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4 Ways to Make Money Indirectly From Your Workplace

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Joanne Poh

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If the only money you’re earning from your job is your salary, then you’re not taking full advantage of the money-making opportunities that being an employee gives you. You go to work every day at an organisation that likely rewards its employees for introducing business or new hires. You interact every day with a large network of people with connections or at least, fat wallets. Here’s how to leverage your job to make extra money

 

Refer a friend as a potential employee

If you work for a bank or other multinational organisation, there’s a high chance there’s an employee referral programme in place. You see, companies don’t like to hire by blasting ads on jobsDB. They’d much rather hire the friends and acquaintances of existing employees who’ve already proven that they’re not psycho killers. And they’re willing to pay handsomely.

At a British bank’s Singapore headquarters, one of my friends once got rewarded with $10,000 for recommending a fresh graduate who the bank ended up hiring. The rewards for referring senior-level executives were reportedly much higher. If you’re not sure about your own company’s policies, ask HR—and then go about aggressively recruiting candidates from your circle of acquaintances.

 

Refer business to the company

If you work in a professional services company, there might be a policy that rewards you for referring business to the firm. This is the norm in the legal services industry, and employees typically get about 10% to 15% of the fees for each deal they bring in, in addition to their regular salary. Considering the fees for such cases can be in the ten thousands, that’s a lot of money

A friend of mine who’s a junior lawyer at a small firm in Singapore says her monthly takings are on average about 20% to 30% higher than her base salary because she regularly refers clients to the firm. And those in the industry will know that the children of rich, well-connected parents are usually kept around by firms for the business they bring in, even if they don’t do squat in the office.

 

Get informal assignments from your colleagues

It’s probably not a good idea to let your colleagues know that you’re moonlighting as a tuition teacher/freelance photographer/stripper. But sometimes, advertising your extracurricular skills can get you a bit of extra business.

For instance, it’s not uncommon for working parents to want to hire tutors they already know for their kids. If you make it known that you tutor kids in O level math, a colleague you get along well with would probably prefer to let you teach his kids, rather than take a chance on some unknown and possibly incompetent young punk from a random tuition agency.

 

Sell stuff to your colleagues

So you bought a new iPhone and now you want to sell your old one. Instead of negotiating with dodgy sellers on eBay, simply send out an email blast or group WhatsApp message to your colleagues and chances are one of them will relieve you of the burden.

When you belong to an organisation, you have an entire mailing list full of people who can get first dibs on your second-hand stuff, buy your kid’s cookies at the school bake sale and introduce you to someone who might want to buy your car. It’s like Facebook, but filled with responsible adults.

Have you ever made money indirectly from your workplace? Tell us about it in the comments!

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.