What part time jobs are available if I want to work from home after my full time job?
December 30, 2005 1:06 PM   Subscribe

I have a full time job and by the end of the day I am too tired to stand. But I need another source of income as I am getting married soon and need to save for all sorts of things. What type of work can I do from home part time that will actually bring in money...all I seem to find on the internet are get rich quick schemes. I don't want to stuff envelopes or anything like that. I have a communications degree and some graphic design experience, some technical writing experience and am handy with a computer. Any suggestions?
posted by brokekid to Work & Money (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Freelance copyediting and proofreading sounds like they'd be right up your alley.
posted by scody at 1:16 PM on December 30, 2005

Freelance graphic design pays really well, I charge $20-$40/hr & do it in the evenings after my other job. I get most of my clients word-of-mouth or answering craigslist ads. I also went around to local ad agencies & asked if they had extra work--2 of them give me jobs to do at home on a regular basis.
posted by octavia at 1:17 PM on December 30, 2005

Ditto on the freelance editing.

I did development editing on Idiot's Guides for a while. The pay was pretty good considering the relatively simple work ($25/hour), the schedule was usually pretty loose (doing a chapter a day usually worked, with billing coming out to around one hour per chapter on a book with few problems).

If you're any good at all with basic Word automation (macro writing), you can cut out most of the repetitive stuff in dev editing that's really tedious (reformatting, style issues) and spend more of your time doing the good part, which is working with the author to make the book better.

Rates very by publisher. Some pay by the page, others by the hour. I just did it as a way to subsidize vacations and such, but I know of one couple that did enough work to live off it.
posted by mph at 1:32 PM on December 30, 2005 [1 favorite]

How does one find this work online?
posted by k8t at 1:44 PM on December 30, 2005

You might consider the alternative of trying to reduce expenses. For example, canceling cable TV (say, $50 per month) is equivalent (after taxes) to doing 5 hours of work at $15 per hour.

See, for example, this September 15, 2004, thread: Interested in money-saving tips
posted by WestCoaster at 1:51 PM on December 30, 2005

WestCoaster's tip is pretty good. When money was tight for me I thought of everything in terms of how long I'd have to work to pay for it. Doing that makes doing certain things yourself start to make sense. If I can do something myself in less time than I can pay for it, I generally will (providing the results are otherwise suitable I guess)
posted by RustyBrooks at 3:02 PM on December 30, 2005 [1 favorite]

If you know enough web design to do basic, but nice-looking work, there are plenty of local bands, artists, etc. who need only the simplest of sites. When I go to art and craft shows, I look very carefully at merchants' business cards to see if they have a website.

In my experience, once you meet one client, word of mouth gets around.

It also so happened that a lot of my early web clients also needed me for basic computer repair, so more money was earned there.

A caveat: taxes can be a pain when you pick up a side job like this. A lot of freelance gigs don't have the taxes taken out and it'll be up to you to pay on those 1099s and whatnot you may receive. So, that $100 check for a few hours' work isn't your true take-home pay -- there's other schedule C fun that will drain it further. Your entire venture in self-employment could become counter-productive if you're not prepared for this.

On the flip side, you might then be eligible for the home office deduction, which could cancel things out or even give you a (greater) tax return. Tread carefully in this territory.

(I personally declare all my cash-only earnings. I'm not going to go on a tangent on tax reporting, but I will say that I've been surprised at how many small jobs ended up issuing me a 1099.)
posted by Sangre Azul at 3:20 PM on December 30, 2005 [2 favorites]

Addressing a different point: I also work full-time and am too tired to stand at the end of the day. I then go home and study like a madman for another four hours every evening.

How do I do it? I nap for up to an hour as soon as I get home, and then I'm 100% refreshed and ready to go for the whole evening. For it to be effective, you have to be very disciplined and come home at a regular hour and take your nap at a regular hour, and not take too long of a nap (half hour is ideal).
posted by randomstriker at 3:35 PM on December 30, 2005

Wow, this is almost exactly what I was going to ask.mefi earlier this week. I love when that happens.
posted by jerseygirl at 4:00 PM on December 30, 2005

Instead of putting energy into a second job, consider improving your primary income. This could be either from changing jobs/careers, or putting everything you have into your current job and getting bonuses/promotions/raises.
posted by JamesMessick at 4:18 PM on December 30, 2005

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