Are You Making These 3 Big Mistakes When Looking for Side Gigs?

Everyone makes mistakes (I’ve definitely made my share over the years!) but learning from your mistakes is what helps you move on and get better. Fortunately, with the Web, you can now also learn from *other* people’s mistakes, too, so you don’t have to go through the frustration and embarrassment yourself. With that said, here are 3 of the biggest mistakes people make when searching for a gig to make some extra money.

1- Going after the first flashy gig that comes along.

Trying out a new gig can be fun- and it sometimes pays off- but you should always do your research before trying any new moneymaking scheme. Research both the gig that sounds appealing and a few alternatives, because there may be a better option for your situation than the first one you hear about.

2- Paying money to get a gig.

There’s a saying in freelance writing “The money flows TOWARD the writer” and this applies to other gigs as well. If someone is insisting that you pay cash upfront to get access to a specific gig, run the other way. Paying for information (such as a book about starting a specific type of business) is research, but paying to actually get a gig is a scam.

3- Looking in the wrong places

If you want a specific type of gig, you need to find out where the gatekeepers are for those gigs. Some industries regularly hire freelance workers to complete projects or be part of a larger event, but getting these gigs can seem near impossible unless you know the way in. For example, instead of advertising your tutoring services in the newspaper, where it’s likely to be ignored, look into services like or go directly to schools. If you want to be an extra in a movie, get on a casting list that lets you know when these gigs are available, or seek out mystery shopping companies if you’re searching for that kind of work. In some industries, personal contacts are invaluable, and if you’re starting a service-oriented business, you’ll need to seek out the places where likely customers hang out.

Finding gigs can seem difficult at times, while at other times you might feel overwhelmed with all the possibilities and have trouble narrowing down the best options for you. Keep in mind that living a sweetgig lifestyle is all about versatility and flexibility. You can change your mind- or add an extra gig or two to your work-life portfolio- whenever you feel like it. After developing a healthy on-your-own-terms work style, you’ll become better able to evaluate gigs and find ones that work for you. Like everything good in life, it just takes time.

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