Gen Z (11-26 year olds) is big on the side hustle
As of July 2022, there were 21 million people aged 16 to 24 in the U.S. workforce, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and these young workers are paving different career paths than previous generations.
The most noteworthy shift? Side hustles. Nearly 65% of Gen Zers, ages 18 to 25, have a side hustle, according to a LendingTree survey.
A February 2023 global survey by Kantar found that 40% of Gen Z workers are currently combining at least two roles for work. Experts suggest this reflects an effort to set themselves up for long-term employability and enable them to move between workplaces, rather than remaining in one job long-term. The youth of today are placing much greater importance when looking for a job on enjoyment and meaning, rather than just money. So having those extra passion projects can provide that needed sense of fulfillment.
As this tenancy to have side hustles become more common, many employers are starting to accept it and acknowledge it. So what are some of the common side hustles of the generation Z lot and is this for you?
Create Niche Pages on TikTok
“One side hustle that is extremely lucrative and has the potential to grow beyond a side hustle is creating niche pages on TikTok and growing an audience that can be monetized through sponsorships, ” said Kyle Dulay, co-founder of Collabstr, an online marketplace to find and hire content creators on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube.
“The idea is pretty simple, you pick a niche that is interesting to you and post consistently until you build your audience over 10,000 followers. The great thing about TikTok is that it’s much easier to grow on there compared to other platforms like Instagram or YouTube. I personally accumulated over 100,000 users across two pages in less than 12 months. As you grow, it will become much easier to make money off of your page. At first, you may have to reach out to brands manually and pitch them on a potential sponsorship, but as you grow you’ll begin to get more deals coming inbound.”
“Content creation can extend to blog writing on trending topics, creating TikTok and YouTube videos for companies, graphic design, and even podcasting. What brands are looking for is authenticity more than anything else–they can supply the experience and expertise while Gen Z content creatives provide the engagement.”
Sites such as Fiverr is a good place to start looking across a range of freelance gigs. Fiverr is a great site for all types of beginning writers. It accepts submissions for many writing ventures, such as transcribing, proofreading, editing or article writing. The pay does range, as you can set your own rates based on your personal skillset and experience. You can upload a résumé and other writing samples to your Fiverr profile and get started.
Creating digital products
“These include fonts, design templates, document templates, Shopify store themes, e-books and music. Unlike traditional jobs, you don’t have to answer to anybody and you can work at your own pace whenever is convenient for you. Plus, you can work from home and actually make decent money. Creating digital products is the perfect side hustle for anyone with a computer who is looking to earn extra money without having to make any type of commitment.”
Sell Stock Photos
“For more visually creative Gen-Z people, selling stock photos can be another great side hustle,” said Maria Juvakka, founder of Chic Pursuit.
The process is as simple as posting on social media, all you need to do is to upload your photos on Shutterstock, Adobe Stock or another similar site, and get paid every time someone licenses it. You can be on trend with the types of photos and think about the kinds of pictures people would want to use in their content. If you are a photographer anyway it is a good use of the photos that you may have already taken, and a great way to get exposure for your work.
Become a Virtual Assistant
“Hiring a virtual assistant has been one of my best decisions recently,” said Simon Brisk, CEO of Click Intelligence. “It saves up a lot of my time and effort. Almost all the business executives I have met have an assistant, and most of them prefer a virtual setting.”
“There’s a huge demand for virtual assistants, particularly post-pandemic. And most employers prefer younger people for the job. That is because young people are generally more tech-savvy and flexible. Therefore, Gen Z should consider getting into this gig.
“Apart from the decent compensation, VAs can get the opportunity to work with industry leaders and possibly learn from their experiences and expertise. Not to mention, the prospect of getting a permanent job with their employer. My virtual assistant works at $30 per hour, and she is highly skilled at the job.”
Screenprint and Sell T-Shirts
Mike Nemeroff, CEO and co-founder at Rush Order Tees, said that screen printing and selling T-shirts is a side hustle that’s fairly lucrative for younger people. “It’s how I got started, and now Rush Order Tees has grown from a one-high schooler operation in the back of my parents garage to over 150 employees,” he said.
“A decent screen printing press is less than £200, and the supplies aren’t much more either. Selling T-shirts at or ahead of major events or with creative designs via Facebook Marketplace can get you back your investment in the first batch of t-shirts. Take it from me–people love buying from students and will be happy to support your cause, even if your cause is just starting your own small business.”
Check out Goodordering's t-shirt range HERE
“Flipping items is a great way to make some money on the side,” said Joel Larsgaard, co-host of the “How To Money” podcast. “It’s best to find a specialty where you have outsized knowledge or expertise. Whether you’re buying and selling furniture or hitting up your local thrift stores for hidden gems to profit from by selling them on eBay, this is a side hustle that offers significant amounts of flexibility and the chance to scale.”
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