A ‘side-hustle’ is work carried out to make money in addition to your main income (if you have a job) – money ‘on the side’ so to speak.
Certainly, no side hustle is a ‘get-rich-quick’ idea, but if done properly it can offer a small steady income. An extra hundred pounds or more is always handy for emergency funds, deposits, food shopping, or buying a little treat for your hard work. It’s also an excellent way to demonstrate business acumen, time-management and resourcefulness on your CV.
When choosing a side-hustle, you must keep a few things in mind:
- What are you good at doing that can be turned into profit? Be sure to choose something you enjoy, otherwise you could burn out all too easily.
- Is there sufficient demand for this product/service? Perhaps it fills a gap in the market or has a unique selling point (USP). It’s also sensible to have a particular audience in mind, and how these aspects could appeal to their interests, particularly niche ones.
- How will this side-hustle contribute to your future career ambitions? It doesn’t have to be directly related, any side-hustle demonstrates ambition, discipline, and hard work.
These ideas give you a starting point and can be developed into larger ventures if you execute them well.
Selling second-hand textbooks on eBay
This doesn’t require too much effort, but you need to research the typical selling prices of the relevant books and when they are most in demand. Ask your friends if they have any books they would like to get rid of but check beforehand if they will be profitable sales. You can also check charity shops, eBay, Amazon, on-campus book sales, and independent bookshops.
As a student, you’ll be aware of what sorts of textbooks are currently in demand in various subjects as well as your own. If not, you have your university’s official reading lists, as well as Amazon’s book bestsellers lists. Just bear in mind that more books nowadays have e-book editions, so there’ll be less demand for physical copies.
Start by setting up an eBay account, if you don’t already have one, and collect a small number of positive reviews by buying items from other sellers. Positive reviews make sellers appear more trustworthy to potential buyers and help build your reputation. Linking your eBay account to a PayPal account adds extra security to your transactions and reduces the risk of scams.
Arts and crafts
This doesn’t only cover handmade items, but also logo and poster design. Etsy can be good for selling if you expect to make enough profit after shipping and seller’s fees. Much of Etsy’s customer base in in North America, so sending items from the UK can quickly get expensive. For that reason, I also recommend Folksy, Etsy’s British quasi-counterpart.
For digital creations, look no further than university societies. Many have to design their own posters for events and could do with hiring out this work to fellow students. You can offer your design services to societies for a set fee, with extra charges if they want you to promote their event on social media or on billboards.
Internships are usually quite short and may be part-time, so you don’t need to quit your current job to take one up. Some universities like Nottingham offer internal internships only open to their students, that take place on campus or locally, and allow you to work with your lecturers. These are flexible roles that request a weekly commitment but ultimately let you choose your own hours. Outside of university, you can search for remote or virtual internships on many job sites, giving you the opportunity to work anywhere in the world from the comfort of your room.
Other ways to find internships are networking with lecturers, tutors, and fellow students. You can also send a cover letter and prospective CV to companies you like, even if they aren’t advertising any vacancies. They like the initiative and ambition in this action and may keep your CV on file for future consideration. They may also be able to offer you an interview or job because you are probably aware that many job vacancies are not advertised externally or are only advertised by word-of-mouth (this is where networking also comes in handy).