Millennials should not count on working 9-to-5 and clocking out anymore.
While it is frustrating to admit, we live in a globalized economy, which means every millennial sees more competition and battles rising health care costs, college debt and wages that do not keep up with the times.
Under these conditions, you usually can't rely on your regular job to cover all your expenses, so picking up a side hustle is crucial to offer yourself a little more security.
But a side hustle doesn't have to be more drudging work. You have more flexibility with a side hustle than you do with a regular job, which means more freedom in your choices.
Here are a few reasons why having a side job is so important, as well as ways to get the most out of it:
1. It can help develop new skills.
Just as the days of working 9-to-5 are over, so are the days where you could count on staying with one company for the rest of your life.
You need to develop skills throughout your career that will ensure you are easily hirable, should you leave your current position.
If you are interested in programming, for example, but are unable to land a full-time programming job, then there are ways to use those talents for smaller gigs that can earn you some extra money.
2. It builds discipline.
When you have a side job, you are often your own master. But while that freedom can be intoxicating, the only way to get the most out of it is to put in real work.
This requires self-discipline so you don't put off tomorrow what can be done today, and building the self-discipline you need for a side hustle can be used to improve the rest of your life.
A side hustle can be comparable to a small business, and self-discipline is an essential quality for any small business owner to succeed.
If you are interested in improving your self-discipline, take a look at these tips to improve your mental ability and stamina and get the most out of your other work.
3. It's a safe way to do the things you love.
One of the worst pieces of career advice I (and most people, probably) have ever received is to “do what you love.”
As editor and author Miya Tokumitsu observes, this results in all sorts of absurdities where people have to pretend they care so much about coffee to work at Starbucks.
Your career and life will be better off if you look for a reliable, well-paying job without trying to go into something you're passionate about.
But that does not mean we should ignore the things we love.
A side hustle is a good opportunity to focus on your passions, whether it's writing, the arts or making video games. Because you can do a side hustle on your own time, this means you'll likely continue to love it, instead of growing to hate it as an intense, full-time responsibility.
4. It could turn into something more.
A number of major corporations were founded by someone who originally viewed it as a side business.
As Inc. points out, Papa John's and Craigslist are just a few examples of side businesses that became huge, and of course, there are numerous tech companies basically started by some dudes in a garage.
Granted, your side hustle will probably never reach those heights, but it can still grow into something bigger.
If you put some work into your side hustle and have some luck, maybe you can even turn it into a business.
5. You can always use that extra cash.
Let us not forget the most important reason for a side hustle: cold, hard cash.
Sure, you could work an actual side job, where you wait tables after you finish your 9-to-5, but a side hustle offers you greater flexibility.
If you have a bad day at your regular job, you don't have to groan at the fact you still have another three to four hours of work at another job. You can just call it a day and rest, working on your side hustle when time allows.
And with that extra money you earn, you can help pay off the debts you have and finally reach a comfortable income.