I’ve recently noticed an excess of articles (usually including the word “millennial”) depicting a recent uptrend in the amount of people (again, mostly “millennials”) participating in a variety of side jobs, either in addition to or instead of a “real” job.
As a person who has been doing this for years, the recent fascination with having more than one source of income is hilarious to me, especially since comments on the aforementioned articles always seem to correlate the “side gig economy" with an example of millennial laziness.
For those of you who don’t know, a “side hustle” is just any job that gets you a little extra spending money in addition to (or instead of) a steady, hourly job.
As someone who has at one point had three side hustles in addition to two part-time jobs, I can tell you that the benefits are boundless and the cons are virtually non-existent.
If you don’t have a side hustle, you should definitely think about getting one.
To help you figure out whether side hustling is the right choice for you (hint: it probably is), here is everything you need to know about this noble (non-) profession.
What makes a good side job?
A good side job is typically one that allows you to express your creative side; does not consist of a set, hourly schedule; and essentially lets you be your own boss.
It should also be something that you can do in addition your regular gig, and doesn't cause you undue stress.
Just think about things that you like to do normally, and figure out which ones can be monetized. Here are just a few examples:
- Opening an Etsy shop for something you like to craft
- Tutoring in a subject you know
- Freelance writing or blogging
- Paid performance work (like singing at weddings or paid acting)
What are the benefits?
Side jobs are great because YOU get to pick what interests you, YOU get to set your own hours and workload, and YOU get make some easy extra money while rounding out and building up your resume'.
Bonus: A side-hustle gives you the ability to throw around words like “self-starter”, “creatively-minded”, and “multi-tasker” on said resume'.
It’s important to make sure that you don’t make your workload too hard on yourself, so make sure to pick something that won’t add unneeded extra stress to your life, will match well with your interests and career plans, and will have even a small element of fun.
How many side jobs should I have?
You can have as many side jobs as you want and can reasonably manage. I once read about a woman who had no less than 15 sources of income!
That probably isn’t feasible for the average student, but the reasoning behind it is applicable: it’s good to have more than one source of income because then, if something goes wrong with one of your jobs, you know that you have at least one other income stream to tide you over to the next full-time gig.
For example, for most of this year, in addition to working part-time as a tour guide and part-time in retail, I also had side hustles as a singer, a freelance writer, and an Etsy shop owner.
As long as you can balance your schedule, having multiple jobs gives you invaluable work experience and creative outlets. Some people might need or want only one side job, while some might be able to juggle more. It is completely up to you.
How do I pick a side hustle?
This is the best part! Have you ever seen the venn diagram depicting a "perfect job"? It is one that involves something you are passionate about, can earn you money, and is something you are good at.
When pursuing a career, people often feel like they have to sacrifice one of these aspects in order to be successful. However, with a side job, you can and should aim for all three.
Think about what makes you happy (maybe it's a particular type of crafting, or maybe you're good at something teachable, like an instrument or language!), and then figure out how you can make money off of it (hint: you can make money off of most things).
Here are some more resources to help you find a side hustle:
- 50+ Side Hustle Ideas for Students - Tons of great ideas including specific websites to help you hustle online.
- Side Hustles You Can Do While Working Full Time - Aimed at working moms but great for everyone.
- How to Successfully Balance a Side Hustle with Working Full-Time - Time management is key!
- 12 Millennial Women on Earning Money Through a Side Hustle - Learn from other women who have gone before you.
What do you think?
Does the idea of a side hustle appeal to you? Are side jobs a good idea, or do they distract career-oriented people from the bigger picture? Let me know in the comments!