Making Money In College: Picking Up Odd Jobs

(2.2 minutes)

For some, it is impossible to have a full-time or even part-time job in college. With nearly 20 credit hours a semester, I’m just lucky when I get a good night’s sleep. However there are ways to pick up extra cash here and there to help cover expenses or buy yourself a treat.

Start with making an inventory of your various talents and skills. Then, make sure people are aware of them; I don’t mean go around advertising yourself, just make sure you’re not hiding. For me that meant showing friends my artwork in the student lounge, and then other people happened to see my handiwork and word got around; a little while later I was asked if I could draw a portrait and was offered $20 for it. Another example is people often ask me where I get my hair cut, and I have the opportunity to tell them I cut it myself. Last semester I ended up with about 15 haircut appointments, and even though I’m not a trained professional (I’m self-taught from YouTube) since I charge far less ($5) and still do a nice job, it works out.

Here are a few other things that have worked out for me, hopefully they’ll spark some ideas:

  • Catering
  • Long-distance tech (People email me projects for AUTOCad and other software, I can work on them whenever I have time from my own computer, then email them back and usually get paid by the hour)
  • Selling baked goods, or stored snacks for late nights
  • Playing piano for events, teaching lessons

Once you’ve realized your potential, remember that most of your customers will find you through good old word-of-mouth. Don’t be pushy. Do a good job, and people will talk.

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