Following the posts on doing business and investments, this last post of the series will touch on the safest and most traditional method of them all – exchanging labour for money. In short, working. After your full time day job, you will now go into a part time side job after your work hours. If you neither do business nor investment, then this last option is the only way out for most of us.
Of course, you decide how hard and long you want to work. Part time jobs like being an Uber driver or courier delivery are some straightforward jobs which you can take up and stop any time. But if you are in a sensitive job which cannot be seen around delivering parcels or ferrying passengers, you may also consider online work.
- Are you proficient at 2 languages? You can work as a translator.
- Are you good at some designing work? You can take on such jobs online.
- Do you have some IT skills? How about designing a website for someone?
The list goes on. But whatever it is, look at what skills you have. Be it driving skills, the ability to design, proficiency in 2 languages, as long as you have a set of skill, you can apply it. All of us have skills, some more niche, some more basic. Even being a babysitter is also a skill. I mean, people has been taking care of babies for 5000 years and it is still a needed skillset these days. Look hard at yourself, what skills do you have or what skills do you want to develop?
Say for example, I have an interest in video editing. I do not have much skills yet, but I can take on low level jobs for a lower pay. In this case, the main purpose is not to earn big money for now, but to find paid opportunities to work on and polish on your skills. At the same time you build your own portfolio, such that at the end of a few months or a year, you will have decent enough skillset and big enough of a portfolio to negotiate for better paying jobs.
Of course, there are many online platforms which allow you to search for jobs online, such as Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer etc. The list goes on. I have browse through them before, and perhaps it is just me, but the competition is too great and the pay too low. For me I would not waste my time on them, although it may be different for you. I have found better luck in r/forhire though. I managed to find just one translation job over there. I am sure there are many other places to find suitable work, but as I am not into this that much, I do not have much resources on hand.
But today, I want to offer another perspective, out from the traditional jobs we are familiar with. Being a part time driver, plumber, electrician or online works mentioned above is something everyone knows. But recent years there has been a new trend – content creator. Youtubers, gamers on Twitch, Tiktokers, livestreaming etc.
Of course, as it is with the natural laws of society, everything is a pyramid shape. The most common of all people are below, and in every sector there is always a few people who made it up there. My point is, chances are you will be a bottom level content creator, unless you do something that sets yourself apart. But even if you do not, a bottom level content creator will also bring you some money while you are doing what you like.
If you are a gamer, while playing games, open up Twitch.
If you like music, make a Youtube channel putting all the nice songs and music in the videos for people to listen to.
If you like acting, make a skit and put it up.
Of course you have noticed, that every other person is also doing that. You will need to differentiate yourself. Have something which others do not. To give you a few examples of popular people doing ordinary things:
- Man teaching children with no father how to do basic things like changing light bulbs, how to shave, how to unclog a toilet etc on Youtube
- Young lady with legit skills playing bass on Tiktok
- Chef with a dash of humour cooking in rural China and showcasing the different dishes of their culture on Facebook
- A man who watched many movies and runs through a full movie or even drama series with you in a few minutes on Facebook
- A user living on the China-North Korea border taking videos on the everyday life of North Koreans on Kuaishou (A Chinese app). No link here because it is restricted by geo-location.
- A Chinese woman who married a Canadian detailing her everyday life and cultural differences while overseas on Chinese Tiktok. No link here, reason as above.
What do you see on the above? There are a million others who know how to fix a light bulb, a million others who knows how to play musical instruments. There are a billion others who can cook and many more who watches movies. Yet all these people somehow or another managed to turn their skills into something. They look at what they have, find a target market and pitch accordingly. As it is with all of them, a certain level of creativity is also needed.
You too, need to think, to reflect, to find out what you can do. Of course if in the end, you find out that being a content creator is not for you, feel free to go back to the traditional part time jobs mentioned above. There is nothing wrong with that. All of these are legitimate, honest money made with clean hands. As long as you are moving forward at a pace you can accept, you are doing good.