5 Skills That Earn You Pocket Money Without Firing Your Boss

eyelash mascara make up artist

Changing jobs is a big decision, and salary shouldn’t be the ONLY deciding factor. Work-life balance, work-place culture, fringe benefits, how long it takes you to get to work… All these can make an great impact on your life.

If you like your current job and work environment, but would like a little extra income… Why not consider doing something on the side?

Start with something which you are interested in or something you are already doing as a hobby. This will make working extra hours a breeze and who knows… Somewhere down the road it might progress into a full-time career!

Are you already taking photos that get lots of ‘likes’ on Facebook? Or perhaps you have your own beauty blog and have a fair number of followers? If you answered yes to any of the above, you can leverage on the things you are already doing to make you some cash on the side.

If you haven’t, here’s a list of skills you can easily acquire without paying 5-figure sums for further education:

1) Photography

There’s not really an official certificate you need to become a photographer, so use that to your advantage. You do however, need a really keen eye for detail. Start by subscribing to the Facebook pages or blogs of people who has amazing photography – you’d know one when you look at the pictures and go ‘WOW’.

Good pictures evoke emotions, and is more about the skills rather than the subject. Explore by taking pictures regularly, reading up on basic photography techniques such as adjusting shutter speed, getting your exposure right and framing techniques.


[image credits: Christopher Tong]

When you start to get your basics right, it’s best to choose a niche to focus on that complements your style. If you are a sporty person, you may like sports photography. If you are great at making people feel comfortable or easily empathise with your subjects, then portraits could work well for you.

In Singapore, there is also a huge demand for wedding photographers so that can be pretty lucrative. The most important part?

You need to be patient with yourself to hone your skills.

2) Blogging/Writing

Good writing skills are often under-rated. With so much content and information floating about in the internet these days, how do you make people click on your content, read till the end of the article and come back for more?

If you have a flair for writing, there are many ways to use that skill to earn some extra income. Be it writing on your own blog and getting sponsors, writing web content or copy-writing for marketing materials, there’s a need for the written word in every corner we go.

While you may not be paid well from the start, building up a portfolio of clients (even if you start by writing for free) can gain you some attention from companies, especially if you specialise in a niche.

However, do note that you often need some complementary skills to help you – research, creative writing, branding, digital market, SEO knowledge… The key is to first build up some readership before you expand with your suite of other skills.

3) Coding

Coding is like the latest must-have skill in the digital age, pretty much like being able to converse in Mandarin.

Let’s just say it is something that’s good to have in this day and age with mobile applications, computers and internet taking over our lives. From website development to mobile app design, the skill can prove useful even if you do not use it in a programming environment.

It can help you to change certain formats of your own blog, or help you develop prototypes when you are trying to sell someone a future product.


[image credits: pixabay]

While it used to be something you learn only in university, there are free resources available online, such codecademy and code.org if you are keen to learn coding.

4) Make-up

Are you a fan of Michelle Phan on YouTube?

Many girls are fascinated with the wonders of make-up.

While most use their own face as a canvas, the skills you learn can obviously be applied to others and who knows, with some practice you can perhaps make someone look like a Korean superstar?

korean bride

[image credits: Galleryhip.com]

Learning the art of make-up has become increasingly popular in Singapore in recent years, thanks to a greater buying power of brides-to-be.

As a once-in-a-lifetime event, some brides do not want to take a gamble with make-up artists provided by bridal studios on their wedding day. As a result, they prefer to source for their own.

While you can take courses from recognised make-up schools such as Cosmoprof and Make up Forever Academy, some of the top make-up artists here are self-made and rely on social media and word-of-mouth to market their services.

If you love the idea of making others pretty and are already doing amazing make-up on your own face, there’s little risk in investing some time and money to improve your skills.

5) Trading

Trading is not a new-age skill but one that has made millionaires out of ordinary people. Having said that, trading is not an easy skill and requires lots of time and commitment. Learning the theories and reading up books is the easy part… Application and having the guts to use your own money to test out your strategies is the difficult part.

But if you like candle sticks, are intrigued by the workings of global financial markets, spotting for trading patterns, this could be something very lucrative in the long run.

With all things, learning a skill and reaching a level that generates income takes time and effort. Have some patience and be resourceful – you can be sure your determination will pay off soon!

Are you going to pick up any of the skills here? Tell us!

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Lynette Tan

Lynette has more than six years of experience in financial analysis and writing, having stepped foot in the financial world as a commodities analyst. With a passion for personal investing and financial literacy, she hopes to help others gain investment knowledge by making investment concepts plain and simple for the man on the street.

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