55. Help! I’m a School Counselor and I Need a Side Hustle!
Episode 5510th April 2024 • Counselor Chat Podcast • Carol Miller, School Counselor
00:00:00 00:14:39

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In this episode we are exploring side hustles and how to make ends meet as a school counselor.

Episode Highlights:

My Journey to Side Hustles:

  • Reflecting on my years as a school counselor.
  • Balancing my passion for counseling with the reality of financial needs.
  • Sharing my primary side hustle: Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT).

Inspiring Side Hustle Ideas from Our Community:

  • Coaching Multiple Sports Teams
  • Running a Summer Camp
  • Proctoring Exams
  • Grant Reviewing
  • And MORE!

The Joy of Creating Tangible Results:

  • Encouraging counselors to seek side hustles that bring joy and a sense of accomplishment.
  • My mom's wisdom: Life requires something to keep us healthy, something to make us wealthy, and something to bring us joy.
  • Finding satisfaction in seeing results, whether it's a successful TPT resource or a well-run summer camp.

Invitation to Explore and Share:

  • Let's continue this conversation!
  • Reach out with your questions, stories, or ideas for future episodes.
  • Your experiences could inspire others in our incredible counseling community.

Grab the Show Notes: Counselingessentials.org/podcast

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Carol: You're listening to the counselor chat podcast, a show for school counselors looking for easy to implement strategies, how to tips, collaboration, and a little spark of joy. I'm Carol Miller, your host. I'm a full time school counselor and the face behind counseling essentials. I'm all about creating simplified systems, data driven practices, and using creative approaches to engage students. If you're looking for a little inspiration to help help you make a big impact on student growth and success, you're in the right place because we're better together. Ready to chat? Let's dive in.

