Interested in picking up an extra job to help offset the cost of the holidays? Author, speaker and columnist Vicki Salemi spoke with Studio 512 about how to manage a side hustle. Here are her tips:
- “The key before exploring it is to first determine how many hours you can devote to it on a weekly basis.
- What does your ideal side hustle look like: working from home, working in an office or store or other? What amount are you looking to earn and what are you looking to get out of it? (For instance, maybe you’re applying to corporate roles at a hotel and not getting any interviews, but one excellent strategy could be to work a part-time role for the hotel to work your way in.)
- Try not to over-commit, so don’t over-schedule yourself. It’s really important to prevent burn out. The same way you’d schedule hours on your calendar for the gig, schedule time for your personal life, social life, and physical/mental health whether it’s a tennis lesson, pilates class, acupuncture…if you need to drop certain things, prioritize what’s most important and make some shifts. Like maybe weekly brunch with friends moves to every other week.
- Stay focused and create strict boundaries for yourself and out of respect for your employers. When you’re working your full-time job, be devoted to it 100 percent. When you’re working your side gig, be devoted to that 100 percent. Do your best to not do one during time intended for the other. Meaning, when you’re on your employer’s time and dime, do not try to sneak in work for your side hustle (like if you’re a freelance graphic designer, don’t do it when you should be analyzing spreadsheets for your boss for the day job.)
- One of the employers may be you! Maybe you’re pursuing self-employment to test the waters to see if you will someday become an entrepreneur full-time, like a dog walking business or starting an online shop.
- Review your company’s HR manual before you pursue a side hustle. This is important — some companies have rules around pursuing outside ventures. For instance, if you work for an accounting firm, they may have a policy stating you can’t have your own accounting clients on the side, but it may be okay to work on something completely unrelated, like a local florist shop.
- Be cognizant about not broadcasting your side gig factoring in politics and the grapevine at work. Your boss may make assumptions and think, ‘Hmmm, I don’t need to promote you because you’re going to leave soon…’
- Also, be aware of what you post on social media. For instance, if you’re exhausted one day at work (even on Zoom, those screens don’t lie), and it’s visible your energy is low, people may make assumptions it’s because you’re burning the midnight oil taking online classes so you can become a personal trainer. Do your best to keep it under wraps (unless it’s a business that you’re looking to promote and spread the word outside of work and now the lines are so blurry — but overall, even though it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, the overall idea is to not necessarily broadcast it to your full-time employer). If you do post on social, consider privacy settings.
- Revisit as necessary. Check in with yourself once you start the side hustle, whether through another employer or self-employed gigs, to see how it’s going after a few weeks. How’s the time management (you may actually discover that you’re more organized and productive with your time because you have less personal time to squander)? How’s your energy level, your physical and mental health? Are you enjoying it? How’s the income if that’s one of the main goals to bolster your bank account? If you’re eligible for perks, are you tapping into them? Continue to make it a habit of checking in with yourself so you can make tweaks during the journey.
- Identify skills you continue to hone. If you’re self-employed, maybe it’s marketing that dog walking business or building a roster of corporate ghostwriting clients. Or working at a spa or gym on weekends, maybe there are customer service skills you can continue to develop. Think about how you can ramp up your resume with these skills you’re developing and polishing.
- Enjoy it! This could be super fun and exciting and a nice diversion from your day gig. And the skills you pick up during the side hustle may be something you wouldn’t have gained during the day job that you can now apply back to the 9-to-5 role.”
Vicki Salemi is a nationally recognized career expert for Monster. She’s an author, career coach, speaker, columnist, spokesperson and consultant. Vicki gives insight from her 15 years of experience in corporate recruiting and human resources, and she is passionate about empowering people in their careers. Learn more about the resources and tips Vicki offers at VickiSalemi.com.