5 Side Hustles to Earn Extra Cash After Graduating

Guest contributor Kayleigh writes about startup businesses, and in this blog, she shares some of her favourite side hustles for earning a bit of cash after graduating, while you’re looking for full-time employment.


Side Hustles

Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash

Graduation is a confusing time in a person’s life, conjuring up a whole host of feelings. The lack of a job  can be scary, the vacuum of a routine is jarring, the hangover from the graduation party is worse. Don’t sit around waiting for an opportunity though. There are plenty of little side hustles you can get started with after graduating. Let’s take a look at five of our favourites.

Develop & design websites

Everyone wants a website these days. Few people know how to make one, and even fewer know how to build a great one. If you’ve got web design and development skills, you can make use of them as a freelancer and find lots of interesting work straight out of university. There’s no set way to build a great website either, sometimes an unconventional and outside-of-the-industry way of thinking can be of benefit. You can start by building from templates such as WordPress, before slowly moving into more bespoke builds and designs as your knowledge develops. It’s a great way for programmers to make sure the skills they developed at university aren’t going to waste.
If you’re more of a web designer than a developer, there are just as many opportunities to make money. Try partnering with a developer, services that build the framework of a website, or add the finishing touches to make it market-competitive. Website design isn’t just about making sure everything works, it’s about creating something visually appealing and simple to use. A designer’s eye helps with that.

Experiment with dropshipping

In the last decade, ecommerce has become an interesting avenue to earn money, as online shopping becomes increasingly popular. Unfortunately, ecommerce generally requires significant investment in both stock and delivery; but one way to get around this while still reaping the benefits of running an online store is to try your hand at dropshipping.



How does dropshipping work?

Dropshipping allows you to sell goods without having to pay for or hold inventory. You’ll need to set up an online store and have a basic understanding of how to market and sell online.
Source products you want to sell and set your retail price. When a customer places an order, you order the goods from your supplier at the wholesale price and have them shipped directly to the customer, thereby making your profit.

The Ultimate Guide to Dropshipping – Shopify


This could be a great model for business graduates to sink their teeth into early on. Dropshipping involves handling the order-processing side of an ecommerce business, but without having to handle the stock or physically pack and post the order, which is handled by the supplier. This allows you to operate on a minimal cash flow, generally as a one-person outfit, without tying up your finances in stock retention and storage. Dropshipping works as a first-time foray into side hustles because its third-party nature is relatively stress-free, giving you time to focus on creative marketing strategies and researching the most cost-effective products to add to your store.
It is also a great option for the eco-friendly entrepreneur. By cutting out a journey and storage space for specialist products, you are running a more eco-friendly operation than most ecommerce stores, without having to invest in sustainable packaging and shipping options.

Become a writer

Not long ago, it felt like becoming a professional writer was an impossible task. Fortunately for aspiring wordsmiths, the internet changed all that. OK, so you may not get investment to write the next best-selling novel, but you can put your writing talents to good use. Blogs are as popular as ever, becoming an excellent source of income and a great reputation builder for anyone starting out. Having your own blog gives you the space to share your talent, but more importantly, offers the opportunity to host advertising or write affiliate marketing pieces for cash.

Find out more:

How to get started with affiliate marketing – Emma Drew, #MyBlogMyBusiness.

You don’t even need to write exclusively for your own space. You can make money as a guest writer or copywriter, either for an agency or website that may not have the time or finances to invest in in-house content production. This type of writing gets your work in front of a lot more industry eyes and opens the door for new opportunities down the road. The best thing about this side hustle is you don’t need to give it up just because you got a full-time job!

Tutor younger students

You’re smart — you just graduated after all! Why not share that knowledge?
As a recent graduate, you know better than anyone that students could use a bit of help every now and then. You may have used a tutor or know someone who did. They’re a great way of moving up a grade during exam season. Why not spread what you know and get paid handsomely for it? Tutoring is a great side hustle because it’s so easy to do, as long as you understand the topic.
You could set up a website if you want, but it’s not necessary. You don’t even need to stick to what you learned at university, you can tutor GCSE and A-Level students just as easily, and there are numerous networks out there to find keen parents and pupils. Simply rebrand your social pages to get the word out to your immediate network, or post your information in the local community and university Facebook groups offering your services. Parents and students who are concerned about grades will seek you out, so tutoring actually requires less of a time investment. Once you have one position and word spreads of the good work you’re doing, you’ll be swimming in tutoring requests.

Lend a hand & get crafty

It might be hard to believe in a market dominated by tech industries, but handymen and crafty artists are in just as high demand as ever.
If you have a knack for fixing things and time to spare, or studied a trade-oriented subject, you can apply your knowledge in the local area and earn some cash. A 21st-century handyman is a little different. Like tutoring, you’ll need to set up your social pages and a website and get yourself listed on trade websites, but once you have completed a couple of jobs successfully, you’ll start gaining good ratings and build a reputation.
If you’re more crafty or have an arts degree, you could put your skills to use by opening an ecommerce craft store through a platform such as Etsy.  People are beginning to make a conscious effort to support independent businesses once again, particularly online, and thanks to the accessibility and popularity of platforms like Instagram, it’s easy to promote and sell your products.
In today’s economy, so many of us are side hustlers, whether we’re freelancers chasing a creative dream or using our talents to pay the bills. If you’re stuck for a purpose while you look for that first post-graduation job, take some inspiration from this list and innovate.

Find out more money tips for new graduates:

Manage Your Finances

Grad Bites: Managing Your Money


Guest Contributor, Kayleigh Alexandra

About the Author

Kayleigh Alexandra is a writer for Micro Startups, an online destination for everything startup. She’s passionate about hard-working solopreneurs and SMEs (small and medium-size enterprises) making waves in the business world. Visit the blog for your latest dose of startup and charity insights from top experts around the globe @getmicrostarted.