5 ways your side hustle can benefit your main career

by Oct 10, 2022

The reality of work in 2022 is that most people aren’t satisfied with the good old 9-to-5 anymore. A growing number of individuals are choosing unconventional career paths these days:

  • Research from McKinsey shows that 58% of Americans had the option to work remotely at least one day per week (with 87% making use of the opportunity).
  • Gallup discovered that 58% of employees prioritize stimulating work when choosing their career paths (preceded only by income/benefits and work-life balance).
  • Zapier’s recent report discovered that 4 in 10 US employees have a side hustle making, on average, $12,689 per year from it.

So, if you’ve been thinking about taking your work life in a new direction, you’re not alone. However, you might wonder whether your side hustle can benefit your main career path. The answer is a definite yes. And if you want to learn how you can profit by starting your own business, here are the top benefits you can expect from letting your inner entrepreneur shine.

Improve your time management skills

One of the most significant benefits of starting a side hustle is that it can provide you with an opportunity to learn essential career skills that would otherwise take years of work to build.

The fact that a side hustle is something you do in addition to a full-time job shows that running your own business presents a valuable opportunity to work on your time management skills.

According to a survey from Insuranks, people spend, on average, 13 hours working on their side hustle every week. In itself, the number doesn’t seem that overwhelming. However, if you add it to the 34.7 hours most US employees spend at their primary jobs, the figures quickly add up to almost 50 hours per week. That means 10-hour workdays — without counting commute times.

For most people, getting everything done within those 10 hours can be challenging, especially considering that a person can only do so much productive work at a time. So, it’s easy to conclude that running a side business can help you find more effective ways of scheduling your time and encourage you to make the most out of every hour you spend at work.

In addition to helping you work on your time management skills, running a side hustle can also be an opportunity to become acquainted with productivity and automation tools. These tools are super-useful to implement in your primary career to achieve better results with less effort.

Become a better leader

Another significant benefit of being your own boss (even if for just a couple of hours per day) is that it can allow you to build key leadership skills. These skills will be crucial in helping you progress and develop in your main career.

Entrepreneurship requires a lot of decision-making. So, by having a side hustle, you can learn how to:

  • make major decisions that impact your career path
  • set short-term and long-term goals to help you achieve continual progress
  • adapt to various circumstances and deal with unexpected obstacles

Moreover, some side hustles can grow from a small one-person business to a bigger operation in a matter of months. This can allow entrepreneurs to further improve their communication skills, including (but not limited to):

So, if you plan on pursuing a managerial track in your main career, rest assured that having a side hustle could be just the thing you need to try to flatten the learning curve and prepare for big career wins at your full-time job.

Achieve financial security

According to a survey by Ipsos, only 56% of Americans feel financially secure in 2022 (compared to more than 60% in 2021). Considering the growing inflation rates, which in Australia are at their 30-year high, making enough money to live a comfortable life is a priority for many people over the coming period.

And, sure, pursuing the right career can help you become financially independent and secure. Nonetheless, starting a side hustle could be an excellent way to take your finances into your own hands, give yourself some leeway to do a job you’re passionate about (even if it doesn’t pay well), or save up funds to start your own company.

For one, some part-time jobs, such as investing in the stock market and using dividends as a passive source of income, can allow you to make the most of the funds you already have. Moreover, learning to invest will inevitably be the better alternative to putting your hard-earned money into a savings account and losing it to inflation.

Secondly, building a business, especially if it’s an online blog or ecommerce store, can be an excellent way to boost your personal cash flow. It can provide a reliable source of income year-round. Plus, if you develop an exit strategy that involves selling, you can expect a significant return on all your hard work, allowing you to pursue new personal or professional goals (like buying a house, traveling the world, or starting a new business).

Expand your network

There are many ways having a side hustle can help you achieve your professional goals. But the one commonly overlooked benefit of being a small business owner is that it’s the perfect opportunity to expand your network with people you’d not have had the chance to meet otherwise.

No matter what industry your primary job has you working in, having a side hustle can be an amazing way to meet new people. And, if you know how to build professional (mutually beneficial) relationships with those people, you might just find that you’ll be allowed to use those connections to take your career path in the direction you’ve always wanted.

For instance, if you work in tech, having some experience in health and fitness could allow you to break into the wearable tech industry (which is projected to achieve a 13.8% compound annual growth rate between 2022 and 2030). But even more, knowing people with unique expertise might also allow you to further your growth in your primary career. Having a professional relationship with them might allow you to pursue projects that require tremendous knowledge from several fields.

Pursue multiple passions (and boost job satisfaction)

Finally, don’t forget that one of the best ways to ensure next-level results at your main job is to be happy with what you’re doing. And, seeing that being your own boss provides an opportunity to do work you’re passionate about, it’s safe to say that pursuing a secondary career path might just be the absolute best way to boost your job satisfaction.

If you decide to start a side hustle in addition to your main career, make sure that it’s something you’ll find joy in doing. This could mean monetizing your hobby, doing work that allows you to grow your skills, or just working on projects that give you the space to be creative or collaborate with people who inspire you.

Final thoughts

At the end of the day, the purpose of a side hustle isn’t necessarily just to make money (although that’s a big benefit). More than that, having a secondary job presents an excellent opportunity to pursue passions, build skills, and gain experience you can use to propel your primary career forward.

So, whether you’re simply toying around with the idea of starting a side business or looking for confirmation that it’s a good idea, take this as a sign telling you to go for it. After all, you have little to lose and a lot to gain. Why not give it a try?


Featured image courtesy of Unsplash

Natasha Lane

Natasha Lane

Natasha is a lady of a keyboard and one huge geek. She has a rich history of working in the branding, small business, and career growth related fields, so she is always happy to collaborate with awesome blogs and share her knowledge all around the web. To see what Natasha is up to next, check out her Twitter.