Why Side Hustles Aren't For Everyone
I recently picked up a contract writing gig at a Chicago-based insurance technology company, where I’ll be working until later this summer. So far, I’ve sharpened my blog writing and email writing abilities and I’m picking up extra skills like SEO copywriting. But here and there, I’ll pitch a short piece to work on for a publication, earning me a little extra money while working a 9-to-5.
Working on passion projects on the side is hardly new for millennials. In fact, there are so many articles aimed at telling us how great it is to work a side job. And it is great for some, but it’s not right for everyone.
What I mean by that is, there are only 24 hours in a day, and hopefully, you’ll spend at least eight of those hours sleeping. After you’ve spent the first half of your day sleeping, eating, traveling to and from work, working, and (hopefully) taking a break, the last little bit of your day is likely spent relaxing and catching up on your favorite shows. For some, however, it’s the only time when they get to work on their side project.
These days, I sometimes come home and work on a story. Lately, I’ve done a few pieces for Chicago Inno, which has been great! But while staying up late and working on something I loved, I wondered, “How can people do this on the regular basis?”
I’m no stranger to sacrifice. I can still remember moving into my apartment with next to nothing, wondering how I was going to make it a home for me and how I was going to build my career. But bit by bit, I bought furniture, got stories published and began building my business.
Still, it’s important to exercise self-care. You have to get enough sleep. You have to exercise and eat well. You can’t overwhelm yourself with too much work and stress yourself out over an extended period of time.
And while I love to see that millennials have a new spin on the concept of a side job—that we can turn our passions into cash—but I do worry that we’re focusing too much on the side hustle allure and less on making our 9-to-5 jobs more fulfilling and our other expenses (housing, transportation, etc.).
Using a side hustle to broaden your skillset, pivot into a new career, or explore a field you’re passionate about is perfectly fine. I simply worry about the long-term sustainability for individuals who turn to side hustles as a source of extra income in order to make ends meet.
I’m concerned that, for some individuals, working on side-hustles long term can lead to burnout. It’s a lot of work. You’re your own quasi-lawyer, sort-of accountant, project manager and creative person. That’s a lot of responsibility.
If you’re looking for advice on how to maintain a side hustle while working full-time, check out this post. But if it’s something that you’re not sure about, that’s fine, too. It’s perfectly okay to seek out full-time work with good retirement, health
Why did you decide to start a side hustle? Tell me in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.