En español | Some things can't be taught. They just come naturally to you. We're all born with a distinctive set of talents that are as singular as fingerprints. These are not skills that we learn along the way, or passions discovered over the years. These are inborn gifts. It's the way your voice sounds, for instance, or your athletic prowess, or your inner mechanical capability.
If you aren't certain of what you have a knack for, ask friends, relatives and colleagues. They may point out things you simply take for granted. Think about the things you've been good at since your were a kid. If you're uncertain, though, several organizations, including the Rockport Institute, provide career-testing programs that can help you assess your natural talents.
Here are five jobs where you can follow your talent to make money. These jobs may offer flexible hours and can be on a full- or part-time basis. Pay varies depending on the employer, your experience and where you live.
1. Voice-Over Actor/Artist
The nitty-gritty: Do you have a money voice? If you've been blessed with a deep, resonating timbre, or perhaps a smoky, husky purr, it might be time to put it to work. The need for voice talent is rising. That's thanks to the increase in online multimedia websites and audiobooks. The variety of possible gigs ranges from commercials to Web videos, audiobooks, documentaries, business and training videos, telephone messages and applications. Last year, the freelance website Elance.com touted voice acting as one of the fastest-growing fields, with a threefold increase in job postings on the site.
This is generally a job for freelancers, and your services may be required for only a single recording session. That means you'll probably have to hustle to build a viable business. Once you're established, though, it can turn out to be a great part-time job.
Pay: The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't track wages of voice actors but includes them under the actor banner, which pays a median $17.50 an hour. An average salary of $66,000 is reported by Indeed.com. Typical rates for a recording session generally are between $75 and $350 per hour.
Qualifications: You'll probably have to invest in equipment such as recording software, a microphone and headsets if you are working from your home office. You'll also need to shell out for a professional demo to send out to prospective clients. An acting background helps, although it's not mandatory. Some resources to tap into are forums such as voiceactingalliance.com, Voiceactingclub.com and websites likeVoice123.com and Voices.com. To get higher-paying voice-over jobs, you may need to join a union such as SAG-AFTRA, the combination of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Union fees will vary depending on your market.