As the year draws to a close and everyone is busy setting New Year’s resolution, there’s no time like the present to reflect on your own ambitions for the coming year.
In career terms, why not think about getting yourself a side hustle? Here we have all the information you need, what it is, why it could just be the career move you need and where to start.
WHAT IS IT?
The popularity of side hustles has grown in recent years, as ambitious individuals challenge themselves to learn new skills, seek out opportunities to be creative, and find themselves a better work life balance.
Back in April British newspaper The Guardian wrote that ‘a side hustle is essentially a side project separate from your day job that you undertake in a freelance capacity in your spare time.’ The Guardian attributes the phrase to Arizona-based career coach Pamela Slim, who argues that as ever fewer people follow a linear and predictable career path, the need to make sense of your working experiences and to communicate them coherently has never been higher.
A side hustle can be as simple as a job on the side that makes you some extra money, but where a side hustle is really valuable is in allowing you to explore new avenues and interests, without taking the leap to leave your day-job immediately, if at all. It allows for discovery, fulfilment, and challenges that sometimes the 9 to 5 does not, and is now seen as an extremely useful development tool for individuals.
WHY SHOULD YOU DO IT?
From a career perspective, there are a number of reasons you should undertake a side hustle. Forbes contributor and entrepreneur Tori Utley has argued that a side hustle can help you to develop soft skills, that while not directly related to your career can be employed back at work to aid your progression. She argues that ‘for young professionals, developing leadership or supervisory skills can take time, so the ability to grow these skills in diverse environments will be beneficial.’
There is much talk about how side hustles are increasingly being used by young people generally, and millennials specifically, to further their career aims. Given that many of these young people have non-linear-working-patterns, and know only the hyper-competitive working environment that exists today, side hustles are a way to demonstrate commitment, originality and drive.
Quartz suggests that ‘your side hustle can keep you from feeling pigeonholed’, and allows you to direct your energy into a project that means something to you. Neale Godfrey of Forbes wrote in response that, rather than invent the “side hustle”, millennials simply rebranded it with a cool new name.
And yet, the benefits are not only to be enjoyed by individuals. Fast Company recently wrote that organisations should in fact encourage their employees to have a side hustle. It is suggested that ‘having an employee who has a job on the side can be an asset to the company’, and that there are three reasons employers should actively seek out prospective team members who do so;
- Side hustlers gain skills outside of office hours, giving them real-world, hands-on experience they then bring to the workplace.
- People who work a side job often make innovative, proactive team members and self-starters which can lead to positive organisational results.
- Often side hustles are creative in nature, and with creativity such a sought after skill, the ability to take and idea and bring it to life is highly valued in the workplace.
WHERE DO YOU START?
With so many benefits both to the individual and organisation, it is easy to see why so many have jumped on the side hustle band wagon. If you want to begin yourself, an important first step is to think about the skills you already have, and how you can use these to further your development and move into new avenues.
The Huffington Post suggests taking a number of steps to fit a side hustle into your day, including using the humble to do list for each of your different projects. It is suggested that mapping out each day and sticking to your planned activity can work wonders for ensuring each day is as productive as possible, and allows you to think bigger and bigger for your projects.
If you’re not sure which project to start, Side Hustle Nation is the first place you should look for inspiration. With advice from entrepreneurs on how to get started, tips and tricks and ideas you can try, the site has been recognised by some of the biggest names including TED, The New York Times and Entrepreneur.
So when the ball drops this New Year and you make your resolutions, stop putting off starting that project or convincing yourself you don’t have the time. Almost half of all young people are side hustling now, so why aren’t you?
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