Employee Side Hustles Recommended by an HR Professional

Employee Side Hustles Recommended by an HR Professional

This blog article conforms to our Editorial Policy and contains links to paid referral affiliates.

I recommend everyone start some sort of side hustle. The world has changed, and you will need a high-paying job. Wages are low, the cost of living is up, homelessness is reaching record highs, education is devalued, jobs are continuing to be threatened by technology like artificial intelligence (AI), and you’re not getting any younger.

As an HR professional, I recommend starting a blog, starting a YouTube channel, taking affiliate marketing training, opening a print-on-demand store if you’re an artist, or even training for a new career. Continue to work your job (or find any job), but start investing your free time into a long-term side hustle.

I recommend these because they’re cheap, can be done with a simple computer and cell phone, the technical skills needed are low, and some can help you build a digital asset that will pay you near passive income for the long term.

You Should Love Your Side Hustle

Any side hustle you start should be something you enjoy! Make sure you develop a good plan that builds more than just income. Build some “asset” that will help you generate income in the long term.

Starting a Blog – $100 to $1,000

Blogging is still a viable way to build an online business. You need the right training and support to get you through the initial stages. There are many ways of generating income with blogging, from ads to affiliate links to offering your product or service.

This blog you’re reading now is part of how I generate traffic to sell my HR services to other small and medium-sized businesses. I get organic, targeted traffic from search engines and make sales. In addition to selling my HR services, I also have affiliate links to generate extra income, and I even give away some HR tips and tools to build my e-mail list.

Expect to spend the next 2-5 years working on your blog to generate a full-time income.

The point of blogging is to create content related to one topic weekly, twice weekly, or daily. Search engines will send you quality traffic when you have enough quality content. 

There are many tips and tricks to this process, so I can’t write about them here. I have joined Income School’s Project 24 program to help me learn and build my blogOpens in a new tab. (Paid Link). I highly recommend you join to get started properly without wasting time learning bits and pieces from other sources.

You are building two digital assets: your blog website and your e-mail list.

Significant expenses are buying a domain name and hosting for your domain.

If you also build a YouTube Channel in the next step, you will help drive more targeted traffic to your website blog.

Earn a full-tim income blogging in 24 months.

Starting a YouTube Channel – Free to $500

Starting a YouTube channel can be free! In a nutshell, you set up a new channel and start posting content. As mentioned above, you can use it as an additional way to drive traffic to your blog website. This is nice because your blog content can easily become your video content.

Although, you don’t need a blog website to start making income with YouTube. After you post enough content and meet some conditions, YouTube will start paying you part of the income from the ads shown on your videos.

You can monetize your channel sooner with affiliate links or generate leads for your product or service. If you have your own product or service, they can be listed on other free sites you can link to. I have some of my services on the websites FiverrOpens in a new tab. and PatreonOpens in a new tab.. Neither site costs me money upfront; they only take a fee when I sell a service.

Like blogging above, you will learn many things along the way, but it’s better to get some training and support right away. If you want to start making some good side hustle money sooner, invest in training. For this, I also recommend Incomes School’s Project 24Opens in a new tab. (Paid Link), as they have a whole course on building a profitable YouTube channel.

The digital asset you’re creating is your followers on YouTube. If you follow all YouTube regulations and avoid controversial topics, you can benefit from your followers for a long time.

Start Affiliate Marketing Training – Free to $1,000

Affiliate marketing is a significant part of blogging and building a YouTube channel. If you’re doing either, learning more about affiliate marketing is beneficial. Although, you don’t need a blog website or YouTube channel to do affiliate marketing.

There are many variations of affiliate marketing, and you need to learn just one way to generate income.

Affiliate marketing involves selling other people’s products or services. There may be many rules for each product or service you market. Ensure you learn the rules, or you may get kicked out of the affiliate program and not paid.

As a rule, you should never directly advertise your affiliate links on social media or a website you don’t own. You can find many free or cheap services if you don’t have a blog website or a YouTube channel to generate leads for your affiliate programs. Services like Linktree can be used to host your affiliate links similar to mineOpens in a new tab..

