Side hustling, moonlighting, creating a portfolio career; whatever way you choose to coin it, the concept of working on side projects and alternative income external to your ‘day job’, is growing in popularity. More and more of us are starting to see the limitations of being confined solely to a 9-5 job, so we’re turning to the hours outside of this to take on other pursuits. Whether you’re hoping to gain a little extra income, want to explore a particular passion, or fancy dipping your toe in before embarking on a freelance career, there really is a multitude of different reasons to pick up a side hustle. And what better time to talk about how to do just that, than during goal setting month here at Neat?
So, if taking up a side hustle is something you’d love to do, here’s what you need to know about getting started…
HOW TO FIND YOUR SIDE HUSTLE
Want to expand your career portfolio but not sure where to start? If you’ve got multiple passions, skills and hobbies, it can be hard to pick just one. So now is the time to evaluate! What in particular would you love to focus on, is it selling some of your paintings, or maybe using your experience to start consulting about something you’re passionate about? Of course, side hustling can be just a fun project, but is there something you love that you can monetise too?
TIPS FOR MAKING IT WORK
Dedicate Time To It
When you’re already spending eight hours in the office Monday – Friday, doing anything else work-related can be a pretty overwhelming thought. Set strict boundaries and prioritise your side-hustle, but in a realistic way. Maybe just start by dedicating Tuesday evenings and Sunday mornings to your new project. It’ll give you enough time to get started, without causing you to burn out. Put it in your calendar and make it non-negotiable – stick to the schedule! It won’t work if you don’t commit yourself wholeheartedly.
Keep Yourself Accountable
When it comes to your side hustle, it’s all on you; there’s no one who’s going to tell you off if you skive out early or skip your evening of work when someone suggests a trip to the pub. Without your boss keeping a watchful eye, there’s only yourself to keep things on track. Set yourself deadlines and ask someone close to you to hold you accountable. Even just a quick call to see how that week’s deadline is coming on will help stop procrastination in its tracks.
Schedule Free Time Too
You’re only human, and no matter how much you love your side project, you still need time to unwind. Time with friends and by yourself to just do nothing is key to prevent burn out. If you want your new project to be sustainable long term, you need to take them on in a way which still allows you to actually have a life outside of work.
Don’t Forget Your Full Time Job
Side hustles should be exactly that, something on the side – not the main event! No matter how fun it might be, you need to remember to put your full-time job first (until your side hustle pays the bills and you don’t have to do so anymore!). Plus, the more trust and respect you earn at your day job, the more flexible your employer is likely to be in the future…
Re-frame “Me Time”
This is why picking a side hustle you actually enjoy doing is so key. Sure, it’s not going to be fun and easy 100% of the time, but by something you genuinely enjoy, it will become something you want to work on rather than something extra piled on to your day. Turning down plans or avoiding Netflix won’t seem like such a chore, you’re just spending your me-time in a slightly different way!