Author Topic: Flex-Time Side Gigs  (Read 5253 times)

yddeyma

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Flex-Time Side Gigs
« on: August 18, 2014, 11:19:25 AM »
I've been focusing a lot on the "reduce expenses" side of the early retirement equation.  Now I want to focus on the "increase income" side.  I'm about half-way through a post I found from June about side gigs (all 7 pages of it, you folks rock!).  But my issue is that I have limited time to invest right now and most of the suggestions aren't really what I'm looking for.

My kids are quite small (2 and 4) and I don't want anything that will take me away from home.  Everything I can think of that I would do because its fun or I have an aptitude for it would take me away from the house and leave my poor spouse home alone with the kids.  I've been a tutor, professor at a local college and (almost, job fell through) a softball referee in the past.  But all of those things have specific time/place requirements.  These are also things I consider "fun", I just can't figure out how to do them on my terms since they are so group/time oriented.

I am a degree'd mechanical engineer, but got put into program management pretty early in my career so I don't have the useful skills that most engineers have (like drafting complex stuff, I could do simple stuff).  I also suck at software and website design, so that's a no-go.  I love math, I love learning and I love helping people.

I really want something I can do at home.  I don't mind if there's a schedule or deadlines, but I want to be able to work when I can.  I typically come home from work exhausted, wrestle with the kids until about 8pm, then at 10pm get a spurt of energy where I could do an extra hour or so of work.  I'd like to fit something into this schedule.  I don't have any hobbies other than reading, so don't have anything I can turn into a side job (like the person who made hats or the folks who fix cars).

Any ideas on a flex-time side gig?


Gimesalot

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Re: Flex-Time Side Gigs
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2014, 12:23:22 PM »
Have you thought about using elance.com?  I always see a lot of mechanical engineering type work on there. 

Lis

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Re: Flex-Time Side Gigs
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2014, 12:55:03 PM »
What about a 24 hour tutoring service? I did a quick google search and a whole bunch of websites pop up. Maybe you could find one and work from 10-12 or something.

In addition to elance, there's also freelancer.com, peopleperhour, and guru.com.

yddeyma

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Re: Flex-Time Side Gigs
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2014, 01:13:36 PM »
Thanks Gimesalot!  I had only just heard of elance via the other post.  I checked it out and there are lots of really small jobs on there as well as full time ones!  I think a lot of those posts are college students looking for textbook answers, which is right up my alley.  ;)  We'll see how it goes and if any of my proposals get accepted.  I am excited because this means I can exercise my brain, too!

Rural

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Re: Flex-Time Side Gigs
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2014, 05:47:54 PM »
Are you against teaching online by principle? If not, I've found it gives pretty good bang for the buck. Also, have a look at http://smarthinking.com/ (note only one "t"). It's Pearson's tutoring service, and a lot of colleges are using it for their students.

Brighteyes

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Re: Flex-Time Side Gigs
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2014, 06:02:10 PM »
Pearsons has opportunities to score and grade tests that you can do remotely from home at your convenience. You don't get paid much for each test, but it adds up and once you get your rhythm down you can zip through quite a few tests. I doesn't involve direct student contact, which I sense is something you would enjoy, but it definitely provides the flexibility you are looking for and will probably pay better than eLance. Good luck.
Here is the link:
http://www.pearsonassessments.com/careers.html

thedayisbrave

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Re: Flex-Time Side Gigs
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2014, 06:20:39 PM »
I was also gonna suggest teaching/tutoring online.  A few years back, I got a position teaching English via Skype to Chinese students and it paid decently, and I could do it in my dorm room in my PJs.  I would think there's something similar out there for math? Or for any other subject/topic you may have an aptitude for?

yddeyma

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Re: Flex-Time Side Gigs
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2014, 06:43:01 PM »
Thedayisbrave, what service did you use for tutoring?  Definitely don't want to teach English (I'm an engineer, we're lucky I can string to coherent sentences together), but maybe they have a math section.


Goldielocks

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Re: Flex-Time Side Gigs
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2014, 08:29:45 PM »
Software programmer debugging code...?  You need to have or learn a language.

I used to think extra income too, but the marginal tax bracket is too high.  Better value for me to work on home cooked meals, house, kids etc.

Maybe landlord or rent a room out?  Something to put on lower income spouse tax return, even if you do the work?

yddeyma

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Re: Flex-Time Side Gigs
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2014, 08:31:21 PM »
Anyone know how long it takes to get your first job on elance.com?  How many proposals do you submit vs. actually getting the job.  It seems like there are dozens of folks applying for each job.

basd

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Re: Flex-Time Side Gigs
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2014, 12:31:48 AM »
Anyone know how long it takes to get your first job on elance.com?  How many proposals do you submit vs. actually getting the job.  It seems like there are dozens of folks applying for each job.
From my personal experience (having used elance a couple of times): it all depends on the type of task you're applying to and the job poster.

For generic tasks (article writing and spinning, generic translation work, generic software programming): don't bother. There's always someone in Bangladesh willing to work for less.

Don't bother with job posters from India, Bangladesh, etc. either. They are only looking for people willing to work for nearly nothing.

Having said that, you can find decent gigs there, although it takes a lot of weeding out. I've had the best results with job posters from the UK and the US posting jobs that related to my specific work-related skills (I'm in software quality assurance and know how to write decent technical articles and tutorials).

It didn't take me very long to land one or two decent gigs (one one-time, one recurring) after I realized this.