Get Your Hustle On
So, what is a side hustle exactly? Well, it is whatever you make it to be really. It is usually a project you work on on the side during your spare time away from work. Your side hustle doesn’t need to cure world hunger, it is a valuable experience no matter how small or simple, that is an opportunity to explore your personal passion. No matter what profession you are in, you can benefit by dedicating your extra time to side projects or hobbies.
About four and a half years ago, I purchased my very first DSLR camera. I had always been interested in photography but never felt the need to buy a nice camera. I decided to pursue this interest of mine and now, nearly five years later, it has blossomed into a side photography business for me and a second source of income. I take senior portraits, wedding photos, and the related when I’m not working or at school, and absolutely love what I do. Not only has photography become a creative outlet for me, but also I have learned to develop an eye for detail which is a very valuable skill to have as a graphic designer and art director. Without it, my eye for design would not be where it is today, I would not have met the people I have, and I definitely would not be where I am now in my career today. So, in summary, here are some reasons why everyone should get their side hustle goin’:
It is a way to figure out what you want to do
For me, I always wanted to be a veterinarian. I even was Pre-Vet for the majority of college until my side hustles in design and photography led me to change my major to Advertising at the end of my sophomore year. Seeing my photography change as I learned more skills and developed my own style helped me realize art and communications was what I was truly passionate about.
It helps you develop skills
Managing a side hustle on top of gaining work experience and school has truly helped me develop some valuable skills such as time management, multi-tasking, and communication. These skills really come in handy not only for being successful at work, but also when it comes to life.
You make connections
I have met so many awesome people through my photography passion. Whether they are clients of mine, employers, and even other people who share the same hobby, I met them not through forced networking events, but through sharing a common interest. I’ve learned quite a lot from these connections, and I have also helped them learn a thing or two as well.
If your job isn’t challenging you, you can challenge yourself
If your work isn’t challenging you on a day-to-day basis, it might start to feel boring and tedious. Just because your work life is like this, it doesn’t mean you can’t develop your skills and responsibilities still. You can always motivate yourself on the side with your passion projects and hobbies.
Work is NOT your life! You may, no definitely, spend most of your time at your workplace, but you are allowed to do things outside of your standard 9-6 weekdays. I’m always asked how I balance my photography business with school on top of my part-time internship, but it isn’t hard for me since I make sure I set aside my own time to focus on my side hustle. This doesn’t mean I work on my side projects every day, it really just depends on what is going on in my life — since I make sure I have one away from work.
Ambition can lead to great things
Like I said before, my side hustle has grown into not only a hobby I enjoy doing, but also a second source of revenue. Picking up a camera used to be intimidating and I had no clue what I was really doing when I first started. But with ambition and drive, I learned to feed my hunger for creativity and develop my skills. It has helped me stay motivated and to take initiative to accomplish everything I set out for.
Do what makes you happy
50 years from now, you’re going to want to reflect on life, all of your happy moments, and how you truly pursued your passions, not how you would work all day, make money, then go home and sleep. Sure, your work should make you happy, and if not then you should find a new job, but if you are not 100% satisfied at your day job, you can always work on stuff that you will truly love.