expanded.
- Who’s participating in the gig economy.
- Three of the easiest side hustles to get into and how to get started.
We are living in the age of the side hustle. Whether out of the desire for flexibility or a need to supplement income, surveys show 40% of Americans have a side hustle — up from 34% in 2020. The term “side hustle” (meaning work performed for income supplementary to one’s primary job) was even added to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary in 2022.
Side Hustles and the Gig Economy
For many, the traditional 9-to-5 office job is no longer relevant, with Forbes calling the concept an “antiquated relic from the past … created to serve the needs of business titans who ran manufacturing plants that relied upon lots of people standing on assembly lines.”
In our post-pandemic service economy we’ve seen how flexible work-from-home options can work for employees and companies. Further, many workers are choosing gig work rather than permanent positions because as the New York Times puts it, gig work “offers something traditional permanent employment still generally doesn’t, the ability to work when and as much as you want, demand permitting, which is often essential to balance life obligations like school or child care.”
Side Hustles by the Numbers
A recent Zapier report shows side hustling is on the rise. Here’s what else it found:
- 44% of men and 37% of women say they have a side hustle.
- 59% of Gen Z (ages 18-25), 61% of MIllennials and 36% of Gen X have a side hustle. Just 13% of Baby Boomers say they have one.
- 44% of respondents spend less than 10 hours per week on their side hustle.
- Americans who have a side hustle make on average, $12,689 per year. One in five make more than $15,000 per year side hustling.
Three Gigs to Start Hustling
So here we are, a gig economy in the age of the side hustle. Where to begin? Keep reading. We’ve identified three side hustle ideas that you can start in less than a week.
- Pick Up a Shift
If you’ve scrolled through the headlines in recent months you’re likely aware many companies — particularly those in the service industry — are experiencing a worker shortage. Some are turning to services that allow them to hire for single unfilled shifts.
Snagajob is a service that connects qualified workers with open shifts in the food industry, event catering, customer service and more. The company operates in a limited number of states but has plans to expand.
- Drive, Deliver, Do
UberEats, DoorDash, InstaCart. Opportunities abound for gig workers to use their cars or bikes to side hustle. Here are a few lesser-known gigs:
- AmazonFlex. You use your vehicle to deliver Amazon packages. Take only the shifts you want and drive as much or little as you want.
- Drizly is an alcohol delivery service that partners with local retailers, who then hire delivery drivers. Drivers apply to work with nearby shops through Drizly’s application portal.
- GoPuff. Similar to PostMates, but with a twist. GoPuff specializes in convenience items, but instead of sending drivers to the corner 7-11, they own their own warehouses. GoPuff drivers sign up for shifts rather than single deliveries and can make up to $15 per hour.
- If you’ve got a vehicle but would rather not do the driving, you can rent out your car via Getaround. The car-sharing app has been around since 2009 and operates in 950 cities. (Speaking of renting out things you’re not using, if you’ve got space to spare, you may be able to rent it out for storage, events or photoshoots.)
If you’re more of a doer than a driver, there are plenty of side hustle gigs that put your hands and mind to good use. TaskRabbit may be the most well known, where workers are tasked with anything from moving furniture to planting flowers. Other hands-on side hustles include dog walking, cleaning or caring for pets or people.
- Take Pics
For those looking for a highly flexible, skills-based side hustle to start immediately, the good news is you already have the tools you need right in your pocket or purse: the camera on your smartphone. You don’t have to be a professional photographer either. Anyone from amateurs to experienced photogs can start making money taking photos or videos for a niche clientele.
FotoFetch is a new and innovative service designed to harness the power of billions of cameras in pockets around the world.
Here’s how it works:
- Register with FotoFetch to find freelance photography jobs in your location that meet your experience level.
- Once you accept the job, you get all the relevant details and have 24 hours to complete the assignment.
- Upload your content and get paid.
It’s quite literally a snap to choose only the projects you want, when you want them.
The good news for the independent-minded among us is that side hustles are not going anywhere, and it looks like the gig economy is here to stay. Making the most of your side hustle is all about choosing jobs that align with your time and talents. Now, get hustling!