The following was originally published on GovLoop.com and can be found here.
For millennials, the job market hasn’t been our friend exactly, or at all, really. We’ve graduated from great schools, entered the workforce, and have been supremely disappointed. So maybe you had to settle on a job offer that wasn’t ideal–that’s okay. First 5 is here to tell you all about the side hustle.
A side hustle, aka a part-time job (paid or unpaid), isn’t a new phenomenon. People have been working two or more jobs for years. What is new, and what’s seemingly exclusive to millennials, is the idea of working a side hustle to fuel your passion. Whether it be delivering flowers to earn extra cash, or writing for a small website to get your name out there, the side hustle boasts all kinds of perks.
Why Get a Side Hustle?
You already work 40 hours (although probably more) a week. Why on earth would you want to add to that stress by working even more hours, sometimes not even getting paid to do so? Every millennial that side hustles has their own reasons, and they’re all valid. One reason you might want to consider going beyond your day job is to satisfy your passion and long-term career goals.
You might not get paid anything for the side hustle that you’re reaching towards. It may even be an unpaid writing internship. But if it gives you satisfaction and pride to take on this new job, then go for it. It may help you feel a stronger sense of accomplishment that your nine to five just isn’t giving you.
On the other side of the spectrum, maybe your day job is exactly what you want to be doing, or at least in the same realm anyways. But maybe it doesn’t pay that well, and if that’s the case, having a side hustle that is mainly dedicated to earning some extra cash is never a bad idea. So sign up as an uber driver, or delivery person. This way, you can full-heartedly chase after your dream without worrying too much about money.
More and more millennials are starting to get part-time jobs on the side, not only as a form of additional income, but to satisfy a creative outlet in them and bring them happiness. While earning extra money is a great rationalization behind the side hustle, don’t think that because yours is unpaid it’s unworthy. Paid or unpaid, your side hustle is there to make sure you don’t feel trapped or swamped by debt or a mundane day job.
How to Get a Side Hustle
Millennials are starting to take charge of their own lives, so much so that a recent study found that 66% of millennials want to start their own businesses. So, in reality, you’re probably literally surrounded by side-hustling millennials. It seems like all of us are trying to make our mark on the world, and achieve our goals. Because of that, there are thousands of resources you can use to find yourself the perfect side hustle.
Want to write fiction but work at a government think tank? Look for an online literary magazine and submit your work to them, you could get published while still maintaining your full-time position. Need some extra money to help with rent because you work at your dream company as an intern? Take up waitressing, or a delivery job on the weekends.
The point is to figure out what you need from a side hustle–money or passion–and then put in some extra effort to make it happen. That’s the millennial mantra in a way, isn’t it? We are the generation that will make it happen, no matter how many hours or cups of coffee it takes.
The next issue, though, is figuring out how to balance that side hustle with your day job. It’s tricky to find harmony, especially if your side hustle is what you’re most passionate about. Nevertheless, your full-time job deserves your full attention, and it’s important to maintain a professional and dedicated presence at your workplace.
How to Balance Your Side Hustle With Your Day Job
Are you one of the 26 million Americans who are side hustling? Go for it! But don’t forget to give priority to your nine-to-five . After all, that’s where you’re spending the majority of your days, and that’s where the majority of your income is probably coming from.
If you find yourself sitting at your desk, daydreaming about the article you’re posting the next week, or maybe even falling asleep because of your late shift at your side hustle last night–give yourself a mini slap on the hand and get with it. Your day job has the potential to connect you with great people, and, in some capacity at least, it’s footing your bills. So buck up, and remember that now is the time for your nine-to-five.
Even though your passion may be your side hustle, your full-time job can provide you with routine, stability, and a sense of control over your busy life. Having an office job allows you to make friends you probably wouldn’t have made otherwise, and if nothing else, it’s great for your resume.
Millennials have practically branded the side hustle to be a fulfilling alternative to a day job that the worst job market in recent history has so graciously given us. So let’s make the most of it. Let’s own the side hustle, and make it our own.