Carol: Hi guys, this is Carol Miller. Thanks for coming back for another episode of counselor chat. On today's episode, we are going to talk all about side hustles. Now, I never really thought that I was going to do an episode here about side hustles, but there's been a lot of talk, a lot of chatter in the Facebook groups lately about counselors looking for ways to earn extra money. I think you all know that I had a side hustle. I had been creating lessons and resources and games curriculums on teachers pay teachers for ten years now. I hit the ten year mark this past February. It has been really great for me and my family. So in terms of side hustles, I'm all about teachers pay teachers. However, it did take a good ten years to get myself established. Actually, I think about probably by year seven or eight I felt like I knew what I was actually doing. But in terms of side hustles, I think I have been a school counselor for 32 years. And for just about all of those 32 years, I had to have a side hustle. And I think that's pretty sad that we go to school all this time, get these degrees, really have a career that we love that is a professional, and we still need to somehow make extra money to make guns meet. I know I live in New York state, and so I feel like I'm a bit blessed compared to counselors that maybe live down south or out west, unless you're in like California. But the pay scales, they're not really great across the US. And I do know a lot of people have to have a side job. My first side hustle when I first started out as a counselor was I coached. I coached three different sports, track. I did varsity track, and then I also did soccer and basketball at the modified level when I was first a school counselor. And then I ran a a summer camp in the summer. And the first year or two I was just basically a counselor for the summer camp. And then by year three, I had taken over as the lead person on that. So I ran a summer camp for kids. It was, you know, about sports and things that I loved and that really helped me to pay my car payments and do all the stuff that I wanted to do. Maybe travel a little bit. And when I say travel a little bit, it was traveling from, usually from my house to a friend's house who maybe lived in a different state. And I was going to fly there and stay in their house. So it wasn't like I was spending tons of money on vacations. I was spending a couple hundred dollars taking an airfare. But I think we do have big concerns about paying the bills and. And making ends meet. And I know I can't go into the grocery store these days. I have a family of five and I can't go into the grocery store without spending at least $400 on groceries. And that's just to defeat us all. And we're eating all that food and I'm not eating steak. I'm eating chicken and rice and the basics. But you add in some toilet paper or maybe a bag of dog food and some dish soap and your bill just goes, you know, crazy. And then a loaf of bread, you know, being $7 for a loaf of bread, it's absolutely crazy. Much different than it was a few years ago. So we do need, I think, to talk about side jobs. I hate that we have to talk about it, but I think we need to talk about it there. I think my friends are lots of ways to make some extra cash. Like I said, I coached, I ran a sports camp over the summer. That's just a couple ways teachers pay. Teachers is definitely another way, but that is not something that you're going to find money in right away. It takes years to get yourself established and to get products on there and all the stuff. If you want to talk about that, we can talk about that another day. But it does take some work and you're not going to see a lot of money that first year. But there are other things, too. I used to proctor sats and that was easy money on a Saturday. So you can do some proctoring and there's all different kinds of proctor jobs, but you can also look for maybe being a grant reviewer. Some of them pay really well. So if you look for Sel grants and things like that, you might really find some things. The US Department of Education, sometimes you can look for things on their website and they might have things like that grant review or job. So something to look at. Sometimes you have to kind of look up, you know, off the beaten path. I know I just received an email the other day from NISCA, which is New York State School Counselor association, and they are actually looking for people to start a program and be trainers for a program. So if you're in New York, look at your emails, join Nisca because they have some positions. Opens right now if you want to train other counselors for building a comprehensive plan. But there's also. You can be an adjunct lecturer in a graduate counseling program. You might have to really put together your resume and send that out to a whole bunch of places, but sometimes you can get some really cool adjunct positions that are online positions. You can open up an Etsy shop. You can run an Airbnb. I know people, people that I worked with who did that a lot, especially if you live in a college town, that might be a really easy thing to do, especially during a graduation weekend. Sometimes it's really easy money to have a pretty nice little house, to have people come in and stay with you while it's graduation weekend. Because during graduation, let's face it, it can be really hard to find a hotel room sometimes. I know a lot of counselors are also wellness coaches or fitness coaches or yoga instructors. I think a lot of people are also travel agents. So there are a ton of different things. People are bartending, they're working for Instacart or ship. They. One of the other jobs that I did was at one point in time, I was selling pampered chef, and then I also sold. I was all into card making there for a while. So before I actually did TPT, I was showing people how to make cards, stamping, and I sold stamping up. So there was that as well. Or realtors. I know people who have gone on to get their realtor's license and do that on the side. And a lot of people are looking for homes after they're working, you know, during their day job, and they go after work to look at houses. So being a realtor can be a really great part time job. There's also tutoring or daycare. Other people are camp directors. So I think what you need to think about is, what are the things that you really enjoy doing? Because it's not always just about making a little extra money. I mean, sometimes it is, but I think sometimes you have to also capitalize on the things that you enjoy. Now, I heard a little piece of advice this morning that I thought was really awesome, and they were talking about how as school counselors, we don't always see results in what we do, which is true. I know that I've said that before. We don't always see the results of the work that we do. And there's no amount of data that can sometimes show that. Sometimes we just can't collect that information because we can't see it. It's not talked about, you know, it's those times that we sit with kids in total silence, and then years later, they come back and they thank us and they're like that. That's really what I needed. And I can't tell you how much that meant for me. But because we can't always see the results and the progress that our kids are making when they're with us, I think it's real important to do something where you can see an end result. And that was the advice that somebody shared today, and I thought, wow, that's really good advice. So maybe while you're looking for this part time gig to think about something where you can see a result. I know I get great satisfaction from doing my stuff on TPT because I put together a curriculum and I can see the end result of that. I can see it all come together. I can see, you know, and I've written and published several books, curriculum books, and watching that whole process and having that end result is really kind of awesome of saying, wow, it's all done, it looks good, I'm finished. And you're kind of satisfied. So maybe find something where you can feel that, wow, it's all done. And my mom always used to tell me that there are three things in life that you have to do. You have to do something that's going to keep you healthy. You have to do something that is going to make you wealthy, and you have to do something that's going to bring you some joy. And if you can find those three things to do in your life, well, you've hit the trifecta. You have hit the jackpot. And so I think you have to know those things. What is going to bring you some joy? What is going to bring you some wealth, and what is something that is also going to add some health benefits to your life. You know, you have to incorporate all of those into your lifestyle. And I think I know for me, one of the things that I struggle with, with having a side gig, a side hustle, is sometimes fitting the health routines into my lifestyle. And I have to be a little bit better about that. So I don't want to ignore that either. As we're chatting, because we have to. We have to do it all. As school counselors. We have to do our day job. We have to do. Maybe it's a side job, but we also really have to make sure that we pray our prioritize ourselves as well. And so when you are looking for your side hustle, my friends really try to keep that in mind to have that trifecta of putting it all together. What do you love? What are some things that you can do? What are the things that you can see an end result with? What are your talents? What are your hobbies? Could you put together an Etsy store? Are you really good at making t shirts? Do you love making those little tumblers? You know, the, the cups and the mugs and, and all that stuff? Do you have a cool 3d printer that you make some amazing stuff with? What is, what are the things that you do that you really enjoy? Or maybe it is the counseling part and you want to dive into it further. Can you get an LPC? Do you want to invest more money and time into that program and the hours that it takes to get that license? Just think about what are the things that you really want to accomplish and are you looking for something that's really short term, that's going to give you some quick money? Or are you looking for something for the long haul? Or are you looking for a side hustle that can eventually become your permanent gig? So I know that there wasn't a whole lot of clarity to this conversation, but I think it was a conversation that was definitely worth having. And like I said, there are tons and tons of things that I think that you can do out there. Just figure it out. Figure out what it is that you want to do and go for it. Anyway, if you have questions, if you want to know more about teachers, pay teachers, or how to get started on there, or how to write a book as like a curriculum book and have it published. I have one published through research press and I actually have an online digital game and another curriculum published through youth lite publishers. So I can tell you about that process as well. Anyway, my friends, until next time, I want to hear what you guys are doing, and if you have any other cool ideas for people, let me know. I'll share them here and we can continue this conversation through a DM or an email and we'll get it out in the world because people are asking these questions. Anyway, until next time, have a great week.

Carol: Thanks for listening to today's episode of Counselor chat. All of the links I talked about can be found in the show notes and@counselingessentials.org podcast be sure to hit, follow or subscribe on your favorite podcast player. And if you would be so kind to leave a review, I'd really appreciate it.

Carol: Want to connect? Send me a DM on Facebook or.

Carol: Instagram at counseling essentials until next time. Can't wait till we chat. Bye for now.




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