Recently, I read the book The Economy of You by Kimberly Palmer. This is a book that’s all about starting a side gig, and providing practical advice to get it done. As I read the book, it occurred to me that just about everyone should consider starting a side gig. You don’t have to want to turn your side gig into a replacement for your day job, but it can be a good idea to make the effort to start some sort of side hustle. Here’s why:
1. Financial Security
Decades ago, you could start a good job, work at it for 30 or so years, and then retire with a pension. This isn’t the case these days. You can’t rely on a traditional day job to provide you with long-term financial stability and security. Most people can expect to change jobs multiple times over their lifetimes. And, as we’ve discovered with the recent economic troubles, just about anyone can be laid off at any time.
This is what a side gig can help protect you against. A side gig gives you another source of income. Perhaps it isn’t as much as your day job, but you can take that money and set aside for emergencies, or invest it and watch it grow. Then, if you do run into trouble, you aren’t completely without income and you also have a tidy amount of savings to draw on.
A side gig offers income diversity and a little extra financial security so that you aren’t at a complete loss if your day job doesn’t pan out.
2. Something Challenging to Do
A good challenge can keep your mind engaged, and help you develop as a person. A side gig can provide you with a challenge that helps you stay on top of your game. As long as your side gig is ethical, and it doesn’t conflict with your day job, it can be a great way to improve yourself as a person. In fact, many people find that their side gigs actually enhance their abilities in their “real” jobs.
This challenge can also keep you busy on something productive. This ability to stay busy working on something worthwhile can enhance your mental and emotional health, as well as help you in other areas of your life.
3. Encourage You to Develop New Skills
In many cases, when you start a side gig, you are forced to learn new skills. Depending on your side gig, you might have to develop problem solving skills, a better knowledge of marketing, business savvy, and other skills that you wouldn’t normally develop. This can make you a well-rounded person, as well as enhance your marketability in general. If you do have to apply for a new job after losing your day job, you can use the skills you develop as part of your side gig to turn you into a more attractive candidate for your new job search.
A side gig doesn’t just have to be about making extra money, even though that’s a big part. Start a side gig, and you might be surprised at what you can accomplish — and how it enriches your life.