It is estimated that 35 percent of Millennials in the United States are currently involved in a
side business that earns a little extra during their free time. That means the idea of building
something on the side is getting fairly popular.
Side gigs can be all kinds of things: small business, startup, app, parttime job, project, hobby,
or blog. It is just a independent venture you do in your free time that isn’t your fulltime gig. It
could even be closely related what you do at your day job. Though you have to be careful you
are not breaking any contract with your employer.
As the career landscape has changed and job security is now questionable, a side business is
a form of career insurance. It can provide supplemental income or be a useful fallback in case
of a layoff. What most people don’t realize is that their side gig can also benefit their career by
allowing a person to build skills, relationships and new ideas.
The main benefits from having something on the side are:
1. You become a time management master.
With a fulltime job and a side gig, you will be much more conscious of your time. Making
plans to budget your time and decide what tasks are worth your time. You will spend a lot less
time on things that don’t matter.
2. You make new connections.
When you are only working at a job, you tend to only connect with people involved with that
job. With each job you do, your network grows exponentially. My side gig helping small
businesses get online. It has allowed me to meet many business owners that I’d otherwise
would have never met. Each connection you make could change your life, don’t limit the
3. You are only young once.
When you are young there is a chance you are single and without kids. Having a flexible
schedule and few commitments, it is the perfect time to experiment with project and find
things you enjoy.
If you fail, it is easy to move on and try the next. At this point the loss is mostly your time.
Even if you do fail, you gained new skills and learned from your mistakes. There are things
you will never learn until you try something yourself.
4. More MONEY
A side gig will diversify your income. Even if it is only a small amount.
With hard work and some luck you could even turn it into a fulltime career. Even if that
doesn’t happen, an extra hundred dollars a month can go a long way.
5. A side gig will make you better at your day job
Despite what many assume, your side gig can actually make you a better employee instead of
distracting from your day job.
Making more money can be a huge motivation that will push you to better in everything you
do. Help break the depression of being beaten down by doing the same thing everyday.
Doing things you love also can boost your mood. When you are happier you are more
Skills you pick up are transferable. If you learn how to deal with something in your side gig,
that will be usable for other things in your future. The topic and direct skill may not relate
exactly, however the knowledge you gain can be applied to anything you do.
6. Keeping your idea muscle strong.
When you don’t keep your mind active and keep ideas flowing it will atrophy. When you spend
time working on your side gig, your mind is much more active.
Even if you spend a ridiculous amount of time at your day job, it won’t teach you everything.
You are trapped into the company’s mission which may not give you the freedom to explore.
When you use your mind more, the more ideas you will generate.
Before starting your side gig check your employment contract and company policies. You may
need to gain approval before pursuing anything you plan on making public.
Make sure you treat your side gig like a business. Even if you don’t start by monetizing your
service. You don’t want to get a few years down the road and wish you did it all differently
when you decide to turn it into your career.
With all that said, working multiple jobs means long hours and a lot of sacrifices. If you do it
right, it can be worth every moment and help you grow an amazing career for yourself.