Mama Say What?! is the new name for Thrifty Guardian.
One of the only downsides to finding a side hustle online is that they typically delay their payout. Remember being a kid, mowing a lawn, and immediately having cash in your pocket? That’s a great feeling, and you can recapture it in your neighborhood right now.
Just because there are many opportunities online doesn’t mean people in your neighborhood stopped needing odd jobs done for them. If you’re handy with tools, gardening, or other manual labor, you can make a good chunk of money doing handiwork for your neighbors. With a bit of legwork, you can find odd jobs in your neighborhood today that pay immediately.
Just What Are “Odd Jobs”?
Odd jobs are a catch-all for any work someone might need to do for them. This can range from painting, mowing and weeding to shoveling snow or other jobs people can’t or don’t want to do. You might have an elderly neighbor who can’t mow anymore or new parents who don’t have the time to weed their yard. All of them are willing to pay for someone else to do the job for them.
The internet has changed the terminology of odd jobs to “gig economy” in many places, but the concept remains the same. The nice thing about doing odd jobs in your city is that you’re not just earning money but actively helping your neighbors.
While companies like Instacart or Door Dash technically provide a side hustle opportunity in your neighborhood, that’s not what I’m talking about today. These companies take a part of the profit, and you don’t get paid out immediately. We will look at ways you can find jobs you do yourself, on your time, and earn your own money locally.
However you feel about Facebook, it seems everyone is on it now. This means a world of opportunity to connect with your local community through Facebook groups and the Marketplace. One way to find odd jobs in your area is to search for local buy/sell/trade groups. From there, you can post that you offer handiwork services or look for people requesting them. I see dozens in my Facebook groups daily, seeking a painter or someone to mow a lawn.
You can also use Facebook to transform your odd jobs into a thriving business by creating a page for yourself. As you complete jobs in your neighborhood, ask that your customers review you online. This will help legitimize your services and get you new clients.
The NextDoor app exploded in popularity because of the pandemic, linking communities like never before. You can create an account as long as you live in a specific area, and you get access to posts and news for your neighborhood. This allows you to see people’s requests for services and advertise your own. Our local NextDoor has everything from lawn maintenance and painting to tarot reading and babysitting jobs; it’s one of the best tools for finding local work.
Because NextDoor deals with actual communities, your reputation will go with you, so the better you are at a service, the better your reputation will serve you.
All of the grocery stores in our area have bulletin boards as you enter and exit. They’re full of buy/sell postings but also a great place to offer your services. Take a few minutes to create something with Canva or another creative app and make many copies. You can keep them in your car and post them up wherever you find a community bulletin board. You might be surprised at how easily you find work doing this.
One of the best places to find local items for sale is also a great place to find odd jobs in your area. Craigslist allows you to post services you offer and in what area and respond to people looking for help. You can narrow your search down to your local zip code, broaden your horizons, and search your entire city.
Craigslist is great because it’s less intrusive than Facebook or NextDoor. You don’t need to create an account; you can choose who you respond to, even if they contact you through your posts. If you do decide to springboard from odd jobs to creating a business, Craiglist is a fantastic place to advertise your services as well.
Designed specifically for multi-unit buildings in large cities, MyCoop connects you to your neighbors in big apartments like Chicago. It’s like NextDoor but cozier, creating micro-community forums within your own apartment building or high rise. Though it’s a global site now, it’s not valid if you don’t live in a major city yet. You can post services and respond to job requests, making it helpful if you live in a building like this.
Like NextDoor, Patch is a community group that allows you to communicate with your neighbors in real time. It’s very news-focused, bringing you up-to-date, unfiltered information for your area that might go unreported by more prominent media outlets.
If writing is a passion of yours and you love the idea of getting paid to write, you can even apply to get hired as a community news curator, which is a fun little side gig itself. Patch is about as widely available as NextDoor, and it’s a good idea to be on both if you can.
Be Friendly and Outgoing
One of the easiest ways to find odd jobs is to be approachable and friendly. It’s generally inadvisable to canvas your neighborhood with fliers for your services. However, you can ask local businesses if you can leave a stack for people to grab or post a flyer in their window. Finding ways to put your name out there without being intrusive or giving people garbage they have to deal with is a great method for finding customers.
The most important thing when looking for odd jobs in your neighborhood is being reliable, friendly, and great at what you do. If people can count on you to do a great job regularly, they will keep asking you to do work for them. Moreover, they will tell their friends about their gardener, painter, and lawn person that you do well. My husband’s best friend built a full-on lawn care business from word of mouth, and he started by doing odd jobs for neighbors.
Not all side hustles are online – there are many great opportunities to make cash in your neighborhood right now. Get out there, network, and find your next client today!
Do you have some tried and trusted methods for finding odd jobs in your neighborhood that I didn’t cover? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Manop Boonpeng