More than Just Money: Compelling Reasons to Start a Side Hustle

woman graphic designer working on computer

In the U.S., around 44 million people run side hustles. The most obvious reason for starting another gig on the side is extra money. Especially in the middle of a pandemic, many people are doing everything they can to earn more money.

But behind the financial benefits of side hustles are other perks that people often take for granted. Nonetheless, they’re important. And if you’re thinking about taking a side hustle, these benefits might be enough to convince you to push through.

The Variety of Side Hustles

You can try many things as a side gig. You can either take a freelance job or start your own small business.

One example is data entry, whether for legal services, payroll services, or other industries. If you have any skills you can share with others, you can teach virtual classes. Or perhaps you have a knack for baking; then, you can sell baked goods online.

Benefits of Having a Side Hustle

side work

Expand Your Network

Networking is vital in professional development. People in your network can teach you many things. For example, if you know a subject matter expert in your field, they can provide you with information about the latest trends to keep up with them. Your network can also be a source of opportunities. One survey found that 85% of job positions are filled due to networking.

But having a network outside your comfort zone is also important. And that’s only possible if you branch out. That’s what your side hustle can do for you. Through it, you can meet new people you normally wouldn’t. These people can help you discover new perspectives that can be applied in your career.

Increase and Improve Your Skill Set

To grow and reach success, you need to invest in learning new skills. And having a side hustle allows you to do that. Getting a job outside your comfort zone will force you to learn new skills to perform well. For example, an HR employee might get into e-commerce and sell preloved things. This side hustle will teach them marketing skills.

But even if your side hustle doesn’t teach you something new, it’s a great way to sharpen your existing skills. For instance, a full-time blog writer might consider taking a data entry side gig. It will help them improve their attention to detail since data entry demands accuracy. Time management skills will also be improved.

Discover Something New About Yourself

A side hustle allows you to explore and experience new things. In a way, it helps you get out of your comfort zone and try things you normally wouldn’t.

This experience can help you learn something new about yourself. Maybe after doing a few designs for friends or other businesses, you discover that a creative career is more rewarding to you than your current full-time job. For example, Lauren Hom used to be employed in an advertising agency and started a side hustle. She started a passion project called “Will Letter for Lunch.” Eventually, Hom left her corporate job and pursued a creative business where she designs for brands and teaches classes.

Or even if your side hustle doesn’t lead to a major career shift, you can still possibly find something you’re passionate about by trying different kinds of work. For instance, maybe you discover that you have a passion for writing because of taking a freelance writing job.

Having a side hustle can improve your life more than you think. Not only do you get to earn extra cash, but you can also potentially advance in your career and learn something new about yourself.

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