Tips on Side-Gig Success for Caregivers without the Added Stress
by Guest Blogger, Beverly Nelson
Holding down a regular, full-time job can be impossible if you are a caregiver, but you still need a way to cover your financial responsibilities. That’s why more and more family caregivers are looking to side gigs to fill that gap in income. Balancing a gig with your duties as a caregiver can be a challenge, so use these tips to keep yourself from getting overwhelmed.
Work on Enhancing Your Hiring Skills
Side gigs are all about flexibility, but that does not mean you shouldn’t be prepared for the hiring process. Even if you are interviewing for a temporary position, prospective employers may still expect you to go through a fairly standard application process. A well-organized, concise resume is essential at any stage of your career, and you can use a resume template to take the guesswork out of this tricky document. Free online resume templates can help you get familiar with the basic resume structure and fill in the blanks for you.
While you’re working on your resume, you may want to brush up on your interview know-how as well. Chances are you will at least need to complete some casual interviews in order to get hired for your gig job, so do your homework when it comes to the most common interview questions. Practice your answers and have an elevator speech ready at all times. You never know when you will meet a prospective client — and you always want to “wow” them when you do. Just like your interview answers, practice can help you perfect your intro, so spend some time really polishing what you plan to say.
Find a Gig That Compliments Caregiving
Gigs are a go-to income source for those looking for maximum flexibility, which is what makes this kind of work perfect for caregivers. Another great thing about gig jobs, however, is that there are opportunities to get paid for just about any skill, so you can use what you already have or have a passion for. If you love animals and like staying active, you can get started as a dog sitter for your neighbors and friends. Online sitter sites have made it fairly simple to get started and you can even look after pets in your own home.
If pets just are not your thing, however, there are still an abundance of gig jobs you can try. Many of the highest paying gigs are even jobs you can do from the comfort of your home. This can make a real difference when you need to be around to provide care for a loved one. Being a medical coder or marketing consultant takes a higher level of skill set, however, but know that other side gigs require little to no prior experience. If you’re not sure which job to settle on, don’t be afraid to try different gigs until you find one that fits.
Take Your Self-Care Time Seriously
Starting a successful side gig can relieve financial tension, but you have to make sure your new gig does not lead to additional stress in other areas of your life. Caregiver burnout can be a serious risk for those who are providing daily care for family members. If you’re not careful, you may find yourself with a lack of energy, an inability to focus, and other physical symptoms that can interfere with your new gig, as well as your personal responsibilities. So, always set aside some time for self-care. Work some self-care basics into your morning routine, such as nourishing your body and meditation, to keep yourself in a positive frame of mind. Meditation can be especially helpful for caregivers, so consider setting up a quiet space where you can practice on a regular basis. This distraction-free area can also serve as a home office, which will give you more focus when it comes to your side gig.
Striking a balance between caregiving and earning an income can help relieve so much tension and give you some financial freedom. However, be careful not to overextend yourself, and use these tips to make getting started easy.