All the cool kids are doin’ it 😎 !
Also the kids whose pay is stagnating 😐.
By now you might have heard of side hustles, a.k.a side gigs or moonlighting. Supplementing your day job with other paid work.
E.g. you’re a designer at an agency but code websites in your spare time. Or if you’re me last year, you’re working on a startup while writing and consulting too.
Side hustling has enabled me to do a lot: to work on issues that I care about (diversity + inclusion) or that really interest me (food systems), and to try new things to see if they fit (consulting). All while I’ve added to my skill set and helped pay the bills while working on Carrots Money. Win-win!
It’s a smarter idea for your career + bottom line than you might think. We pull apart six reasons why you should consider side hustling, regardless of your current job or skill set.
1. Mo’ money, no problems 💵
ICYMI, wages are barely moving while the cost of living is going up. That means in aggregate we’re getting poorer, despite putting in the same effort at work. A side gig = more income to supplement your pay. You know what we’ve said about putting all of your pay rises into savings and not spending more? You can do this with side hustling too. More rain = more opportunity to make smart choices for Future You 💦.
2. Changes are a’comin’
Job security is falling. While unemployment is holding steady, underemployment is rising (see this week’s smart soundbite). There are 1.1 million ‘underemployed’ people in Australia—the majority of whom are women. Full-time jobs are disappearing: they’re expensive, so companies are increasingly hiring contractors + part-timers. Harvard prof Larry Katz + Princeton prof Alan Kreuger found that employment growth in the last decade has come from ‘alternative arrangements’, e.g. driving for Uber, and not from new full-time jobs. We think this trend will continue so the earlier we dive in, the more prepared we’ll be 🛀🏼.
3. Skills to pay the bills 🔑
The nature of jobs is changing. Tech is a big driver of this—like fewer bank tellers or supermarket cashiers. Diversifying our skills helps to prepare and be poised to make the most of these changes. Not only does a side hustle allow us to learn new skills or improve rusty ones, you’ll get paid for learning! Think a jack of all trades, rather than master of one.
4. Choices. Options. 🛍
Work the hours you want, charge your own rate, and take on the work that suits you. Hate your job? This is a low-risk way to try something new, and increase your options. Planning/have kids? A pipeline of work and a rolodex of potential clients means you could do this work during pregnancy or parental leave. If you go back to work part-time, you can do side gigs alongside, or replace it altogether. The pay gap really widens at this point of women’s careers, so this is one way to help close it.
5. Balloon your networks 🎈
You’ll inevitably grow your networks the more work you do. As you try new things, you’ll meet people in totally different areas. Having a wide + deep network can be a huge kicker to your career and open up new opportunities you might never have thought of. Bonus: you’ll probably meet a lot of lovely, interesting people, as I have.
6. Have fun and purpose
You can work on something you’re interested in, or a cause you really care about. As Daniel Pink writes, most of us crave mastery, autonomy and purpose in our lives. That project in an area you love or that piques your curiosity can keep you going even if your 9-5 job bores you to tears. It’ll also give you variety—if you’re anything like us, lots of different things to work = energy and excitement.
Have you got a side hustle or are you thinking about one? Write to us and if you’re keen we can feature your story in our upcoming personal money diaries (anonymously of course!)