Second jobs for extra cash: the good, the bad and the ugly
As the economy waxes and wanes, more people are turning to side hustles, side-projects and extra-curricular work to boost their income. And who can blame them? It’s a smart move – they top up your income without the full-time commitment. But not all second jobs for extra cash are created equal.
Some just aren’t worth the time you invest. Others are a lot of hard work for a very little reward. But some are a goldmine.
We sifted through a few of them, from Deliveroo to Amazon Flex, to see if these part-time gigs were worth your time. We broke them into three categories:
Worth your time (The Good)
These are the crème de la crème of second jobs for extra cash – it’s as simple as that. Great working conditions, great pay and minimal levels of stress. (Because the last thing you need is extra stress.)
OK in the right circumstances (The Bad)
These second jobs are OK – but only for certain people. (Perhaps they’re perfect for people with a certain skillset or if you’re only looking for a short-term hustle, but they’re useless unless you have particular skillset or ability.)
Not worth your time (The Ugly)
As you might have guessed – these second jobs for extra cash just aren’t worth your time. They might require a lot of work for little reward or the company might have a terrible reputation for how they treat their staff – whatever the reason, we advise that you steer clear.
And the results are in!
Bamboo’s Good, Bad and Ugly of second jobs for extra cash
Side Hustle Option 1: Amazon Flex
Job Description: Pick up Amazon packages and deliver them in your local area.
Hourly rate: up to £15 p/h
Bamboo Rating: Not worth your time
On paper, Amazon Flex sounds great. Book a slot, grab some parcels and deliver them to people’s doors for £15 an hour. No annoying colleagues, no Excel spreadsheets and excellent pay. And to top it off – you are your own boss. You control your workload.
In reality, it’s a little different. Workers often can’t get the shifts they want. Amazon fire you if a package goes missing (even if it’s not your fault). And – worst of all – many Amazon Flex workers complain that warehouses overload them and force them to work extra hours, which means that you’re not working as and when you please.
Plus, petrol and car repairs aren’t covered by Amazon. One little dink or knock from another car and your no claims has gone and you’ve got to stump up for the excess, all without help from Amazon.
Side Hustle Option 2: Deliveroo
Job Description: Pick up food from restaurants and deliver it to offices and houses in your local area.
Hourly rate: £6.25 + tips + £1.00 for every stop
Bamboo Rating: Not worth your time
The employee satisfaction levels at Deliveroo (found on Glassdoor) seem split between ‘I hate my job’ and ‘it’s OK for what it is’. Hardly a resounding endorsement.
And then there’s the wage. £6.25 plus £1 for every stop? That’s only just minimum wage and certainly not enough to make you want to cycle around in the rain for a few hours after work.
However, many younger students have reported enjoying their jobs, even when it rains. They enjoy getting to cycle around and do a relatively easy job.
Side Hustle Option 3: Uber
Job Description: A taxi driver, essentially.
Hourly rate: Hard to say. Drivers working full time can expect to make between £450 – £1,000 a week (minus expenses).
Bamboo Rating: OK, in the right circumstances
Prior to the landmark ruling that gave Uber drivers the same rights as employees, we would have said steer clear of Uber. But the ruling, which declared that each Uber driver is entitled to National Living Wage, annual leave, sick pay and other employment benefits.
Sure, there are downsides: you still have to pay for your own insurance, car, petrol and other expenses, but if you consider that some Uber drivers are bringing in a couple of grand a month, it seems worth a shot.
(However, there are strict limitations on the car you can drive. No cars older than 2012, unfortunately.)
Side Hustle 4: Freelancing/Tutoring/Teaching
Job Description: Whatever you want it to be.
Hourly rate: Between £25 and £40 an hour, on average. (To estimate your rate for design/online jobs, check out this rate calculator.)
Bamboo Rating: Worth your time
Everybody has something that they are good at. Some are good at writing, some are good at carpentry and some are good at singing – but most people end up leaving these talents as hobbies, not realising that they can turn them into cold, hard cash.
If you’re good at writing, you can earn a tidy packet from writing everything – from letters to emails – on other people’s behalves.
Or if you’re good at singing, you can earn money gigging, busking or teaching.
If you’re good at carpentry, you can teach woodwork and sell what you make.
The possibilities are endless – the internet puts you in contact with people from all over the world. It allows you to contact clients, potential clients and people willing to pay for help from people like you.
(For a much better overview side hustles, read this Business Insider article on how to get started or our article on weird ways to start making money online.)
Have you started a side hustle? What was it? If you’ve got a side hustle success story, we’d love to hear it in the comments below.