There are many of us out there who work a 9-5 job and have a ‘side hustle’. This may be freelance work (writing, design), a blog, a passion project, network marketing or a craft business – whatever it is that you are passionate about and earn an income from – that is your side hustle. Some people have a side hustle with a vision to move into their biz full time at some stage while others have no desire to go out on their own and just enjoy the creativity and challenges that come with a side hustle.
Regardless of what your aim is with your side hustle, one thing that is guaranteed is that it helps you hone your entrepreneurial skills which is a sought after attribute when employers are looking for employees.
In this era of work it is also vital and so important to continue learning new things and developing yourself.
As someone who has had various side hustles over the last 7 years, I know firsthand the ways it can help to boost your career (and have seen evidence of this with many of my friends, aquaintances and connections):
It boosts your confidence
When you improve one area of your life it is like a ripple effect and the result is an improvement in other areas of your life too. Many of our skills we build while working can be utilised in a side hustle and built upon when we learn new skills which all leads to a confidence boost. Putting yourself out there in a new way also helps to build your personal brand and helps to build a profile for you outside your corporate role. If you feel confident in your side hustle it will likely lead to more confidence in your day job – success breeds confidence.
In my experience, my side hustle has greatly improved my confidence when speaking in front of people and has led to more presentations and workshops being run by me in my corporate role without the nerves, sweat and anxiousness I used to experience.
It expands your horizons and can open up opportunities
Any side hustle involves new learning, development and upskilling, generally in areas that you don’t develop in your corporate role and in doing so may help you to get ahead where you are or be the vehicle you need to move into an entirely new career. A side hustle also enables you to connect with new people and develop an entirely new network. You can expand your network through networking events, online networking groups or local meet ups. Not only could these new relationships lead to new opportunities and potential collaborations but you will also learn from others and it works to impact other areas of your life and expands your horizons.
If you start a side hustle because you don’t like your job or are looking for something new, it can be a gateway to entrepreneurship and your own business. There are many stories of successful business owners who started with a side hustle and now have very successful businesses (and create new careers for people). Starting your side hustle is a great way to explore and see the potential before cutting ties with your corporate career.
It enables you to learn new and transferrable skills
If there is a new area you would like to learn about or a skill that you would like to develop but it isn’t possible in your corporate job, then a side hustle or passion project could be the way to do it. There are so many ways to learn these days and learning by doing is one of the best (in my opinion).
One of the starting places with any initiative is to create a website – many of us don’t have these skills when we begin our side hustle but there are loads of tutorials and help available online to help you do it. In this digital age having these skills are going to be so important in the future. Depending on what your side hustle is you may learn negotiating skills, speaking, coaching, communications and a wide range of other skills that are not possible to learn in your corporate job.
An entrepreneurial mindset is incredibly attractive to employers and many of them look for ‘intrapreneurs’ – people who use an entrepreneurial mindset in their corporate job for addressing challenges and looking for solutions.
It helps you to learn project-juggling skills
When working on a side hustle around your corporate job you really need to hone your time management skills as you have so much to juggle. With busy schedules and deadlines, it is so important to develop these project-juggling skills so you don’t let any of the balls drop. All these skills will help you in your corporate job with juggling multiple projects. If you are a master of time-management this will not go unnoticed by your employer and may lead to opportunities to work on projects outside your current role.
It helps you to stand out
Your side hustle can help you to stand out over others, especially when you are going for a new role or promotion. Adding your additional skills on your resume shows that you are a go-getter, can juggle different projects, are driven and not afraid to try new things. Your side hustle may have you writing articles for publications or speaking at events which are all valuable skills to have. In the current job market, getting noticed is hard so if you can use your side hustle to help you stand out it is only going to help your corporate career in the long term.
It enables you to earn an income from multiple sources
Many of the top earners and business people have multiple revenue streams. Gone are the days of having one source of income anymore. There is no safety in that. My position was made redundant after maternity leave with my first child, which meant we lost one of our two revenue streams into our household budget which could have had a huge impact on our family had I not have found alternate employment quite quickly.
Now that we have multiple revenue streams if a situation like this was to happen again we have some safety in knowing we have other sources of income coming in.
It can enable you to find fulfilment doing something you love
You will often hear people use the phrase, “If you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life!”. While I love this quote, there are many of us that are not fortunate to have a corporate job that we are super passionate about and love. There can be moments of this but sometimes we do it for the money (I’m being real here).
When you have a side hustle, you can truly love what you do (when you pick something you are passionate about). When you are passionate about your side hustle you will persist and continue to work on it because you love it and it may provide the fulfilment you are craving while bringing in an extra revenue stream. When you are fulfilled and happy this will reflect in other areas of your life, including your corporate job.
There may be others I have missed on this list. I thrive on learning and developing myself and my advice to anyone considering a side hustle is – just do it! Jump in, push yourself, get your hands dirty – you won’t regret it.
If you are passionate about something, pursue it – you are never too old. Use your free time for something that lights you up – rather and scrolling social media or watching reality TV (well that is certainly the case for me!).