Since you may not be building an asset like a blog website or YouTube channel you will need to rely on building followers on other social media platforms along with an e-mail list. 

Most e-mail list services may be free until you have hundreds or thousands of customers on your list. Your e-mail list is the main asset you’re trying to grow with this method.

You should target one social media website at a time to grow your e-mail list. You must create content related to your affiliate programs and also keep your affiliate programs related to each other. This will help your socials to grow because they are on topic. If your topic is gardening, you shouldn’t create content for a new computer technology.

Some people on the internet make millions of dollars a year with affiliate marketing, so you should find some training and use their systems to help you build your online affiliate business. I recommend taking this beginner-friendly 3-step blueprint free training (Paid Link) to learn how to do affiliate marketing online.

Opening a Print-On-Demand Store – Free to $500

If you have some art or design skills, opening a print-on-demand store may be an option. There are many options for print-on-demand, but I always try to recommend the easiest and cheapest route.

Try a print-on-demand store like TeePublicOpens in a new tab. (Paid Link). They have their marketplace and advertising driving traffic. Other creators like you also drive traffic to the marketplace. This means you don’t have to worry about driving traffic as much since generating traffic to online businesses is the hardest part.

To make this work, you need to do the following:

  1. Create original designs and avoid overusing design elements that look bulk-made. This is so you can get accepted as an “Artisan” account so they will show your designs on their internal search lists.
  2. Research what types of designs in your area of art are selling. Use the simple categories searches on the website, and the top designs are the best sellers.
  3. Plan to create 2,000 designs or more! This sounds like a lot, but spread this out over the next year or two. The best creators are making money because a handful of their designs are best sellers, but it has taken them a long time to create the correct designs.
  4. I use Canva Pro ($149.99 Canadian per year) to create my designs for my TeePublic store here. I only had 13 designs uploaded when I was accepted into the “Artisan” account level. A graphic editor may be your only expense!
  5. Use a social media website to share each new design you make and link to it or your TeePublic store. I think Instagram may be perfect for this. Use a free link service to display more than one link from your bio; like my LinkTree hereOpens in a new tab..

Get online computer training for you and your employees!

Use code: LBH10 to get 10% off!


Start Training for a New Career – Free to $500

If you hate your job and think AI will soon make you obsolete, you must start a new career. I know this isn’t a side hustle, but it will help you transition to a career that’s in high demand.

I recommend doing this training, starting your new career, and building your long-term side hustle. You could also start your side hustle while you train and start a new career, but beware of burying yourself out.

I spent years getting a degree before finally moving into my HR career. This was the slow way of doing it. If you can enter your chosen career at the entry-level or in a lateral role, your advancement can be faster. After my initial training, I should have started applying for HR Assistant roles. This would have gotten me into the HR industry five years sooner!

I could still have taken my degree evenings and weekends during those five years. The only difference is that I would have had five years of industry experience when I got my degree. This would have allowed me to get into an HR Advisor role sooner.

If you want to change careers to Technology Sales, Information Technology, Software Development, Data Analytics, UI/UX, or Human Resources (US), I recommend getting basic training from CourseCareersOpens in a new tab. (Paid Link).

This training will give you the basic skills and info needed to get an entry-level job in your new career. This may be the most important thing you can do if you hate your job or manager and fear you may be let go because of AI.

After you start your new career, you can consider taking any advanced training or education while happily working in your chosen career!

What’s Next?

To get into a side hustle or niche you will love and stick with for a long time, you need to make a list. List everything you love! Then, decide which one you love the most.

Then, start a second list of your niche’s top ideas or topics. These will be your starting point for creating content.

For human resources support in Canada, click here to book a free HR needs assessment now. If you’re on a budget, consider joining my Patreon to ask unlimitedOpens in a new tab. HR questions. If you need HR advice sooner, book a consultation via Fiverr here.

Ian Hopfe

Ian Hopfe is the owner of LBH Business Services Inc. in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Ian is an Indigenous Human Resources Consultant. He has over ten years experience in HR and over fifteen years experience in management. All blog articles on this website are written by Ian unless a guest writer is indicated on the post.

Recent Posts