Most people would consider my day job as an aerospace engineer as a very solid, money-making career. But I don’t. It only took a short time for me to realize that no matter how much money you make or how comfortable you get, there are some HUGE benefits to diversifying your income and getting a few side hustles going. Today, PF Pro contributor Kali Hawlk explains why everyone needs a side hustle. Developing your side hustle while you have a day job and when you don’t need it will provide extra money, security and may even launch a whole new career that you actually enjoy!
While a few years ago you might have heard the term side hustle and thought, “what the heck,” it’s a fairly common term today and you’ve likely heard it enough to be just about sick of it.
If that’s the case, I’ve got some bad news — the side hustle isn’t going anywhere soon.
It perfectly captures the idea in a phrase and doesn’t really need an explanation. A side hustle is any work you do for a little extra cash (or sometimes experience) on the side of your full time day job.
Perhaps more importantly, the side hustle is only going to become more common because it’s something everyone should have.
Why You — Yes, YOU — Need a Side Hustle
I wasn’t really exaggerating when I said everyone needs their own side hustle. That’s something I firmly believe.
The benefits of establishing your own hustle, gig, or other kind of part-time work that you get to do on your own time are numerous:
- It provides extra money
- It gives you a creative (or other kind of) outlet
- It allows you to practice a craft, hobby, or skill
- It provides you with a chance to increase your experience and expertise
- It gives you an opportunity to grow your professional and personal network
- It serves as a hedge against financial emergencies and day-job losses
- It allows you to build your own personal brand (rather than relying on a business’ brand, especially if you’re an employee)
The first perk is probably the most obvious and the best one. Side hustles allow you to earn extra money outside of the income you earn from your full-time job.
Even if it’s just $100 extra dollars per month, think about what a huge impact this could have on your personal finances. You could pay down debt faster. Or build up your emergency savings sooner. Or contribute more to your investment and retirement accounts to get that much closer to financial security and independence.
A side hustle can make the difference between feeling like you’re living paycheck to paycheck, unable to get ahead, and being able to pay all your bills, contribute to savings, and have a little left over each month.
But the benefits go beyond money, too. Side hustling allows you to further develop your career. With new skills, perhaps you can take on new responsibilities at work and earn a raise (or shift into a new position that pays more). With more experience, maybe you can find a new job in a field you’re passionate about.
You could even start your own business from your side hustle. (It’s true — I did!)
Harry’s Latest Side Hustle: The Rideshare Guy
Just having something of your own is valuable, too. You’re the boss. You’re the one who gets to decide what to create, and then creates it, whatever that “it” happens to be. A side hustle can be a way to blow off steam, a way to express your creativity, or a way to put skills and abilities not being used by your full-time job to work in a productive way.
Making Time for Your Hustle
That’s all well and good, you may say. But where do I find the time to do this?
It’s true that a side hustle takes up a ton of time. But it’s also true that you can prioritize the time you’re currently spending to make room for this if it’s important to you.
It’s all about deciding what you want and then making it happen.
Will you watch TV for three hours this afternoon, or will you research potential side hustles? Once you have an idea, will you play video games or work on establishing your hustle and getting work? After picking up some paying gigs, will you take an unnecessary nap or work hard to knock the socks off the people paying you?
Just like you prioritize your budget to reflect what’s important to you and align your spending with what you value, you need to prioritize your time and align your energy with what you think is worthwhile.
You have time for your side hustle if you’re honest with yourself and work to cut the fluff from your day and choose something productive (and possibly profitable) instead.
Should You Side Hustle If You Don’t Need the Money — Or Already Love Your Job?
Let’s say you make the big bucks at work and you don’t feel like working any harder to make more money. Or perhaps you feel you no longer need a side hustle because you’ve worked your way into your dream job.
If either is the case, good for you.
But yeah, you should still give the hustle a chance.
Why? Think back to that list of benefits at the top of this post. Side hustles provide benefits beyond money.
If you don’t feel like you need more money, don’t do it for the extra cash. Do it to get better at something, or to build your own personal brand outside the company you work for, or to give your great ideas space to roam and be put into action.
If you already have your dream job and love what you do, don’t do it to create “better work” for yourself. Do it to keep your skills sharp, or to learn something new, or to discover other types of work you feel passionate about.
Because making lots of money may not last forever. That dream job could disappear tomorrow.
A side hustle allows you to remain active, engaged, and relevant, no matter what you’re doing. You can learn a ton, professionally and personally, and working your own gigs only serves to advance you and your knowledge. Stay versatile and ready for anything — a loss of income, a loss of a job, or something else beyond your control.
Oh, and by the way, for inquiring minds wanting to know: yes, my side hustle allowed me to launch my own business and create a career I love — and I still side hustle! I believe in talking the talk and walking the walk. My various staff writing gigs are my side hustles (like this one!).
What are your side hustles? Do you believe everyone needs a side hustle? Why or why not?
Track All Your Accounts With Personal CapitalPersonal Capital lets you see all of your accounts in one convenient place. Sign up now for free.
-Kali @ PF Pro