When you think of the term side hustle, what comes to mind? For some people, the term might conjure up images of someone secretly moonlighting, getting changed in the car while wearing shades in a bid not to be seen or recognized by colleagues from the day job.

Maybe you think of someone who has one foot out of the door and is not committed to their job and has no loyalty, or perhaps you think of someone running around from one job to the next trying to make a living.

The point is, most people will have a view on this, as will their employer.

A short story

As I write this post, I have just got off the phone to my brother who has just lost his job working for what appeared on the surface of it to be an extremely reputable company that’s going places — but behind the scenes, shareholders have been unhappy, culminating in hundreds of people losing their jobs’ and being made redundant on the spot, completely without warning.

For my brother, who hasn’t been there long, this isn’t good, but even for those who have been there for some time, something like this, happening so suddenly with no forewarning is a shock that can have a lasting impact.

The lightbulb moment

So, what does this story have to do with side hustles? Well, as I spoke to my brother, I couldn’t help but think, this is why people need to mind their business, a concept I learned from the great book Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.

One of my key takeaways from this book was that whether you’re in the career of your dreams and loving every minute of your job or you’re in a job that pays the bills and keeps you in the lifestyle you want, the point is, you can never rest on your laurels.

Things happen fast in this day and age and things can flip in an instant. So, minding your business gives you back up, more protection and a buffer should something happen that’s out of your control.

The idea is that you work to build an income portfolio outside of your day job — while Robert Kiyosaki is focused on property investment, this could really be anything.

You could be learning a new skill that is in demand which gives you the opportunity to do freelance projects, you could build an internet business which provides some passive income streams or you could use the skills from your day job to consult (ensuring of course that whatever you do doesn’t conflict with the contract of your employment and land you in hot water).

The Benefits

In short, for those who are ahead of the game and have side income streams and side hustles, whatever they may be, it puts them in a much less daunting position. They have choices, which is what we all want in our careers and in life, more choice.

With a side hustle there are a few benefits, not just to you, but also to your employer:

  • If you suddenly lose your job, you can choose to focus more on the side hustle and make it your new full-time focus
  • You’re less likely to be in a mad rush to find a new job, meaning that you will take care to find the right job, not just any job that comes along. Ultimately leading to better job satisfaction and better performance, not to mention you’re more likely to stay.
  • Depending on the nature of your side hustle, you may be learning skills which at some point could come in handy in your job, giving you the opportunity to add more value that would of course be beneficial to your organization as well.

For someone to build a successful side hustle while continuing to be successful in their main job demonstrates a number of valuable skills. It shows great time management and prioritization, it shows a willingness to work hard and it demonstrates drive and focus.

So, perhaps at some point, the side hustle will no longer be seen as a Segue to leaving your job or as a distraction, but more as a way for us to enhance our skills and be more fulfilled in our careers and in our lives. And if you’re wondering what kind of side hustle you could start, then check out this article at the Modest Wallet. 

In my opinion, as long as there is openness, honesty, and respect for your employer, a side hustle can be just that. Not everyone wants to leave the corporate world completely and people have many interests. A side hustle might just be the thing you need to give you more career fulfillment.

What are your thoughts on the side hustle? And if you have a team would you be comfortable with them having one?