The global job market is shifting and more people than ever are eschewing conventional 9 to 5 office work in favor of alternative career paths, freelancing and the opportunity to work from home or on their own schedule. The following options all make great side-hustles and have come of age with the rise of the gig economy. With a sufficient investment of time and focus, it’s possible to leave your 9 to 5 behind and branch out into these opportunities that are emerging along with the rise of e-commerce as the dominant public-facing financial sector.

English Tutoring

Teaching English can be a flexible and fulfilling job role, and with the rise of demand for tuition for Chinese students, it’s never been more viable to do this work remotely from the comfort of your own home. Most companies, such as VIPKid, require only a basic TEFL qualification in order to get started, but if you really want to beat out the competition and open more doors it is recommended that you invest in a CELTA qualification, the gold standard in the field. This is especially relevant if you intend to take this job with you as you travel and work internationally.

Social Media Advertising

Targeted advertising through social media is a lucrative and growing marketing sector. Businesses of all sizes are often looking for people to represent their products on social platforms as well as working on increasing traffic to their websites through search engine optimization. It is possible to work in this role as a freelancer managing numerous company portfolios. Most businesspeople are not acquainted with the intricacies of social media marketing and will be looking to outtarget this to professionals with the appropriate know-how.

Product Flipping

Websites like eBay, Depop, and Facebook’s marketplace are thriving commercial hubs on the internet. It’s possible to make a good living by scouting out furniture and vintage goods in charity and antique shops and bringing these items to a larger audience through these online platforms. This process is referred to as flipping, and the value is derived from you connecting prospective customers with items they would otherwise be unable to reach.

Online Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants can help organize and prioritize the flow of information in our “always-on” connected lives. Your job role could involve helping your client by drafting emails, managing their personal calendar, or even organizing their weekly groceries. With so much of our lives now organized through online services, people are waking up to the value of outsourcing these decisions to an assistant.


Once a fringe sector, Esports platforms, and competitions have come of age in the past decade, with global Esports players totaling 450 million users and the cash payouts for the largest competitions growing year on year. Popular arena battle game DOTA 2 saw an increase in competition prizes from $10.9M in 2014 to $25.5M in 2018, and Twitch now hosts around 15 million daily users on its platform. Feel like you’ve got what it takes to take your gaming pro? Now’s the time, as sponsors actively scout streaming platforms and competitions for rising talent.

YouTube Channel

Do you have a topic you’re passionate about? Perhaps you have a good head for business and promotion and are not afraid of the camera. Becoming a successful YouTuber may well be a valid path to explore. While this option requires time and investment, if you’re diligent it can become a decent way to make a return through marketing targeted ads through YouTube’s platform. Furthermore, as you build a recognizable franchise, you can attract third-party sponsors to increase your earning power. 

Freelance Writing

Freelance writing is a compelling and growing sector. In truth, there are a wide array of jobs that fall under this umbrella. Often websites and blogs will commission freelance writers to produce additional content for their platforms. Additionally, there are many work opportunities available on freelancer websites like Upwork and Fiverr to ghostwrite ebooks and novels. Finally, translation and transcription work is well sought after, especially if you have proficiency in multiple languages.