More and more professionals are starting side hustles alongside their day-to-day jobs, providing them with “economic empowerment and creative freedom”, according to Hays CEO Alistair Cox.
A side hustle is generally a freelance side project which the person is passionate about. It provides the professional with extra income and an additional creative outlet. While a side hustle is done outside a person’s day-to-day work hours, it is different to a part-time job.
Alistair says; “Side hustles are about creating assets and creating them in a way that you own and control – they’re not about working for another employer in your spare time. As such, when you set up a side hustle, you are the master of its destiny, nobody else. It’s yours and yours alone.”
Side hustles are becoming increasingly popular among professionals, as people look for additional ways to generate income, put to use skills they don’t necessarily use in their full-time career or pursue passion projects.
Alistair explains; “The stats on this are mind blowing and almost incomprehensible – according to Henley Business School, as many as one in four people in the UK are running at least one business project alongside their day job. Over in the US, nearly 40% of workers have a side hustle, with many, many more seriously considering it. That’s a lot of entrepreneurial spirit being released!”
Why should professionals consider a side hustle?
• A craving for variety and creativity
As people are increasingly living longer they will have to work longer. As a result, professionals will look for more variety in their career and a side hustle can provide that.
“The reality is that many won’t feel satisfied if they only focus their entire careers on one single thing they are interested in or passionate about”, says Alistair.
• The opportunity to tap into hidden passions and interests
Side hustles provide professionals with an opportunity to pursue something that they are passionate about outside of work, allowing them to explore other areas which may interest them.
Alistair explains; “The reality is that we are all interested in and passionate about lots of things, and these interests and passions change and evolve over time. I believe that’s at the heart of why most side hustles are set up. Not because the person hates their job and wants to escape in some way.”
• An opportunity to upskill
As a side hustle involves focusing on passions outside of a person’s usual day-to-day and area of expertise, people can learn new skills and improve their own employability as a result.
Alistair adds; “Stepping out on your own and generating an additional income from doing something you’re interested in, whether that be writing, consulting, cooking, coaching, speaking or setting up your own doggy day care, will teach you a whole myriad of skills you may not have the opportunity to learn and practice in your 9-5.”
• Additional income
Side hustles can also generate extra income in addition to a person’s regular wage. Providing professionals with the opportunity to earn money from a project they are passionate about and enjoy doing.
“There’s no skirting around it. Many set up side hustles as a way to generate a little extra income, or just to save for the proverbial rainy day”, says Alistair.
Alistair states employers shouldn’t worry about an employee burning out through pursuing their side hustle, or even working on it during company hours. While these concerns are understandable, Alistair says the trends popularity doesn’t appear to be slowing, so business leaders must instead begin to embrace the many benefits an employee’s side hustle can bring businesses too. These include employees upskilling themselves, building their confidence, forming a better opinion of who they are; gaining experiences of new environments, problem solving and taking risks independently.