The 4 Best Side Hustles for Professionals Facing a Layoff Learn how to create additional and flexible income during uncertain and volatile times by creatively harnessing your education, experience and expertise.

By Kanika Tolver

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The job market, particularly in the tech sector, is volatile at the moment (to put it mildly), with many professionals worried about how they will make ends meet after being let go from high-paying positions and losing benefits. Worse yet, there's increasing uncertainty about the availability of new positions, in part because hiring processes have slowed down due to longer interview structures.

But what if these professionals were able to start a business as a side hustle — to monetize what they already know from their old (or day) jobs? Many have doubtless long wanted to become entrepreneurs, and so this unpredictable time may also be the perfect one to creatively apply acquired education, experience and expertise.

These options for doing just that can help professionals make extra income while enhancing their personal brands.

Become a paid speaker

There are thousands of fertile minds being paid regularly to speak at conferences, corporations and universities. But before beginning efforts in that direction, it's important to create two to three signature speaking topics that hit high points of your experience and what service you can provide, as well as semi-detailed descriptions for each. Once that's complete, a professional website needs to be made that includes a speaker media kit featuring video examples of presentations. (After the first few gigs, pad this video section with live audience clips.) Additionally — for both this field and those listed below — it might also be wise to create an LLC and get a business tax number, along with a logo.

The speaking business is potentially very lucrative and offers the further advantage of exposure to new job opportunities.

Related: 5 Keys to Building a Website That Sells

Consider an adjunct professorship

There are many industry executives affected by company layoffs who possess master's degrees, and so qualify as adjunct professors. Some teach remotely and/or just a few times a week. This can be a great way to give back to the next generation of professionals while getting paid to teach a subject that's aligned with professional expertise. Not to mention, being a professor is great for personal branding, with some landing consulting and other opportunities via the academic pipeline.

Create paid content

During this digital era, selling content can be an at once enduring and lucrative way for professionals to make extra money by developing courses, books (including ebooks) and coaching programs. (Over the last three years, career-related paid content has done particularly well on platforms like Patreon, YouTube and TikTok.) Such material does best when properly branded, marketed and sold to the right audience, of course, so I recommend leveraging social media, email marketing lists and professional online communities to get the word out.

Related: How To Start a YouTube Channel: Step-by-Step Guide

Seek a part-time remote job

Part-time remote jobs are amazing if you can land a good hourly rate. Many offer flex schedules in the evenings or on the weekends. Begin the search by harnessing websites like Indeed, LinkedIn and Glassdoor. Since companies are cutting back on full-time roles, this can be a great time to jump in, and there's always the chance that a part-time opportunity turns into full-time (if desired).

Wavy Line
Kanika Tolver

Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP

CEO and Author of Career Rehab

Kanika Tolver is the CEO and founder of Career Rehab, LLC in Washington, D.C., where she helps clients transform their careers with coaching programs, events, webinars and digital resources to help people reach their career goals. An in-demand coach, consultant, speaker and thought leader, she has been featured on CNN, CNBC, CBS Radio, Yahoo!, Black Enterprise,,, The Washington Post and a variety of radio interviews and podcasts. Kanika is the author of the acclaimed title, 'Career Rehab: Rebuild Your Personal Brand and Rethink the Way You Work.' 

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