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Success on the side: Why part-time jobs are paying off

If you're strapped for cash, there are two ways to make ends meet: cut your expenses or earn extra income. We asked folks who hold down a full-time job plus additional part-time work to give us the scoop on their side hustle. — Dalia Colón dcolon@tampabay.com

CLUB DANCER

Courtney DeCosmo, 29, St. Petersburg

Day job: Administrator, Tampa Bay Surgery Center

Side hustle: Manages a team of 15 dancers at Floyd's inside the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. She dances on a pedestal, makes the schedule, does invoicing and coordinates costumes.

Time commitment: 18-24 hours a week. Over a four- to six-hour period, the dancers work 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off for a total of two to three hours of dancing a night.

The pay: $100 to $150 a night

What she does with the money: Saves it.

How she feels about having an audience: “I'm kind of in my own little bubble. I just dance for myself."

Prereqs: Dance training helps but isn't necessarily required.

Advice for newbies: “Believe in yourself and have the drive and determination to go to the top. Entertainment's a really rough industry, and the first time you get shot down at it, you don't want to give up."

EVENT PROMOTER

Gil Sanchez, 31, Palm Harbor

Day job: Attorney, Sanchez Law Offices

Side hustle: Owns Bleu Whale Entertainment, an event-planning company that promotes concerts, festivals, Latin nights, fashion shows and the like.

Time commitment: 15-20 hours a week

The pay: $1,500 to $3,500 a week in profits.

What he does with the money: "Spend it on my girlfriend."

How he got started: "I started doing that in 1999 at UF. I was involved in a bunch of student organizations. I started just planning events for the organizations."

Prereqs: "There's no official certification or training. It's informal training through mentorship." Concert venues and other sites may require you to have general liability insurance.

Advice for newbies: "It's all about networking." Generate buzz on social networking Web sites, and keep a growing list of people you call and text before each event.

LIFEGUARD

Morris Martin, 29, Tampa

Day job: Guidance counselor, King High School

Side hustle: Saves lives at Martin Luther King Pool in West Tampa.

Time commitment: 40 hours a week in the summer

The pay: $10 an hour

What he does with the money: Saves it.

Why he took a second job: “It's extra income, a laid-back job, and it also keeps me in shape, having to swim 500 yards every day. You have to do it to stay in lifeguard shape. You get to knock off some of that air-conditioned desk-job shape." He's been lifeguarding since high school.

Prereqs: Complete a 32-hour lifeguard training course, which includes CPR and first aid. The fee is $65 if you intend to work for the City of Tampa; otherwise it's $150.

Advice for newbies: "Come apply for the City of Tampa. They're always looking for part-time positions during the year and summer positions all the time."

MODEL/PRODUCT PROMOTER

Omni Franco, 20, Brandon

Day job: Makeup artist, Dillard's

Side hustle: Gets Costco customers to sample lotion, perfume and energy drinks; hands out wine at parties, golf events and Publix; looks glam in the St. Petersburg Times' PolitiFact.com music video shoot.

Time commitment: 20 hours a month

The pay: $20 to $100 an hour

What she buys with the money: "Gas."

How she got started: "I was a jewelry model at HSN, and I got referred."

Prereqs: Professional photos, which can cost $600 and up. More importantly, experience. "It's basically sales. They want people who look good, and you have to be able to sell the stuff."

Advice for newbies: "Go up to people that you see promoting and ask them who they work for and how to get a hold of them." Research online to make sure the company is legit, and get everything in writing.

EVENT PROMOTER

Gil Sanchez, 31, Palm Harbor

Day job: Attorney, Sanchez Law Offices

Side hustle: Owns Bleu Whale Entertainment, an event-planning company that promotes concerts, festivals, Latin nights, fashion shows and the like.

Time commitment: 15-20 hours a week

The pay: $1,500 to $3,500 a week in profits.

What he does with the money: "Spend it on my girlfriend."

How he got started: "I started doing that in 1999 at UF. I was involved in a bunch of student organizations. I started just planning events for the organizations."

Prereqs: "There's no official certification or training. It's informal training through mentorship." Concert venues and other sites may require you to have general liability insurance.

Advice for newbies: "It's all about networking." Generate buzz on social networking Web sites, and keep a growing list of people you call and text before each event.

WRITER/BLOGGER

Tony Gaskins, 24, Tampa

Day job: Residential counselor at a home for developmentally disabled criminal offenders

Side hustle: Freelances for sites including DemandStudios.com, Today.com, eBuzz.com and Sazze.com. Writes about relationships, electronics and finances.

Time commitment: 20 a week

The pay: $300 to $500 a week. $5 per blog post, $15 per how-to article, $2.50 per electronics review.

What he does with the money: Markets his relationship books.

Why he took a second job: To transition into a full-time writing career.

Prereqs: Resume and published writing samples, if available. Some gigs require no experience.

Advice for newbies: Find freelance opportunities online. "Check all the major cities on Craigslist."

Success on the side: Why part-time jobs are paying off 06/12/08 [Last modified: Thursday, June 12, 2008 4:58pm]
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