Working a Gig Job on the Side of a Main Career

According to online sources (okay, it was a couple of Google searches), Singapore’s workforce comprises about 15% of self-employed people. That’s about 350,000 working adults in what we now dub the “gig economy”. I wonder how many of the 85% take on a gig job as sideline.

Personally, I started my own business, maintain my insurance license, and recently started this blog which has started to bring in some money. That’s trying to juggle three gigs at the same time, and so far I quite like it.

My main job largely involves tutoring students, and that means I’m occupied with lessons in the afternoons and evenings, as well as weekend mornings and afternoons. After years in this business, it has become very clear that there are financially productive hours when everything demands my time, and there are dead hours which are just that.

Taking up a gig job to fill these financially unproductive hours is therefore pretty rewarding. Not only am I financially better off, I also spend the time honing an area of expertise, time which would have otherwise gone to Netflix or something.

My lawyer friend was telling me how she knows of a rather highly ranked lawyer who delivers food on a bicycle in his spare time because he wants to be paid to exercise, and I’ve been inspired ever since.

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Some gig jobs to consider

If you’re looking for something on the side to earn some extra cash or while away some time more productively, here are some suggestions!

Private hire driver
If I had my license, this would be something I’ll probably try out. It’s one of the few gig jobs that lets a person monetise their late night hours. Unfortunately I guess it has also become a lot less lucrative with companies like Grab slashing drivers’ incentives, and with COVID-19, the risk factor of this job goes up quite a bit.

Estimated hourly pay: $15 to $20
My rating: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ 6 Stars of Sethisfaction

Tutor
Hey, that’s my main job! But it is also the perennial sideline of many undergraduates, and even some full-time employees trying to make money during their weekends or evenings after work.

The good thing about tuition is that it is probably one of the highest paying jobs on an hourly basis if you can find the students willing to pay, and the schedule works nicely with someone working 9 to 6 hours – as long as you are willing to give up some time of your weekday nights or precious weekend hours.

The downside is that these hours are also usually time when one’s friends are free to meet up, and you would have to commit to a weekly schedule with your student, so some sacrifice on the social front is in order. It also requires you to remember at least some of the academic material, and spend some time to revise a little on what has changed since you last returned everything you’ve learnt to your teacher.

Hit me up if you want to teach!

Estimated hourly pay: $20 to $25 onwards depending on experience and academics
My rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆ 9 Stars of Sethisfaction

Food delivery
This segment of gig workers got hit badly by the PMD ban late last year, but I think it remains a rather viable job since bicycles are still an option and you get paid to exercise like a certain highly paid lawyer. In fact, it has been something I want to try, just that my PMD was spoilt then, and now I don’t have a bicycle.

Having never tried this personally, I’m guessing the jobs are more concentrated during meal times and late nights, so it seems like a fairly flexible thing you could do on nights when you’re bored and without social plans. Probably also more jobs now that everyone’s staying home because of the virus.

Estimated hourly pay: $10 to $15 onwards
My rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 7 Stars of Sethisfaction

Cleaner
This is actually pretty lucrative, and if what I read in some article is accurate, it is the next highest paying job on an hourly basis after tuition. In the past when I had to clean my own workplace, I personally found it rather therapeutic, but of course I suppose there’re always jobs from hell.

Estimated hourly pay: $10 to $20
My rating: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ 7 Stars of Sethisfaction

Any other suggestions?

2 thoughts on “Working a Gig Job on the Side of a Main Career”

    1. You can get tuition assignments from matching agencies or tuition centres.

      I think cleaning has agencies too.

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