Most job seekers will agree that the East African job market can be tough. Even those with full-time jobs may find it hard to make ends meet, especially if you're raising a family.
But don’t despair. It’s not all doom and gloom. Plenty of people are getting creative and finding work outside the formal sector.
Even if you’re not hoping to add some extra girth to your wallet, side jobs offer an opportunity to develop talents or skills you don’t get to use in your day job or if you are at home with your children. Want to hone your writing chops or learn a new programming language? There’s a part-time role for that.
Here are eight of our favorite side jobs in East Africa.
With more companies and media outlets on the lookout for bloggers who can generate leads with clever content, interest in blogging is growing. Blogs like Daudi Were’s Mentalacrobatics popularized the writing form in East Africa in the early 2000s.
Many East Africans are now monetizing their work and running a blog as a side job. For prolific writers, it can be goldmine, particularly as more companies outsource blogging and hire writers around the world. Platforms such as Elance connect freelance writers with employers hungry for compelling content. Other bloggers, such as fashion blogger Sharon Mundia of This Is Ess, have gone solo and turned their part-time blogs into full-time jobs.
Software developers design and build computers programs. Globally, software development is one of the five most in-demand jobs, and there simply isn’t enough talent to go around. Consequently, many employers are turning to remote workers to fill the gaps, with some Western companies turning elsewhere to find more affordable developers.
For this role, you’ll need to know about software and programming languages. It helps if you’re a natural problem solver too, as much of your work will entail creating technical solutions for businesses and users.
As a software developer, you can work from anywhere and for many companies across the globe, provided you are connected to the Internet. Even better, classes to help you master the basics of software development are often available online. Check out these free courses to get started.
Sign Language Interpreter
New legislation, such as the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, has put the rights of people with disabilities on the global agenda. As nations scramble to expand diversity programs, churches, media outlets, and even corporations are doing the same. Many of these institutions are looking for part-time sign language interpreters.
Developing a gorgeous blog header and putting together a striking homepage can earn you quick cash on the side. With thousands of business seeking an online presence each day, you don’t have to look far for short-term gigs.
If you’re new to the world of web design, check out free resources like Lifehackers’ “How to Make a Web Site: The Complete Beginner’s Guide“. Once you feel confident with your web design skills, don’t forget to create your own blog or website to showcase your work and attract potential clients.
Freelance Product Photographer
With growth of eCommerce, companies have to attract customers who will never set foot inside their businesses. Many do this with beautiful and enticing images. Freelance product photographers showcase businesses and their goods in the best possible light. They set the scene, tweak the lighting, and capture the shot.
This job requires a high degree of technical skill, so don’t think an active Instagram feed will bring companies to your door. Develop your skills by enrolling in a photography certificate program. Some graphic design experience will give you an added advantage, as you’ll need to retouch and edit photos.
Once you’ve got the skills, get your name out there by creating pin board on Pinterest and a Flikr account with your best work. A website with a photo gallery can also help advertise your services.
If you are an expert in a subject, share your knowledge with others as a coach, instructor, or private tutor. Whether you are showing a young child how to sing or coaching a university student through high-level algebra, you can earn some extra cash while keeping flexible hours.
Rates vary widely depending on the demand for a particular skill in your area. Generally, you can command higher pay for expertise in learning-intensive subjects, such as foreign languages or math instruction. Are you an aspiring tutor? Advertise your services on Kigali Moms and Dads.
Small- to medium-sized business in East Africa are often on the lookout for part-time bookkeepers. And demand for bookkeeping is sure to rise with startups springing up all over the region — these budding businesses need accurate books to appeal to investors.
Bookkeepers are responsible for recording a business’s financial transactions, so you’ll need to be good with numbers and obsessively organized to excel in this role. You’ll generally need at least a secondary school education and a certificate or diploma in bookkeeping or accounting.
If you prefer flexible hours and working alone, transcript processing can be a lucrative side job. As a transcriber, you’ll turn audio files into text. General transcription assignments can range from lectures to meetings to dictation notes.
You should have basic computer skills and strong attention to detail. If you can transcribe recordings quickly and accurately, you can make up to US$40 per hour, though rates vary depending on the project at hand.
Ready to get started?
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