Are you looking for some extra cash? Do you want a money-making gig that you could fit into your day?
You can still apply at fast food restaurants. But these days, the array of options for how to make money is bigger than your local restaurant menu.
For some of these jobs, you need equipment such as a car or a computer. For others, you just need a cheerful personality — and sometimes not even that. Here’s a sampling of ways to earn some money.
Side jobs at home
Customer service representative
These days, a lot of customer service jobs are work-from-home jobs. Some companies require you to work for a minimum number of hours per week. Hours might be business hours or weekend or night hours. You could be making calls, responding to calls, or replying to emails on behalf of the company you represent.
You’ll need a quiet place to work, high-speed Internet access, a computer, and a landline.
Laundry care provider
You pick up your clients’ laundry, wash and dry it, and return it to your clients’ homes folded and ready to wear. You don’t need to look for clients or handle payments if you work for a company such as LaundryCare.
In addition to having a washer and dryer, you’ll need a vehicle, Internet access, a smartphone, and daytime availability.
A lot of the work for transcriptionists is in the medical and legal fields. You listen to a recorded dictation, transcribe it, and identify any errors or inconsistencies. Required skills include good grammar and spelling, good listening, and fast typing.
Even if you have no experience, some transcription companies may hire you if you pass their skills test.
You might be doing scheduling, transcription, data entry, research, or a variety of other tasks. Individuals and companies hire virtual assistants to take on some of the workload while working from home.
At a minimum, you’ll need a computer, a high-speed Internet connection, a phone line, and good computer and organizational skills.
Website owners want to know what their target audience thinks of their site. Is it user-friendly? Does it appeal to their tastes? One way for them to find out is to hire a website testing company.
Website testing companies hire computer-savvy people to go to their clients’ websites, perform tests, and provide feedback on topics from ease of use to personal impressions. Tests can take from five minutes to 30 minutes to complete.
Side jobs away from home
Dog walker and pet sitter
To get started, create a profile at websites such as Rover.com and WagWalking.com, Clients can hire you to walk their dogs or take care of their pets while they’re away. You’ll go through a vetting process, and once you get some good reviews, you’ll get more clients.
If pet service provider companies aren’t hiring in your area, or if you prefer to work independently, you can set up your own dog walking or pet sitter services.
Mystery / secret shopper
Secret shoppers, or mystery shoppers, get assignments to go to places of business. For example, you might go to car repair shops, computer stores, and restaurants. You’ll perform a specified task and obtain proof that you were there, such as a receipt. You’ll then fill out a detailed report about the customer service, cleanliness of the establishment, and other details.
SecretShopper.com and BestMark.com are two of many companies that hire secret shoppers. Avoid companies that ask you to pay to join them — they’re most likely scams. Legitimate mystery shopper companies don’t charge a fee to become a shopper with them.
OnSource field inspector
For this job, you drive to where a specified vehicle is located, take photos, and send the photos to OnSource. They use the photos for insurance, sales, and other purposes. You get paid $18 plus $0.65 for each mile after 20 miles that you have to drive to get to the vehicle.
You’ll need to pass a background check (you pay the $6 for it) before OnSource will hire you. For each job, you tell OnSource when you’re available, and they schedule the appointment.
Part-time jobs with employers are still out there, and they aren’t all entry-level jobs. You might be surprised at the opportunities in your field or areas of interest.
For example, for people in New York, recent part-time job listings include pastry chef, bus driver, receptionist, and various sales positions.
It might be a good idea to look at the more local and niche job boards, or even Craigslist, as many of these companies won’t be shelling out big money for part-time positions. You’ve got to dig deep to find good ones.
Photographer for stock photos
Just about every website these days has stock photos. Blog posts and social media posts in particular typically have stock photos of something relevant to the post topic. Online publishers get most of these photos from stock photo sites.
If you have good photography skills, you could sell photos to stock photo sites. Photos of people at work and of various objects are two popular categories.
Do you have a 2001 or newer four-door vehicle? Are you 21 or older? Do you like to drive? If so, you might be interested in becoming an Uber driver. You’ll be a taxi driver of sorts, but you’ll be driving your own vehicle, and you’ll set your own hours.
Uber connects patrons and drivers via an app, and they handle payments. The downside is that you’re responsible for all your vehicle expenses, from gas to normal wear and tear.
Choose an option from the above list and get started. There’s plenty of work available for you.
Susan Ranford is an expert on job market trends, hiring, and business management. She is the Community Outreach Coordinator for New York Jobs. In her blogging and writing, she seeks to shed light on issues related to employment, business, and finance to help others understand different industries and find the right job fit for them.