- Kanika Tolver is the CEO and founder of Career Rehab — which offers career advice.
- She says people who’ve been laid off can monetize what they already know from their previous job.
- Tolver suggests multiple side hustles including becoming a paid speaker and selling content.
The job market, particularly in the tech sector, is volatile at the moment (to put it mildly), with many professionals worried about how they will make ends meet after being let go from high-paying positions and losing benefits. Worse yet, there’s increasing uncertainty about the availability of new positions, in part because hiring processes have slowed down due to longer interview structures.
But what if these professionals were able to start a business as a side hustle — to monetize what they already know from their old (or day) jobs? Many have doubtless long wanted to become entrepreneurs, and so this unpredictable time may also be the perfect one to creatively apply acquired education, experience and expertise.
These options for doing just that can help professionals make extra income while enhancing their personal brands.
1. Become a paid speaker
There are thousands of fertile minds being paid regularly to speak at conferences, corporations and universities. But before beginning efforts in that direction, it’s important to create two to three signature speaking topics that hit high points of your experience and what service you can provide, as well as semi-detailed descriptions for each. Once that’s complete, a professional website needs to be made that includes a speaker media kit featuring video examples of presentations. (After the first few gigs, pad this video section with live audience clips.) Additionally — for both this field and those listed below — it might also be wise to create an LLC and get a business tax number, along with a logo.
The speaking business is potentially very lucrative and offers the further advantage of exposure to new job opportunities.
2. Consider an adjunct professorship
There are many industry executives affected by company layoffs who possess master’s degrees, and so qualify as adjunct professors. Some teach remotely and/or just a few times a week. This can be a great way to give back to the next generation of professionals while getting paid to teach a subject that’s aligned with professional expertise. Not to mention, being a professor is great for personal branding, with some landing consulting and other opportunities via the academic pipeline.
3. Create paid content
During this digital era, selling content can be an at once enduring and lucrative way for professionals to make extra money by developing courses, books (including ebooks) and coaching programs. (Over the last three years, career-related paid content has done particularly well on platforms like Patreon, YouTube and TikTok.) Such material does best when properly branded, marketed and sold to the right audience, of course, so I recommend leveraging social media, email marketing lists and professional online communities to get the word out.
4. Seek a part-time remote job
Part-time remote jobs are amazing if you can land a good hourly rate. Many offer flex schedules in the evenings or on the weekends. Begin the search by harnessing websites like Indeed, LinkedIn and Glassdoor. Since companies are cutting back on full-time roles, this can be a great time to jump in, and there’s always the chance that a part-time opportunity turns into full-time (if desired).