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Growing up, we're never taught about side hustles. Instead, our primary goals are graduating high school, going to college, graduating again, and then settling into a job that will eventually allow us to retire at the end of our working lifespan. I'm not sure where the ideology shifted, but it's now encouraged for millennials to explore pursuits outside of their day jobs. It may seem impossible, but you can, in fact, entertain a side hustle and be happy at work.
You Can Learn a New Set of Skills
Anything that's deemed a "side" often has a lesser than or bad connotation, but if executed correctly, a side hustle can help your day job. Your job may be based in one area, but in 2018 it seems like everything is crossing over. Learning about coding, keeping up with a company's movements and its quarterly earnings, or just learning about the social media space can give you a leg up at work. Although I was entrenched in the social media space throughout college, working on my writing skills helped me thrive in my day job and internships. Learning about SEO, writing tightly packaged content, and self-editing helped me be a better asset to the teams I worked for.
You Learn How To Monopolize Your Time
The transition from high school to college may feel like a doozy because, for the first time, you're learning how to monopolize an immense amount of time outside of classes. At the end of the four years, though, when you finally get into a routine, things switch up once again. Entering the real world and learning how to juggle work, friendships, family matters, health, and life in general takes time. So one would think a side hustle would merely add even more pressure to the pile. It actually does not, it makes you that much more strict with your schedule.
Whether you're the type of person to collapse on the couch after a long day of work or spend time standing in front of an open fridge willing for dinner to appear (while stuffing your face with chips), having a side hustle allows you to organize your time. It may take a while, but adding something you're passionate about to your to-do list, makes one happier and more productive. Instead of becoming an aficionado in Netflix, pursuing your side hustle makes you have a new zest for life.
You Can Expand Your Network
The adage that you have to stick to one job is dead and long gone. Yes, it is essential to put the utmost time into our day jobs, but constantly making new connections and expanding your network is valuable. If you have dreams of pursuing an outside hustle, expanding your network can inspire you, and give you the push you need to get the ball rolling.
Whether you make an acquaintance with someone in your field or someone that is a friend of a friend, a more extensive network is key to having outside pursuits. I made my connections primarily in the social media and digital space while in college, but it was my internship boss's friend that recommended I try my hand in writing. If I didn't have a strong relationship with my boss and express interest in expanding my portfolio, I probably wouldn't be a writer today. Sometimes less is more when having confidants, but surrounding yourself with a diverse work circle can only help you thrive. You never know, if you have dreams of making your side hustle your primary hustle, expanding your network can be the key piece.
Allanah Dykes has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Politics from Fairfield University. She started her freelance career in 2016 and has written about how to land a job post-college, internships, and the interviewing process. She has pieces featured on Elite Daily, Levo League, and Popsugar.