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5 Side Hustles for College Graduates While Seeking Full-Time Jobs

Are you a recent college graduate? Trying to find a full-time job? If you’re looking to earn a little income during your job search for permanent employment, consider these side hustles.

A young woman pushing a shopping cart at a grocery store as she collects items for an Instacart delivery, a gig she can do to earn some money as a college graduate while she looks for a full-time job

When college students graduate with a bachelor’s degree, some are lucky enough to land a full-time job right away. Most, however, must be patient in their quest for permanent employment, particularly when it comes to finding full-time opportunities within a specific career field.

The good news is that there are several platforms out there in the gig economy recent college graduates may be able to join to earn some income while hunting for a full-time job in their desired field. This include side hustles that can be done in the midst of social distancing.

1. Selling your college textbooks.

While many textbooks are now available in electronic format, there are still quite a few college courses that require students to purchase print textbooks.

If you want to recoup some of the money you originally spent on these materials, consider selling some of these textbooks that you no longer need. There are several online sites on which you can sell them. While you might not score big bucks doing this, it can certainly help you earn a little money back and provide materials to students who can benefit from them if they’re taking the same courses or are enrolled in a similar degree program to what you were in.

2. Tutoring other students in your major.

If you successfully completed a degree program in psychology, criminal justice, or business administration, for instance, you are probably very knowledgeable about the curriculum you just finished. Plus, it should be very fresh in your mind.

As such, consider tutoring students who are just starting the same program or a similar type of degree program to what you completed. With some very basic guidance on their assignments, term papers, and study habits for quizzes and exams, you may be able to lend a helping hand to several students who could use some extra support.

If you tutor students from your alma mater and perhaps had the same instructors that other students are currently taking classes with, there is plenty you can share with them about the instructors’ grading style, types of assignments and exams, and so much more.

While social distancing is still necessary, you may find opportunities to use Zoom and other online platforms to connect with potential “customers” for your tutoring services. There are also several websites on which you can list your profile and experience to make yourself known to others as a tutor who is experienced in various subjects.

3. Driving for a ride-sharing service

Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft have become extremely popular and have started to make their way into even rural areas recently. This means if you have a reliable vehicle and a clean driving record, you may qualify to drive for one of these services.

Some benefits to this type of gig include:

  • The ability to set your own hours and drive when you want
  • Opportunities to make some money every day of the week
  • The ability to cash out your earnings in short order
  • Opportunities to meet people and potentially do some networking for your future career

Of course, some ride-sharing companies are requiring that both drivers and passengers take certain precautions during trips in the age of social distancing. So, be sure to research all of these rules before signing up to drive.

4. Driving for a food delivery service

Food delivery services like Instacart, Shipt, Uber Eats, Grubhub, and DoorDash have been around for a few years now. But they’ve become much more in demand during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. There’s a good chance that their popularity will stick as long as social distancing is necessary.

With so many more opportunities to deliver food these days, consider registering as a delivery driver. You may find yourself earning some quick income on some quick trips to grocery stores, hardware stores, and restaurants and then over to each customer’s residence.

One other nice perk of this work is that it forces you to learn about items that you may be unfamiliar with and can even help you save some money on your own shopping by learning what’s out there.

5. Using a freelancing site

Do you have a skill that you learned in one of your college classes that you could use to freelance? Websites like Upwork and Freelancer offer a great platform for a pool of freelancers to connect with a pool of business owners and others who need support on a wide range of projects.

If you are adept at any of the following skills, you might just be able to land some paid gigs for your talents:

  • Audio editing
  • Video editing
  • Graphic design
  • Web design
  • Coding
  • Content writing/copywriting
  • Proofreading/editing
  • Social media management
  • Customer service/support

You’ll have to create a profile with a resume and possibly links to your portfolio, if applicable. Then just do some quick searching on what you’re confident in doing and you may be surprised at how many different gigs will pop up for you to consider.

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