Welcome to a new ten part series at the Outlier Model on the Top 10 Side Jobs available to the average person. Please check out our intro post and tune in every Wednesday as we count down to #1!
This week’s featured side job, coming in at #7, is Newspaper Delivery. Now, don’t laugh – despite its traditions and stereotypes as a job done by teenagers running wild on bikes through tree lined neighbourhoods, today’s urban environment requires mature, adult newspaper carriers as well. Brian and I both delivered papers when we were younger (though Brian was a bit more successful at it than I was!)
Delivering newspapers is a pretty straightforward job. You pick up stacks of papers, flyers and advertisements, assemble in their correct order, and deliver them to the correct addresses. Usually, the morning paper has to arrive by a certain time.
Generally, newspaper carriers are contract employees who get paid per newspaper. Some publications will also pay carriers an additional amount per flyer insert.
Skills required for being a newspaper carrier
Reliability is probably the most important skill for delivering newspapers. When my 16 year old self had a route, reliability was NOT my strong point, haha. I could never get the stupid papers out on time. It also helps to be methodical and organized – you don’t want to miss a house or forget to add a flyer to the paper. And depending on how big your route is, you may be required to have a drivers licence in order to pick up and delivery papers more efficiently.
Pros of delivering newspapers
As long as you don’t mind getting up early, delivering newspapers can be pretty convenient. You can get it done at any time, as long as the paper gets where needs to be before a certain time the next day. When I had a paper route, the paper had to arrive before 7am – other than that, I could deliver at any time, even the night before if I wanted.
Cons of delivering newspapers
Paper delivery remains a very manual job. You have to assemble the papers, figure out the route and deliver each paper to each residence. There will be a lot of walking, rain or shine, and a lot of papers to carry. It’s not a great job for people who struggle with physical activities or who might not be as energetic as they once were.
If you need a flexible job and don’t mind being outside for most of it, delivering newspapers can help add some cash to your pocket. It’s flexible enough to schedule outside of regular work hours and doesn’t require a lot of hard skills. However, being paid per piece limits your potential income to the size of your route.
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