People in Addiction Recovery: Make Extra Money with These Side Gigs

Contributed by: June Lawrence

Photo by Samson Katt from Pexels

When addiction takes over your life, you suffer in many ways. A common trouble among many addicts who are going through the recovery process is money. The health problems that come with drug and alcohol abuse may contribute to huge medical bills, or perhaps the person has to deal with the expenses of legal issues. When addicts start spiraling out of control, their misplaced priorities and expensive habits can affect their job performance and lead to termination. Finally, the costs of inpatient treatment centers are often very steep, leaving people in recovery with a huge bill once they step back into real life.

Overcoming financial problems is a long process that takes commitment and hard work, but it’s possible. It’s important for those in recovery to either get back into their careers or find a new one that speaks to their purpose. However, finding a new job takes time, and bills still need to be paid when they’re due. Picking up a side gig that helps make ends meet while waiting for their big break is a great way for individuals in recovery to bounce back financially while providing opportunities for making and reaching goals.

First Things First: Get Organized
Before embarking upon any new career adventure, it’s important to take care of the basics. Start by making sure your resume shines — even if you’re going to be an independent contractor, you may still need to send out your resume to potential clients. For example, if you decide to teach music lessons to grade school students, their parents will likely want to see your resume and do a face-to-face interview before awarding you the job. Luckily, this is a quick, simple step if you use a resume template — there are a lot of free options online.

Next, reach out to contacts who may be willing to give you their business. Does your former co-worker’s daughter dream about being the next Janis Joplin? Reach out to him to see if you can provide lessons to his budding musician. Do your neighbors have dogs? Ask if they need someone to walk them while they’re at work or sit them while they’re on vacation. Whatever gig is your game, reaching out to people already within your social or professional network is a great first step to success.

Business Ideas That Make Money
The best side business ideas are the ones that tap into a thriving market for long-term profitability. For instance, if you want to start an ecommerce store, selling things that are frequently replaced — think phone cases and wireless earphones — increases your chances of establishing repeat customers. You can also use existing online marketplaces to get your gig on without putting in as much of an initial investment. Whatever you do, look in the direction of a job that taps into activities you enjoy.

Keep in mind that when you’re starting any type of business, it’s important to make sure you fill out all the legal paperwork — including if you intend to start your business as a Connecticut LLC. Fortunately, there are companies that can help you get everything in order.

Teach an Instrument
If you are skilled at playing an instrument, teaching lessons is a great way to make bank on a flexible schedule. Even if you don’t have prior tutoring experience, giving music lessons can be a great option, since the role is more about knowing the instrument and being patient with pupils than it is actual teaching skills. Simply buy an instructor’s book and have students purchase their own student copies to follow along with lessons. Advertise your services by posting on local coffee shops and university bulletin boards, as well as online resources like Craigslist and Thumbtack. For more ideas on how to earn a living through your music, check out David Andrew Wiebe’s acclaimed books, The Essential Guide to Music Entrepreneurship and The New Music Industry: Adapting, Growing, and Thriving in the Information Age.

Work with Pets
Did you know that spending time with animals releases oxytocin into the brain, which can help relieve feelings of depression and anxiety? Tap into those benefits while making extra cash by signing up for a pet-sitting and dog-walking service. You won’t shoot to the 1 percent with this gig, but it’s a highly sought-after service that is enjoyable to do. The most important traits of a dog walker and pet sitter include reliability, trustworthiness, patience, compassion, and the physical stamina needed to handle energetic pups.

Sell Your Crafts
In a world of big-box stores and mass-produced goods, many consumers are drawn to the quality and uniqueness of handmade items. Turn your crafting habit into cold, hard cash by listing your items on the Etsy marketplace. Shoppers from all over the world turn to Etsy as a search engine and shopping platform when they want their money to support everyday people rather than a big corporation’s interests. Unlike starting your own ecommerce store, listing on Etsy does not require you to build a website from scratch. It also comes with a built-in population of shoppers who are interested in your products.

If your substance abuse results in financial troubles, it may take a while to completely bounce back. By taking up a lucrative side gig, you can make ends meet while waiting for the career break you need. Consider something that is in high demand to ensure long-term profitability.