If you’re moving to LA, you’re probably going to have more than one job. Many people do, especially those pursuing a career in the arts. I even have friends with full time gigs that pick up work on the side. Sometimes it’s worth that extra money to have the freedom to play. Going out in the city can mean paying $12 for a glass of wine, not to mention the parking expenses.
One thing this city offers is the opportunity for odd jobs. Take advantage of the plethora of ways to earn an extra buck and give your budget some wiggle room.
If you don’t live in LA, this may seem surprising. In almost every area of the city there are farmers markets at least once a week. At these markets are vendors that sell everything from produce, to bread, to jewelry to gourmet vinegar and oil. The best way to get a gig selling for some of these vendors is either through a pal who knows them or by approaching them on your own. I have friends who work for a company that sells gourmet oils at the markets. Over time, they have gotten to know other vendors and begun working for them as well. The markets vary by day and time, but it’s a great way to either make an hourly wage or work on commission.
You don’t have to be a teenager or a chick to watch children. There are so many wonderful families in the city looking for someone responsible and trustworthy to look after their kids. Sites like SitterCity.com are great for putting your name out there. You can list your experience, biography and even get a background check to include on your profile. Make sure and list your pay rate. Now, people will pay $15-$30 an hour for babysitting, depending on the number of kids. There are even opportunities to watch special needs children if you have that experience. This odd job offers flexibility, choosing your hours and often referrals to other families to work for.
One of my closest friends has a full time job in graphic design for a shoe company. She works 9 to 5 and still makes room for freelance gigs. Given that the technology industry is expanding rapidly, there are both companies and entrepreneurs looking for people to design. The best way to build a network of people to work for is through word of mouth. Do a job designing a pal’s online jewelry site, they recommend you to a friend who needs this, who tells their friend about you who needs that. If you’re skilled in design, you can work in many different areas of the industry. Also check sites like Craigslist for people looking for freelance designers.
Upon moving to LA, make sure and identify your talents. Whether you’re a singer, guitar player or fluent in a foreign language, utilize these skills! There are plenty of people in search of a great teacher. Many successful coaches in the city started by working with friends and charging a small fee. For instance, if you’re a great piano player, write up an email to send to everyone you know in the city. Include your resume, skill set, rate and schedule. You’ll be surprised at the number of people who have a friend looking to take lessons at a reasonable price. If you’re great at math, reach out to people about tutoring. Start small, even if it’s just among friends, and from there grow your business. What’s great about teaching and coaching is that you can make your own schedule!
This job is too good to be true. But in a city where people travel a lot for work, it is true. I have a number of friends who house sit a few times a year and make a pretty penny. People that live up in the Hollywood Hills, Hancock Park, Malibu or Beverly Hills will pay the price to have someone in their home while they’re away. Doing this work begins with networking. Make a list of friends you have in the city and reach out to them regarding this type of gig. Also, be sure to check out TrustedHouseSitters.com to find house sitting opportunities online. Many times house sitting means watering plants, taking care of pets and keeping the house clean. It also begins with trust. No one is going to hire a stranger off the street to watch over the property they own. Prove that you’re a trustworthy sitter and the word will spread. Just be ready to drop everything to feed the dog at the right time!
These are just a few ideas to earn some extra cash. At the end of the day, reach out to others who live in the city and ask them if they know of any odd jobs. There are many creative ways to stay afloat financially!