Good morning! Today I am pleased to welcome Anne from Unique Gifter who will talk about how she made money thanks to her friends and neighbors. Let me know if you would like to guest post on Make Money Your Way.
Well, that title sounds a bit funny, don’t you think? Guess what? When you hear everyone talk about networking all the time, this is basically why everyone is constantly telling you to network! That might be by attending (or hosting!) a speed networking event, going to industry gatherings, or just chatting with your neighbours. In some fields, such as real estate, people are constantly hustling, because every single contact they have may one day turn into a sale. However, most of us work by the hour, or salaried, so do not consider ourselves to be constantly ‘hustlin.
Just because we do not work in commissioned sales, does not mean we shouldn’t get out there networking and letting everyone know what we can do. One of the most common ways that I see this is on blogs. When people are looking to pick up freelance writing work, SEO optimization and virtual assistant work, they usually tell people and put a “Hire Me” page on their website.
“Sure, that’s fine and dandy, but I’m not a writer or an internet money maker” you say. Don’t worry, that’s why I’m here writing today. I want to tell you about two opportunities which came my way, because people knew what I was able to do, regardless of whether or not they were related to my “day job.”
#1 The Job Offer
One day, completely unexpectedly, I received a phone call from a friend and colleague. Now, I don’t know about you, but I do not often receive phone calls asking me if I am interested in jobs. I’m not talking about recruiting phone calls, which are also usually unexpected and offering a looser version of a direct job offer. This was a lot more concrete in nature, as my friend was going to be going on maternity leave in a few months (which is usually one year in Canada) and had been asked if she knew of anyone who would be a good fit to fill her role while she was off.
Here’s the catch: her job is very, very different from my day-to-day job. I work in the Finance department and she works in a department that can best be described as Public Relations and Corporate Social Responsibility. So, why did my name come up? Volunteering and networking. I use some of my free time to do volunteer work in industry based groups. I am able to develop an entirely different skill set, and have a host of other people observe those skills, beyond the folks I interact with at work. For that group, I do a lot of event planning, advertising and engaging with the greater community. It also allows me to meet a lot of people.
Moral of the story: Get out there and network! It can be a really great way to change the path of your career, and to find opportunities you never knew existed! This also reinforces the notion that most jobs are not advertised, it’s all in who you know.
#2 The Opportunity to Bid
This is another opportunity which came my way, completely unexpectedly, because of my neighbours this time. I have a Martha Stewart complex. I try to be Jill of all trades, including wood working. I recently (finally!) completed two major woodworking projects, a built in wardrobe and a bookshelf unit. Naturally, we showed them off to friends and neighbours. About a week later, the condo board in my building had a meeting and were in need of someone to make a large sign for outside. One of my neighbours asked if I would like the opportunity to bid on the job, because he had seen my handiwork. This was another, completely unexpected, opportunity to make money, because those around me knew my skills.
In short, I am advocating for both developing a wide range of skills and for letting those around you know about your varied skills. I also recommend a TED talk by Elaine Collier, who speaks about more of the advantages to being a polymath, beyond the direct financial aspects.
Note: On this post I talk about how my mum has been promoting my skills as a baby sitter, piano teacher, tutor and so on ever since I was a kid and helped me make $1,000s in my teen years. Letting people know about what you do or can do (say you are an accountant but renovated your house by yourself, letting people know that may land you some renovation jobs) is a great way to make extra money.
About the Author
Anne spends most of her time writing about creative, frugal and fun gift ideas at her site Unique Gifter. She also works on some side hustles and financial security is important to her and her spouse, so they save a lot. If you like to spend time on twitter, you should follow her @UGifter!
This post was featured on the Carnival of Money Pros, thank you!