Enabled by both technology and an increasingly open mindset, the number of people are building portfolio careers is spreading as they recognise the value of becoming a ‘slashie’ in terms of developing both a broader skill set and increasing their income generating potential.

So what is a side hustle? It can be anything that you do outside of your main job that typically earns you an income and is hopefully something that you enjoy doing. It can be anything from renovating and flipping houses, to being a driver on Saturdays, to writing feature articles, to having a few clients that you coach on the side to selling art work.

There are a number of reasons and benefits to having more than one ‘gig’ at a time from the purely practical to truly indulgent:

  • the rise of part-time work and flexible working
  • the ability to generate additional income and a greater sense of community through asset sharing eg. Short-term accommodation
  • enables you to indulge in things you are passionate about eg. Dog walking or 5 star travel blogging
  • build entrepreneurial thinking such as your creativity and hustle muscles through generating ideas, pitching for work etc.
  • build new skills sets that you can’t in your day job such as learning a language or how to build a website
  • something fun to do in your spare time that keeps you interested and interesting
  • low-risk opportunity to try something new without overcommitting

Ironically, taking on a side hustle can assist you to become better at your full-time role as you learn to prioritise and solve problems in new and creative ways. It may even really take off and replace your full-time job if you are successful. Side hustles aren’t exclusively for younger people – it can be a way to re-enter the workforce after time off, enable you to travel for 2 months per year, work part-time or transition to semi-retirement.

It also reflects changes in terms of what a career means – traditionally it was the ladder model and clear pathway and hurdles to overcome; however, in a world of flatter structures, clear functional boundaries and less hierarchy people need to be able to build a breadth of skills and sense of adaptability. This is coupled with other changes in the workforce: increased flexibility of working, decreased job security so having a second income stream reduces that impact, increased contract working as businesses hire for specific higher skill sets for shorter periods of time and increased desire to have greater control and variety in one’s work.

Ultimately, whilst not everyone will have the time, energy or inclination to have a side hustle, especially when they are busy with work or family; it can be a great way to build your personal value in terms of thinking, skills, experience, branding and of course financially.