woman working from home

How you can start planning to earn a second income

Posted  November 27, 2018

By Phillipa Geard

Earning a second income is possible in today's world of virtual working. Various skilled virtual jobs can be done after hours. If you don’t have the skills suited for virtual work, then hobbies and passions can be turned into money-making ideas.

Let’s face it, in today’s economic times a second income can come in particularly handy; whether it's to cover the bills, pay for the kid's extra-murals, support a hobby or fund a quick weekend away. The good news is that earning a second income is within reach.

Virtual work opportunitiesAs a skilled worker, virtual working is becoming more popular as technology enables many employees to now work from remote workspaces around the globe. Being able to work remotely opens up numerous options to earn a second income. According to a global study done by Regus in 2017, 50% of workers report that they work outside the main office for 2.5 days a week or more.


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Legally, you do need to ensure that your employment agreement allows for earning a second income. Many employment agreements prohibit the second income unless disclosed and the employer gives permission.

These are some top virtual jobs that could earn you a second income:

Accounting and Bookkeeping
As a skilled accountant or bookkeeper you can make extra income by assisting clients with their books and tax outside of regular work hours. Cloud accounting software is growing in popularity, which means you no longer need to be in office to perform this function. The transition from a standard accounting software package to a cloud-based accounting software package is not an enormous leap, and companies like Xero offer free online training for their software.

Proofreading and Translating
Proofreading can be done from any location. If you have proficiency in a particular language or field of study, you can assist students and companies with proofreading or translating their documents and manuscripts.

Content writing
The digital word is a substantial ongoing consumer of content. 60% of marketers create one new content asset per day, globally. That is an astonishing amount of material that is created on a daily basis. You can start by offering to write on a topic of interest for a popular blog or content site. Once one piece of work is published, it is then easier to start to apply for paid content development work.

Legal consulting
Legal bills are costly. People recognise the enormous cost saving in appointing legal services that work virtually. From legal document search to contract review and drafting, legal consulting after hours is a way to earn a second income.

Document processing
Medical aid companies will often use remote-based document processors to process documents outside of office hours. The employee gets paid per document which means you can decide how much or how little you can handle in a given period.

Social Media Assistant/Manager
Almost all companies have a social media presence. This presence needs to be managed and maintained 24/7. Companies seek out the services of skilled people who can work across different time zones to assist them with handling sites at a fraction of the cost of hiring someone to work after hours within their own country.

Hobbies and passions turned into cashIf your skill does not translate well into the world of virtual working, your passions may be the answer to starting a business on the side that can be done from home. With a growing demand for healthier living and less processed foods and drink, the options are several and the list below certainly not exhausted:

Home-based business ideas:

  • growing organic vegetables
  • baking
  • beer brewing
  • cheese making
  • chocolate making
  • coffee barista
  • clothing designer and seamstress
  • home decor consultant or creator of home products
  • pet walking, sitting and grooming

...and more are springing up as people find and follow their passion into money creating opportunities. Saturday markets are an excellent way to showcase your wares and to begin building a customer following.

Rental incomeIf creating and growing is not your thing, think about online opportunities to rent out a spare room of your home or the outside cottage as a holiday let. Airbnb is a good place to start. These opportunities may not be an overnight get-rich-quick scheme but given it is a second income, working with your passion will be a fun way to earn extra money. Don’t miss this article from 1Life on how to build an income-generating cottage.

Watch for exhaustionDespite all the ideas given as to how you can earn a second income, you do need to take into consideration the benefit of the second income versus the impact the additional work has on your health and wellbeing as well as on your family and loved ones.

If you work to the point of exhaustion, there is no real benefit to anyone in the additional income gained from a second income. Be wise in what you undertake, taking into consideration the impact the extra hours may have on your regular day job and critical relationships.

Earning a second income is a real possibility provided you have a skill or passion from which to offer a service or product. Ensuring you have a set goal, with a determined outcome, earning a second income can become a reality that eases the financial burden without causing burnout.

About the Author:
Phillipa Geard is the CEO and Founder of RecruitMyMom, an award-winning online agency that matches forward-thinking companies to skilled women looking for meaningful part-time and flexible employment. RecruitMyMom helps companies offering meaningful jobs with varying degrees of flexibility or part-time hours to find skilled candidates

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of 1Life or its employees.

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