GRAPHIC BY SARA SHEIKH/ THE SPUTNIK PHOTOGRAPHY
COVID-19 has caused a lot of destruction worldwide, such as the loss of lives and the strain on healthcare. However, there are many indirect implications of COVID-19, such as the loss of jobs.
This has specifically affected students who traditionally work in the retail or fast food industry. These industries have been downsizing, and students have joined the gig economy to make ends meet.
The gig economy is made up of workers who are independent contractors or self-employed. These jobs are commonly referred to as side hustles. Examples include Uber Eats drivers, photographers, and freelance writers.
Nataly Manychanh is a Laurier Brantford Digital Media & Journalism student who freelance writes as a side hustle.
Glate.co, a clothing brand based in Dallas, Texas, reached out to Manychanh on Instagram to write an exclusive piece for a rapper named Honie Gold, who sported the brand in one of her recent music videos, “I AM.”
“I low-balled my service because I only asked for 70.00 dollars for a feature article. I learned that I was supposed to charge 100.00 dollars for a 500-word article,” said Manychanh.
Manychanh explained that it was a learning experience that gave her the luxury of executing the array of skills learned within the journalism program.
“I was told by a professor who is the coordinator of the journalism program at Wilfrid Laurier that with the extra work involved such as research and interview that I should have negotiated a higher price for my writing services,” said Manychanh.
A lot of the skills that she learned in the Digital Media & Journalism program, such as writing, editing, and documentation, continue to aid in her career development. Manychanh emphasizes the importance of working hard for what you want because opportunities do not just fall into your lap.
Manychanh advises that other students who want to make a career out of freelance writing should show off their work and to leverage technology by promoting and sharing your work on Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram.
“Keep creating whether it is good or bad, and don’t be afraid to show your work to the world. […] the opportunity came knocking at my door simply because I marketed my work online, which created volume,” said Manychanh.
Lady Rose is a student in the Criminology program at Wilfrid Laurier University who does photography as a side hustle.
“I had a passion for photography ever since I was little and got my first camera. It turned into a hobby where I spent time honing my craft and eventually, I started my brand.”
Lady Rose created his own self-titled studio as a side hustle and has been surprised by his business’s growth.
Contributed/ The Sputnik Photography
“When I launched Lady Rose Studios four years ago, it was just a side hustle, a way to earn some extra money while still in school but over the years it has grown into something much more,” said Lady Rose.
A typical day for Lady Rose includes a diverse range of activities.
“I focus mostly on portraiture which could entail anywhere from one-on-one shoots with clients to pre-wedding shoots, professional headshots down to covering events like weddings. With the aid of my partners at Naeem Studios, we also offer other services like videography, graphic design, projection mapping or drone coverage,” he said.
For students feeling inspired to find their own side hustle, Lady Rose advises students to let their passion lead them and to not be afraid of mistakes.
“My advice for students who are considering a side hustle would be to first figure out what they are passionate about. Find something you actually enjoy doing and then do your research on how best to showcase that skill. It can get quite frustrating trying to balance your side hustle with schoolwork and every other thing life throws at you. It can be intimidating to start because you don’t know it all, but I’d say start anyway, make those mistakes and learn from them,” said Lady Rose.