All Commentary
Thursday, December 22, 2016

How to Get a Side Job As Easily As Possible

Use ridesharing to get to work.

I don’t know a single millennial who would turn down the opportunity of a side job. We make our lives as efficient as possible, thanks to as much technology as possible, and while we generally use our tech-generated free time to binge-watch the latest Netflix original series, we also don’t prioritize Netflix over the opportunity of making more money and trying something new. Especially if we can combine the two. Which is why I suggest riding in Uber and Lyft.

Never in real life do you get a ride to work and then leave the car with an offer for a second, side job. That only happens in movies and TV shows. Unless you use ridesharing to get around.

I entered my Uber car with one job and left it with two.The recruitment ads for Uber and Lyft drivers focus on the benefits of having a side job for the drivers, but they ignore the networking potential that’s included in the whole business. Since rideshare drivers rarely drive for their main source of income, they have a main job besides. You never know what background your driver could have. I had a Pentagon aide as a driver in Washington, D.C., and I had a high school/college football referee drive me to the Atlanta airport.

Atlanta’s film and TV businesses are booming like nothing else. Thanks to relatively lower taxes, production companies are leaving Hollywood and New York City for Atlanta. If I hadn’t already known that to be the case, I would never have believed my Uber driver when he said he was a cinematographer and screenwriter focusing on film noir.

My driver to work was originally from Colombia. He’s been in Atlanta for 11 years, and his speaking-English is very good, but it’s one thing to learn colloquial language and another to write it out in a film noir script. So as soon as he found out I was an editor, he asked me if I’d edit one of his scripts for him. By the time we reached my office he had given me his business card and I had promised to email him about his script. I entered his car with one job and left it with two. It was the most random thing in the world, but I’m not complaining.

If you get into a taxi you’re probably going to get someone who drives for a living (most taxi drivers work 35+ hours a week), which means you won’t have the same networking opportunities. I didn’t do anything I normally wouldn’t, and suddenly I (potentially) have two jobs. I didn’t even have to drive myself to work. I had to talk to the guy, yes, but it was worth it. I hadn’t even had my coffee yet and I found the inner strength to carry on a conversation to the point of being (possibly) hired. If I can do it, you definitely can.

As with all people, you have skills and abilities your rideshare driver probably doesn’t, and vice versa. You may not always need each others’ professional skills, but you never know.

It’s already an amazing thing to be able to use technology to be efficient with your time and spend as much as possible on Netflix. But it’s even better if you can use it to be efficient and spend that same working time doing double what you usually would. Maybe you’ll even make enough money to watch Netflix and HBO Go.