If you’re a Millennial, you likely have friends who freelance, run their own business, or work a second job. In fact, you may have a gig or two of your own. For many Millennials, a side hustle is simply a fact of life; in fact, the largest demographic of individuals earning a second income is men and women aged 18 to 26. If you don’t have a side hustle of your own, consider these points and look into your options. You could find yourself earning $500 of extra income per month, if not more.
Why are So Many Millennials Working on the Side?
There are more than 40 million Americans who earn money with side gigs. What’s prompting this movement? Looking at the facts from a financial point of view, it’s simple. Not only are many Millennials at the beginning of their career, but many more find themselves working in underpaying positions. All the while, they contend with highly competitive job markets, ever increasing living costs, and nearly insurmountable housing rates. A side hustle is often needed just to get by. And yet, despite this, there is another reason that many Millennials hustle on the side. One much more tenuous and hard to grasp. And that is personal satisfaction and mental health.
Many reports have found that Millennials value happiness and work-life balance over more traditional metrics for success, such as income or property ownership. This can lead to dissatisfaction (and even depression) in the work place, as corporate culture often has a way of ignoring these values. Working within a large organization can leave one feeling like a cog in a machine – hardly intellectually stimulating. A side hustle offers dissatisfied Millennials a solution to their problems. Earning money on their own – their own terms, their own schedule, and in their own way – can provide Millennials with a sense of control and ownership over their career (not to mention pride) that a normal 9-5 job cannot.
How to Get Started with Your Own Hustle
If you are looking to earn money on the side but don’t know where to start, you may be surprised to learn that you have quite a few options. To begin with, take stock of your professional skill sets and see how you can leverage them on the side. Begin with networking. Reach out to former co-workers, bosses, managers, and associates, along with friends and family. Through these contacts, you may be able to find work as an independent contractor or part-time employee. If you’re lucky, this may lead to referrals for additional work down the road.
Job sites like Indeed, along with freelancing sites like Fiverr and Freelance.com, also make it easy to find opportunities. You will find that there is stiff competition, however, so act fast and be sure to have your portfolio and resume polished and ready to go. Find the right client (or project) and you could end up with regular, recurring income. Remember, it’s far easier for a company to work with a trusted resource than to continually seek out new help. Work quickly and deliver good work, and you could become that trusted resource.
And what if you lack the skill sets that are most in demand? Entrepreneurship might be an option worth considering. There is plenty of money to be made selling goods on sites like Etsy and Ebay, and companies like Amway offer options for individuals who have the drive, but lack the merchandise (Arts and Crafts isn’t for everyone, after all). Regardless of which option is right for you, it’s worth knowing that you have options. Best of all, entrepreneurship lets you work on your own schedule, at your own pace – there are no deadlines and no clients to worry about.
Get Hustling, Start Earning!
Whether you’d like to earn extra money for an upcoming vacation, to put towards a home, or to pay off school debt, a side hustle can help you get there. Beyond the pragmatic financial benefits, there’s something fundamentally rewarding about taking control over your own career, rather than placing it in someone else’s hands. A side hustle allows you to do just that. Think over your options and start hustling. There’s nothing stopping you. With a little bit of work, some due diligence, and perseverance, you can start earning money today – not next week or next month, but now.