Many teachers, for various reasons, end up with a “side hustle,” or second job. I have had one for pretty much my entire teaching career. For me, the main reason has always been financial, whether it was when I was single and just starting out or even now when I am married and near the top of the pay scale for my district. When I was single, I was the so-called “breadwinner” and it was strictly my income that was paying the bills. Now that I have a family, there is more income, but definitely more expenses also! Who else out there feels like they might be paying the orthodontist’s kids tuition with their kids’ crooked teeth? Plus, all of my three children are involved in extracurricular activities and not a one of them is free! Money isn’t the only reason people look for a second job—some do it as a hobby that generates income or as an opportunity to meet new people and perhaps help others. Others want to build their savings, add a cushion for the summer months if they don’t get paid or pay off debt. For still others, they see it as a chance to sharpen their skills in a different environment. Some people are thinking of making a career change, or want to explore other interests, but want to just go “part-time” at first.
So, if you fall into one of those categories, there are three main ways you can make extra income while still keeping your teaching job:
1) Traditional part-time jobs like working in a retail store
2) Direct Sales or Network Marketing
3) Web-based opportunities
Traditional part-time jobs are great for those that want to get out and meet new people. Often, stores hire extra help for certain busy times of the year (such as Christmas), so it is a great option if you only want to work for a short while; for example, to get some extra cash for a trip or to pay off a bill. Another benefit is that you often get a discount at that store–but be careful with that! Sometimes, that “discount” can cost you more in the long run if you are buying lots of items you may or may not need—not that I would know anything about that! ?
The second option is direct sales, and the good news is that there is one for just about every area of interest now, whether it be clothing, crafting, essential oils, health and fitness, makeup – you name it! I have been involved with three different direct sales companies over the years. All were excellent and very reputable companies, and, in fact, I am still a presenter for Younique now. For me, it is about earning the products for free or at a discount. I am trying to build my business a little more, because starting next year, I will have tuition payments to make myself, and want to use the income from that to offset that cost. Others, however, go all in, and are able to retire from teaching to work from home full time. Not everyone is a big fan of network marketing though, so it can be tough to get through to some who have a negative connotation for what it is you do. The upside is that you can set your own hours and decide how much or how little you want to work towards earning.
Finally, many teachers are moving toward web-based side jobs more than ever before. Websites like Teachers Pay Teachers and Etsy allow you to market your creations to their audience for a fee. But that is far from the only way to make money online. You can teach a course, either through a platform like Udemy or Skillshare, or one you design yourself from scratch (just a heads up—that is something I have in the works for this summer myself so stay tuned here for updates and information!) Another option is doing online surveys or test scoring. You could do online tutoring or ESL teaching. Some people are able to make a profit from their blog. If you are looking for something outside of education, you could be a virtual assistant (VA) or a freelancer designing blogs or logos for instance. The possibilities really are endless!
Obviously, there are many good reasons to get a side hustle as a teacher, but we have to look at the drawbacks as well. Will the additional income be worth the time away from your family? What about implications to health and fitness? There are still only 24 hours in a day, and if you are working most of them, what healthy habits are you sacrificing? Eating well? Exercise? Sleep? The tradeoff may not be worth the toll on your health. And finally, could your second job get in the way of your job performance as a teacher? If you are still relying on that as your main source of income, you don’t want to take the chance of jeopardizing that position.
Ultimately, the choice is up to you. Hopefully, I have presented some information here to help you make an informed decision whichever way you choose! Do you have a side hustle? Shout it out in the comments below!