The gig economy and digital landscape have provided many people with opportunities for extra flows of income, commonly known as the “side hustle.” The side hustle isn’t your main job, it’s a job you do on the side to bolster your income and resume. Check out these 5 simple tips for a side hustle:
1. Pick something you enjoy
Seems simple, but it isn’t. So many people think that “the grind” is all about doing things they hate so that one day, twenty years down the road, they can have the life that they’ve always dreamed of. But if you’re unhappy now, chances are, you’ll be unhappy sitting next to a pile of money. It’s still the same you that is broke and rich! When surveying side hustle options, think about things you actually enjoy. The side hustle isn’t your main source of income, so you have more freedom and flexibility when choosing what to do and how much to do it.
2. Play to your strengths
Sure, you might want a side hustle that gets you out of your comfort zone and develops new skills, to some extent. But don’t be afraid to just play to your strengths and call it a day! If you’re an extrovert, try ridesharing or being a virtual assistant. Love animas? Start walking dogs. Graphic design, data entry, coding, and video editing can all snag great freelance work across the internet. If you’re a writer, start writing the lights out. Assess not only the things you’re good at, but also the things you enjoy. The side hustle should be a good combination of skill and enjoyment.
3. Constantly Reassess
You have more flexibility with the side hustle than your regular job. In your regular job, you’re probably willing to put up with less than ideal work conditions, work with clients you don’t like, and take on a bit more stress. Because we’ve all been taught to cope with these things in our work, it can be easy to transfer these principles to the side hustle. But in the side hustle, you can leave work conditions you don’t like, cut ties with clients you don’t enjoy, and not take on anything that feeds your stress. The side hustle should enhance your lifestyle and happiness, not detract from it!
4. Pick a Resume Builder
If at all possible, do something with your side hustle that relates to the main career options that interest you. Pick something that you can slap on your resume that doesn’t feel forced, extraneous, or like filler. If you’re interested in working in television, do video editing on the side. If you want to be a professor, do some writing and editing. Sometimes the side hustle will diversify your known skills, and other times, it will directly relate to your career path.
5. Track Earnings
This is huge. Side hustle payment scales are going to be different than your normal job. Importantly, side hustles often include an element of “working before you work.” You might be a dog walker/sitter trying to build your brand, a freelancer trying to score clients, or a driver preparing their car for ridesharing or deliveries. When calculating your earnings and deciding if this particular side hustle is right for you, make sure to track the setup times–these are times outside of the normal pay scale which are essential to the pay you do make from the side hustle. Factor these hours in during your calculations.
Side hustles aren’t for everyone. If you do decide you need a side hustle, remember that it should only enhance your lifestyle and not take away from it. Pick something you enjoy, something that builds your resume, and something that turns out to be worth your time. You have more freedom with the side hustle, so exercise it! Remain in control of your hours and work and cut ties with projects and clients that aren’t right for you. Constantly reassess, and be okay with finding a different hustle! Good luck!