These days, it seems like just about everyone has a side hustle. From full-time students to full-time working professionals, it’s more and more common to see your peer, colleague, or mentor pursuing something extra on the side.
A side hustle is something you do to earn money, share ideas, express your creativity, or pursue a passion in addition to your full-time occupation. Most of the time, we associate side hustles with solely monetary gain, when in reality, we’re pursuing something closely related to our profession, something we derive joy from, or something we want to gain more experience in.
Here are just a few of the benefits you can uncover from starting a side hustle:
- Scratch that creative itch: Your job or full-time studies might not provide space to pursue some of your nearest and dearest passions. However, by pursuing a side hustle, you get to tap into something you love, and potentially make money while doing it! Think about your friend who does photography on the weekends, produces a podcast biweekly, or has been working on their app for the past few months. These are great examples of side hustles that we see every day – just think of the ones that you have the chance to tap into and explore!
- Explore a new industry and meet new people: Let’s say you’re an International Relations major. Day in and day out, you’re studying, researching, and completing projects toward your major. In your spare time, however, you blog about your experiences abroad, share must-see sites in various countries, tips for traveling, and the best food to eat in major cities across Europe. You post these blogs on LinkedIn, encouraging your network to explore your page and share your ideas with their own connections. One day, you see a message in your LinkedIn inbox from a travel agent, asking if you’ll do some contract work for their company and if you could share some tips on running a successful travel blog.
Pursuing a side hustle can open you up to new industries, new connections, and new opportunities. It’s always rewarding when someone sees your good work and wants to share it with the world. You can leverage these types of connections and messages to better promote your side hustle, explore other related topics and ideas, and broaden your network.
- Create something to add to your resume, portfolio, or professional website: It’s easy to overlook experiences that don’t tie directly to our education or employment. However, there is something to be said about entrepreneurial skills, innovation and initiative, and personal commitment to a passion project. Don’t be afraid to add your side hustle to your extracurriculars, projects, and/or experience sections on your resume. Promote it on LinkedIn (and even consider adding a link to the Featured section of your profile!). Add it to your Instagram story with an attached link. Build a website around your product, or add it to your existing page. No matter what “promotion” looks like for you, don’t be afraid to showcase your hard work and dedication.
Side hustles are more than just extra income. They provide a creative outlet, room for inspiration and personal growth, the opportunity to connect with like-minded creatives, and the ability to promote your unique talents and skillsets. They take on many different forms and prosper for diverse reasons. No matter what the work is that you put in, remember to take advantage of what it can put out.