Some side hustles can tell you early on if you will fail or succeed at something as an adult!

Learn Your Future Through a Side Hustle

Learn Your Future Through a Side Hustle

A good side hustle isn’t just a way to earn extra income – if you’re a teen, it can prepare you to take on bigger challenges later in life. I should know! As a lifelong side hustler, growing up I peddled Pixy Stix in between classes; organized yard sales to save up for a shopping spree with my bestie; and put up signs in my neighborhood offering to babysit. Those skills helped me learn about what I’m capable of, and what types of services people are willing to fork over cash for.

Here are some side hustles that can reveal if you’re ready to “adult”:

1. House-Sitting

As a full-time freelancer, I’m far more flexible as to where I can work.

I love house-sitting as a side hustle because I get paid to sit on my butt and get my work done.Click To Tweet

Plus, I get to wake up in a different part of town.

Last fall, I house- and dog-sat for my friends who were vacationing in Spain. While I normally pet-sit for my friends who live in apartments, tending to an actual home came with its own set of responsibilities. I had to take out the trash, water the plants, and deal with a home alarm system. I know it really doesn’t seem like that much more work – maybe I’m just used to the relatively low upkeep of being an apartment-dweller. But the time spent in that big house convinced me that I am currently better off in my bachelorette existence.

How to Get Started:

Aside from asking around, you can sign up for online housesitting services such as Nomador, Mind My House, and House Sitters America. Just keep in mind that some of these sites have annual membership fees.

2. Pet-Sitting

I absolutely love animals. I had a dear cocker spaniel that lived to be over 16 years old, and I have been pet-sitting for my friends for the last six years or so.

However, as much I love pals of the furry persuasion, when I care for a pooch or kitty, I am gently reminded of how much work having a pet can be.Click To Tweet

I am out and about quite a bit, and committing to walking a dog several times a day is a big lifestyle change. I am also reminded of all the costs involved: food, medication, grooming, toys… You get the picture. And while I love being around animals, I’m not up for the time and costs that go into being a pet parent.

How to Get Started:

You can pick up pet-sitting and dog-walking gigs on sites like Rover or PetSitter.com.

3. Selling Stuff Online

Are you a talented craftser? Are you great at discovering treasures at yard sales and swap meets? Selling your wares online is a great way to get some idea validation and to see what people are willing to pay for certain items. Plus, you’ll also gain basic bookkeeping skills and learn how to market your products. A side hustle like this could all help you figure out whether you’re ready to go full-throttle with launching your own online business.

How to Get Started:

You can just sign up for an account with Etsy or eBay. Newer sites to sell your unwanted electronics and books such as Decluttr are also popping up.

4. Babysitting

I’ve never babysat, which probably tells you enough about my personal mommy urges – I have zilch. Babysitting is essentially getting paid to mind someone else’s beloved kid, which can really teach you a lot about what it takes to be a future parent. With this side hustle, you’ll learn about your own comfort levels and temperament around little ones.

If you’re ready to pull out your hair after the first hour on the job, then you probably shouldn’t be in a hurry to make babies yourself.

How to Get Started:

If you’re new to babysitting, your best bet on getting started is to watch kids of your friends and family. You can also find gigs on sites such as UrbanSitter and Sittercity.

Of course, these side hustles will by no means be all that determine your adult life. They merely serve as a marker to show where you’re at currently and where your skills and interests could take you later.

For more from author Jackie Lam, click here