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Finding your (hidden) value

Advice for young, professional women looking to supplement their income and earn additional cash while working at entry-level positions.
Image: Her home is a place for productivity
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As a young professional working woman, I often find myself asking: what more can I be doing? Sure, my entry-level income pays the bills, but who doesn’t want a little extra cash on the side? Well, YoPros, it’s time for us to find our hidden value and start cashing in on it.

What do I mean by hidden value? Well, to start, think about some things you do every day that you can monetize. Are there parts of your character that are just begging for a payout, outside of your 9-5? Take a look around your home - are there places begging to be de-cluttered where you could stumble upon a gold mine? Here are some suggestions to get you started on finding the hidden values in your life.

1.) Clear your shelves

There could be items in your home that you’ve had for so long that you’ve just gotten used to them being there. For starters, take a look at your closet. Do you have any shirts, jackets, pants, handbags, or even shoes that you haven’t worn or used in the last year? Well, take them out of your closet, and head over to your nearest consignment shop!

After all, it’s 2018. There must be an online way to get your old wardrobe out of your life and some money in your pocket online. Services like thredUP and Poshmark are great ways to de-clutter your closet. After you sign up, thredUP sends a postal bag to your address free of charge for you to fill with anyitems (clothes, shoes, bags - you name it) that were made in the last 5 years. Once your bag is full, simply seal it and leave it outside for the mail carrier to pick up. You don’t even have to pay for shipping! In a few weeks, thredUP will pay you out for your items in the form of online store-credit, or a PayPal card, which you can then cash out.

When you use Poshmark, you are the seller – and in charge. Just snap a photo of your item and upload it with a brief description to your Poshmark account. When you have a buyer, Poshmark will send you a pre-paid label to ship your item off. It becomes cash in your pocket once the item is delivered.

After your closet is taken care of, take a look at the other shelves in your home. Do you have books you haven’t touched that you’d be willing to part with? List them on Amazon for a quick pick-up.

*Hidden Value Bonus Tip: Do you know about By typing in this address, you can connect your Amazon account to a charity of your choice, like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the Best Friend Animal Society. Any time you make an eligible purchase, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate .5% of the price of the items to the charity you chose. You’re already making the purchase - why not make your daily shopping a charitable act?

2.) Convert your brain cells to coinage

You’ve probably heard that the tutoring business is a goldmine, with some tutors charging upwards of $100 an hour. However, if the thought of revisiting the SATs or any high school curriculum makes your head spin, consider tutoring in something you’re certainly familiar with - your native language!

Apply to programs like Qkids to teach English to kids in China via video chat or Skype. You can earn anywhere from $20-$30 an hour, and you won’t have to leave your house to do so! If you’re eligible to work in the United States or Canada, a bachelor’s degree and previous teaching/tutoring experience is all you need.

3.) Swipe right for cash

Well, in a sense. If academic tutoring isn’t for you, consider sharing your expertise in something a bit more, erm, personal. Did you know that some online dating consultants charge up to $129 for an hour of one-on-one video coaching on the rules of dating in the modern age? If you’re the person friends call upon to help reply to Tinder messages or set up dating profiles, consider creating your own website and offering dating advice for a fee. The only expertise required is that which you cultivate by getting on these sites and figuring out what does - and what doesn’t - work in the world of online dating.

4.) A different kind of nurturing

You may be years away from having kids of your own, but that doesn’t mean you can’t embrace your nurturing side to earn some money now. While babysitting and nannying may be the first options that come to mind, consider offering your services to a different demographic - senior citizens! Consider joining a “grandkids on-demand” service like “Papa,” which connects college students to senior citizens who need transportation, help around the house, or simply, companionship. Visits can range from spending a few hours at a park with your Pal to even joining them at a wedding. At minimum, you’ll earn $10 for your visit. Papa is currently available in Florida, but is expanding quickly to other states. Keep an eye out for it!

5.) Every dog will have its pay-day

Are you a dog-lover with no time for a pooch of your own? This ought to get your tail wagging (ok, I’m done!). Companies like Wag! and Rover connect enthusiastic animal-aficionados with dog-owners interested in hiring people for day-to-day services like dog walks, or long-term services, like pet-sitting. The application requirements listed on Wag! include a desire to bond with dogs, work outside, and being “physically fit enough to walk several hours a day.” If this sounds like you, apply today.

6.) From screen-scroll to payroll

Picture this - you’re on your lunch break with 15 minutes to kill. You can either update your Instagram feed “one last time” or you can put a quick buck in your pocket. The choice is yours! Apps like Google Opinion Rewards allow you to take online surveys and provide feedback to real companies, all while putting cash in your pocket. Mind you- each survey may only earn you up to 10¢ at a time, but once you’ve accrued a minimum amount of money, you can cash out using PayPal. You might as well get paid for all that time you spend on your phone!