5 Ways A Side Hustle Could Improve Your Career Skills And Success – Forbes

In my last article, I decided to focus on the importance of entrepreneur  on the future of business and how being an entrepreneur can add great value to your organisation.

Being an entrepreneur is certainly one of the ways that you can bring your entrepreneurial mindset into your day job but what about honing those entrepreneurial skills in your life outside of your career?

Over the years I have consulted or been chosen as a speaker for a variety of prestigious FTSE100/250 brands, one thing that always stands out for me are the brands who not only allow but advocate and encourage their staff to pursuit a side hustle. One such brand is American Express AXP , who often brought me in to speak to their staff about building a personal brand that encompassed both their career aspirations and entrepreneurial goals. It always intrigued me how supportive and fearless they were with this policy of support for their staff.

The reality is, today more and more people have side hustles, the difference is there are some organisations who are very clear that staff are not to have any other external income. And there are others that accept that having a side hustle, utilising creativity or perusing an external goal keeps their staff motivated and excited in their day job. It also allows them to bring the lessons they learn from their entrepreneurial pursuits into their career thus allowing them to be better intrapreneurs. But not every organisation likes that possibility, often I think for fear of the side hustle becoming a focus of their attentions or fear of them leaving to focus on the business. If we are really honest, if the scales were to tip, they would leave anyway so why not encourage them to bring those skills to work and add value.

Having a ‘side hustle’ gives people the chance to do something they enjoy (often unrelated to their day job) and to have another stream of income. But in what ways does having a side hustle improve your career skills?

Here are 5 ways a side hustle can help improve your career skills:

1.     Time management

Having a side hustle will mean you need to improve on how you manage your time. As well as tackling your main job, adding a side hustle on top will require you to plan ahead, meet deadlines and utilise your time better. A schedule will be something you stick by as you will have goals set in place that you want to achieve in a certain time frame.

As you pursue your side hustle, you will begin to realise that you don’t have the time to waste and that it is important trying to be as productive as possible. This does not mean that you overwork yourself to the point that you achieve burnout by the way. It is about finding a schedule that works around you and utilising the hours you have after you finish your day job, giving yourself days to relax and do nothing so you can recollect your thoughts.

As the saying goes, you have your 9-5 and your 5-9.

2.     Leadership

Having a side hustle means you are your own boss, so you are required to quickly learn how to manage everything at the same time. You will find yourself questioning certain aspects of your side hustle, which could be anything including deciding which vendors are the best? How do I set up my own website? These questions you will have to research by yourself on the internet, talk to friends, find a mentor or even reach out to your established network you have.

Taking challenges by yourself will strengthen your multi-tasking and leadership skills, which will directly reflect in your side hustle and your career. By being your own boss, you are also responsible for critiquing your performance, seeing your strengths, weaknesses and goals for the foreseeable future. This ability to analyse your skill set will also support the work you do in your career.

3.     Creativity

Pursuing your side hustle means that you are doing something you are extremely passionate about which enables you to be as creative as possible! Working your day job may make you feel like you are creatively constrained, however when you work on your side hustle you are free to be as creative as you’ve always wanted to be.

By enjoying your side hustle so much and being creative, this could lead to you becoming creative in your day to day job too. You might find yourself enjoying your main job more, seeking ways to be creative leading to an overall enjoyable working experience.

4.     Communication

Having your own side hustle will mean that you need to know how to communicate with your target audience well to sell your product or service successfully. Communication skills can be improved in many ways as a result of having a side hustle including:

–         Listening carefully to customers and their feedback, whilst actively taking on their feedback and improving.

–         Communicating with customers, interacting with them on social media to build a rapport, answering queries via email and other forms of written communication.

–         Expressing your ideas well.

–         Maintaining your personal brand consistency across all platform mediums.

These are only a few ways you can improve your communication skills whilst having a side hustle. These skills can then be directly replicated in your day job and you will find your communication skills improving. This will be from the way you interact with co-workers, to your presentation skills in front of a large group of people.

5.     Adaptability

You will find yourself adapting to different situations when you are pursuing your side hustle. During your day job as you may have expertise in one specific role, you may find that you are not required to adapt as much. Whereas, pursuing your own side hustle will require for you to adapt in all aspects of handling a business. Some may make you feel uncomfortable, require more research than others or you may enjoy the whole process!

This could have a great impact on your career as you will be comfortable with the idea of adapting when required too. This may lead to you pursuing a different day job, putting yourself forward in your current role or being open to new opportunities that you may have been too scared to pursue beforehand.

So, having a side hustle can really help improve career skills and you may not even notice it. Having a side hustle requires a lot of time, patience, creativity, persistence and being able to adapt to the aspect of handling a growing business. These are essential skills that are required in your career and may lead to new opportunities or overall enjoyment at your work.

That side hustle idea you had? You might want to think about giving it a shot, you never know how it may change you as a person and where it may lead you. But always check your contract first, avoid side hustles that will be at conflict with your career and where necessary have a friendly chat with your boss.

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