To the uninitiated, a side hustle is a gig you have in addition to your full-time job. You might be learning a language, road testing a start-up or have a second job of some description. The side hustle is less financially motivated (although the extra cash is undoubtedly welcome) and more about hedging your bets or exploring new territory. After all, it’s almost impossible to know what the job market will look like in even two or three years’ time so keeping our fingers in many proverbial pies has become an intelligent move for many Millennials. Need more convincing before you relinquish your free time? Read on to see why a side hustle is more than just that. A side hustle can be:
A coping mechanism
You might consider your job as something you do that pays the bills. It’s not your career, nor does it define you. Whether you’re flogging vintage clothes at the markets on the weekend or building websites of an evening, your side hustle serves as the perfect objection to being pigeonholed in your current position.
A backup plan
If nothing else, think of your side hustle as insurance against unemployment. If the redundancy guillotine fell tomorrow, wouldn’t it be better to have something to fall back on? Further more, squirrel any extra cash you make away if you can – you never know when you might need that financial buffer.
A creative outlet
Depending on what you do full time, a side hustle might be the creative antidote you never knew you needed. For example, if your job lacks the opportunity to be creative, you could satisfy that part of your personality by knitting and selling hats on Etsy or starting a blog – whatever takes your fancy.
A way to explore other opportunities
Do you secretly harbour the desire to completely change your career? A side hustle is a risk free way to dip your toe into a new industry without actually leaving the one you’re in. You might currently work in an office but think your true calling is carpentry. In which case, pick up a few gigs in your free time to help establish if this really is the career move for you.
A way to gain a higher purpose
Your side gig mightn’t be career, creative or financially motivated. Instead, what you do in addition to your job might be born out of social or environmental conscience. With 77% of Millennials saying they would be more inclined to volunteer if they were able to develop their specific experience or skill set, it’s worth approaching companies whose values align with your own in regards to volunteering. Not only will giving back feel good, it could lead somewhere you never expected.
To increase your professional development
Your side hustle may never become a full-time gig, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t benefit your career. Whether it’s marketing, sales or web development, the experience and skills you gain through your side hustle should go straight onto your resume. What’s more, the fact that you have the drive and initiative to explore other avenues in your spare time says much to potential employers about your work ethic.