29 July, 2020 4 min read

side hustle your way to full time job

A side hustle doesn’t have to mean riding a bike or driving a car. There are options for a side hustle that utilise professional skills and provide invaluable know-how to smaller businesses and Not for Profits during these turbulent economic times. 

If you have been impacted by COVID 19 through redundancy, being stood down, or had an involuntary reduction of working hours, don’t grab your bike or car keys just yet.  

What is the focus of your professional side hustle?

Yes, you might need the extra cash, but agreeing to build a data lake using serverless infrastructure when you had to google ‘data lake’ is probably the wrong move. Instead, capitalise on your professional strengths as an SQL genius, Agile expert, or whatever your talent is and impress everyone with the quality and accuracy of your work.

If you do want to branch out and flex some new found skills, be upfront with the company about your level of experience. They might have reasonably simple requirements that you are confident you can deliver. 

Even though this short term project might not be your main gig, acting with transparency will be key to growing your professional network. Positive word of mouth does matter.

What’s your availability for project work?

Perhaps you are working reduced hours and are looking to fill just one or two days of your week. Or are you available full time, but only for three weeks you have been stood down or furloughed for? 

Communicating your time boundaries and availability with potential organisations will ensure both sides understand the time commitment up front.

If you are new to ad hoc project and contract work, consider taking smaller jobs first to refine your working practices and to be sure it’s the side hustle you want to do.

Negotiating your contract rates

Negotiating rates doesn’t have to be tricky. Communication with the potential organisations will avoid awkwardness when it comes time to send in your invoice. You can ask what their budget is or let them know your hourly, daily or project rate. Tell them if you have any flexibility on your fees in exchange for short payment terms.  

Some people choose to do pro bono or reduce their rate for Not for Profit organisations.  Depending on your circumstances, this might be an option for you to kick start your professional side hustle.

Check out this article for some insight into getting set up as a contractor, including how to get an ABN, organising your project work and invoicing.

In short, a professional side hustle can offer more than just a cash boost.  It’s an opportunity to keep your skills up to date and broaden your professional network. Good word of mouth can help your hustle your way back to a full time job!


If you're looking for a professional side hustle or a full time job, get a free CV and job match alerts by creating your nextmile profile.