By Joyce Wilson
A survey found that approximately 18 percent of teachers in the U.S. work a second job in order to make ends meet, but there are also those that fall into the category of simply wanting to stay busy during the summer months while bringing in some extra income. No matter the reason, it’s definitely possible to maintain a side gig all year as long as the workload, schedule and balance out one another and your personal life is not compromised.
Choose A Gig
Obviously, whatever gig you choose is going to have to be flexible in order to maintain your rigorous teaching schedule. One route you can choose is to incorporate your educational expertise and ability to deal with children by choosing to tutor, babysit or teach online. However, since gig economy jobs are on the rise, there are several other unrelated options to consider such as ride sharing, caregiving, dog walking and delivery services.
If you’re looking to do something on the side that brings you pleasure while bringing in some extra bucks, consider turning a hobby into a profitable side gig, whether that means making jewelry, baking cupcakes or woodworking. While this takes more fortitude and risk, it’s not impossible providing you choose a route that combines your passion and expertise. You’ll need to be patient and consistent with your efforts and have a knack for leveraging your mentors and strategic partnerships for growth.
Establish A Professional Home Office
It’s likely that you may already have a home office for grading papers and crafting lesson plans, but it’s important that you establish an organizational system to keep your teaching work separate from your side gig. Not only is this crucial for keeping tabs on pertinent documents, but it also helps provide clarity from a mental standpoint. Plus, the best workspace is conducive to productivity. Since working two jobs can be stressful, decorate the space in soothing hues such as blue, grey or moss green. Bring in some greenery, diffuse essential oils, and install a dimmer switch on lighting elements so you can adjust based on mood and need. Maintain perspective by incorporating elements that you love such as pictures of you and your family on vacation or a favorite piece of art.
No matter how busy your schedule gets, it’s crucial that you make time for self-care on a daily basis. Little things within the teaching environment could include looking at inspiring notes you’ve received from your students, making positive phone calls to parents and collaborating with other teachers.
On a more personal note, take time to do something that brings you pleasure such as a hobby, having dinner with friends or taking a warm bath while reading a book. Maintain your energy and immune system by getting proper sleep, eating well and squeezing in activity whenever you can — even parking the car farther away in the lot counts when your schedule is jam-packed.
If you’re at a crossroads in your career, you may want to consider exploring other jobs that are supported by a teaching degree. For example, becoming a full-time tutor, advising educational supply and product companies on their materials, advancing to the role of principal, or becoming a consultant for the school district.
Interestingly enough, it’s not uncommon for side gigs to advance into full-time jobs such as personal trainer, coach, a leader in a youth organization, or working for a non-profit. With today’s economy, careers tend to ebb and flow, so use your side gig as an opportunity for self-exploration.
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