Personal passions, freelance work, and side jobs are way more impactful to your career than you may realize. Having any (or all) of these can accelerate your career whether you are just starting out looking for your first full-time job or are further into your career looking to move into a higher title. Accelerating your career through a side hustle can take shape in several ways.
Here are 3 ways that a side hustle can accelerate your career.
Expanding your network
Maybe your side hustle is nannying, or maybe it’s dog walking. It could be something more career-focused like picking up freelance work in photography on the weekends or creating a logo and branding package for a friend who just launched their online boutique. Regardless of what the hustle may be, when you have one, you’re growing and expanding your network.
Every connection you make in a professional setting is a potential lead. One dog owner leads to another pet owner, and every entrepreneur knows other entrepreneurs and so forth. Having a circle of professional connections from your side hustle can accelerate your full-time career in massive ways. Maybe those people have friends who are hiring for a job you’ll later apply for, or maybe they end up being one of your professional references for an employer. The more people you have that can attest to your professionality and recommend you, the better.
Time management and organization
When you have a side hustle, you learn how to prioritize your time efficiently and effectively. You have more to prove when you’re working for yourself and pursuing a side hustle, and things like showing up on time, delivering on time, and providing a great experience are riding solely on yourself. You can learn a lot by providing a service or product of your own, and these skills are not only transferable into a full-time career, but they’re irreplaceable!
If you’re just entering the full-time workplace looking for a job, make sure you are highlighting everything you do for your side hustle. Do you plan days out in a planner or calendar? Send reminder texts? Go that extra mile for every client or person? Make sure to highlight and discuss these areas in your interview or cover letter. Employers will take notice of this, and you will have an edge over your competition.
Overcoming challenges and personal growth
When you’re working with people, you’re going to have to overcome challenges. These challenges could arise during the process of completing a project for them, or the challenge could be the various personalities you may encounter while pursuing your side hustle. Every project and every person you have through a side gig, will in return grow you with a new experience. And with every task you complete and deliver, you will have reached and met a goal that was set.
When hiring within, or hiring in general, these are critical areas employers look for within a good employee. Can you set a goal and accomplish the said goal? Can you grow from your challenges and learn from them? These questions might even sound familiar to the way some employers interview during a job search, and these are both awesome areas to touch on during an interview process with examples from your side hustle experience!
When you're applying for that next job; or trying to receive a promotion, think of all the areas you have successfully accomplished with your side hustle. Write them out and start transferring those skills into talking points for the career or position you want. You will be surprised at how many things you can highlight and talk through during an interview! And remember, no matter how large or small your side hustle is, the knowledge and experience you gain from it will last forever.