5 Reasons to Start a Side Gig

200451597-001Are you a crafty person, a talented photographer, or someone who loves pets? If you have a professional skill or passion, you may want to consider launching a side gig. Side gigs, or side jobs, are commonplace for many of today’s workers. In fact, according to The Millennial Survey 2014 by Deloitte, 70% of Millennials – those ages 18-34 – want to start their own business. And, in a recent Movin’ On Up poll, 46% of respondents said they’d like to own a business but didn’t know where to begin. Whether it’s hosting a show at a local comedy club, operating a lawn mowing business, or selling handmade products, second jobs can be beneficial in many ways. So, here are five reasons why starting a side gig might be right for you.

Supplement Your Income
It can sometimes be difficult, especially if you’re unemployed and looking for a job, to make ends meet every month. Starting a side job can bring in extra income and offer new ways to make money. If you have a knack for knitting, painting, or crafting, for example, opening an Etsy site may help you earn additional income selling products you already enjoy making. Or, if you like pets, offering your services as a dog walker or pet sitter can also bring in additional income.

Good for Your Resume
Any time you can add experience to your resume, you should. And, when you add phrases like “Owned and operated a childcare business,” or “Tutored students in English,” potential employers will notice your drive, independence, and entrepreneurial spirit. It’s not always easy to run your own side job, and hiring managers will likely recognize the effort you put into your business as well as your flexibility.

Impress Your Boss
A side job can also impress your current employer. According to Kimberly Palmer, author of The Economy of You, “What I found is that increasingly, employers welcome and even encourage their employees’ side-gigs … they see their employees learning new skills, including valuable entrepreneurial, e-commerce, marketing, and social media skills, on their own time, and then bringing those abilities back to their main employer.”

But, if you’re currently employed, don’t let a side job get in the way of work. While your side job might be exciting, don’t ignore your primary job. And, don’t use your employer’s time or resources to work on your side gig. Follow your company’s guidelines for outside activities and remain respectful to your employer.

Creative Expression and Gratification
The initial motivation for starting a side job is often money. But, it may become something more as you realize the things you’re making or doing are allowing you the freedom of creative expression. If you’re a talented photographer, consider opening your own business. Start by offering your friends free or discounted photography sessions to build your portfolio, and soon you’ll enjoy the personal and financial rewards your new side business brings.

And, when your services or products help improve the lives of others, your side job may become a very gratifying part of your life. If you love teaching, find a subject you’re particularly knowledgeable in and help others learn it. For example, if you’re really good at a foreign language, you might look for tutoring opportunities at local schools. Tutoring students can bring in extra income, and you’ll also feel gratification for helping others succeed.

Learn New Skills
You don’t need to have a talent or skill in mind before starting your side gig. In fact, launching a side job may help you learn new skills. You may not be a great blogger, but if you start your own blog and research, educate yourself, and gain knowledge on the topic, your writing may grow stronger. If you like to design websites, but don’t know everything about the business, learn all that you can and gain hands-on experience. Study successful people in the industry, join community forums or groups, and watch what others are doing to be successful. Learning new skills can make you more employable. So, be willing to try new things. According to Palmer, “It’s so easy to launch a side gig today. If you have an inkling for something you might want to do, just get started.”

Don’t Give Up
Remember, not every side job will be the next big thing. But, don’t give up if setbacks occur. With every new business venture, there will be speed bumps along the way. The key to success is not letting those speed bumps stop you on your journey.

Have you started your own side gig? Do you have any tips for running a successful side business? Share with us in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

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