Planning

Making Some Dough

I’m about six months into this sabbatical, and while I still don’t have a clear direction on my career path, I’ve had a lot of great learnings and experiences. I’m excited to keep going forward and not rush the process.

Luckily, I have a lot of savings to support me during this sabbatical, but I don’t want to deplete it completely. So, lately, I’ve been looking into ways to make a little extra cash to offset some of our monthly expenses.

What am I looking for?

Ideally, I’d love to find a way to make some extra money, working from home and setting my own hours. I’d be willing to do work outside of home but having flexible hours would be important. I want to still be able to prioritize my career exploration, as well as my creative pursuits.

It would also be good if the gig(s) were a reliable source of income. Though, I’d be willing to take on a mix of regular work with more ad hocs gigs.

What are my options?

I’m still pretty early in my research, but here are some avenues I want to explore:

Freelance writing

I have done a lot of writing in my past jobs. And maintaining this blog has been a good exercise in a new style of writing (plus a great thing for my portfolio). There are a ton of online freelance sites, including some sites like ProBlogger which are geared exclusively toward writing gigs.

I would ideally want to take on the style of writing that I enjoy. So that would be things like blogs, creative writing, speeches and fun articles over technical writing, business writing and other more bland types of gigs.

One thing I’m noticing on a lot of these freelance sites is that the job poster will ask for a bid. So, I’ll have to do some thinking about how much I’d want to charge, as well as industry standards.

Consulting & project management

Producing the podcast reminded me that I have a knack for organization and getting projects off the ground. And being part of the Podcasters Support Group on Facebook, I realized there is a need from a lot of creatives for this type of project management support.

For podcasts alone, I could help new creators take their projects from ideas to fully launched podcast. I could also help existing podcasters streamline their operations.

I need to think about how I might package myself and what I would charge for my services.

Selling online

I’ve been meaning to put a lot of my clothes up for sale on Poshmark. While this may not be a long-term way of making money, it could be a good short-term way to get some extra cash.

On a more on-going basis, I’ve always thought about setting up my own Etsy shop. I’d probably sell handmade jewelry and related crafts. I love that it would allow me to be creative and I could do everything from home. I know it would take a while to get the business up and running, but it’s definitely something I want to explore.

Standardized patient

This is a gig that I lot of my actor friends have taken on. Essentially, medical students and doctors need to train with real people, so hospitals and other medical facilities hire people to be fake patients. This would obviously be onsite work, but I hear the hours are pretty flexible in that you can choose to accept or decline gigs.

Stanford has one of the more popular programs – they pay well. And they have an easy form to fill out to submit your interest in becoming a standardized patient. However, that is a bit of a drive for me. I’ve heard there are also opportunities in Oakland, so I need to research that more.


I definitely have a lot more research to do. And for some of these ideas, I may need to just jump in a try it out.

Have any ideas I didn’t mention? Leave a comment below!

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