If you’re on the hunt for a grad job… well, it’s application season! And given that (i) before this, it was “(summer) intern season” and (ii) I’ve been working for three years as per my LinkedIn profile (bleurgh); I’ve been spending a bit of time recently chatting to, networking with, and answering the questions of (mostly) uni students who want to know what tips I have to break into banking. A question I get often, particularly from those sweating over the reality of longer hours in the working world, is “so… what do you do outside of work?” …Enter some spiel around having a blog and being really into health & fitness and entrepreneurship.
I’ve always done “something else” outside of my main focus – be it school, university, or work. I’ve been “side hustling” before the “side hustle” became such a widely spread terminology. This is partly because, well, there’s always just been so much I want to do. I mean right now I also want to (i) learn how to swim; (ii) learn a language and (iii) start dance classes, around all the other stuff I’m already trying to juggle at the moment (unlikely that I’ll be able to do all, to be honest…). Also, I’ve always just liked having “stuff” to do. Whilst I also really like sleeping, chilling and spending hours watching YouTube videos about random things, when I’m not lazing around, I like to be productive with my time.
I always encourage people fresh and new to the work world to develop their own side hustle. Or even just their own hobby (if your “hobby” can turn into a “hustle”, then that’s just an added plus). It’s always good to have total control over something you can call your own (e.g. this blog), and honestly given the 9-5 (using these hours loosely) life consumes so much of our times, I find having something else to do with my time to be some sort of relief from the office, something that keeps me going and something that lets me live out some things I am truly passionate about and really enjoy. Of course – it’s by force… but definitely recommended. Plus, you never know when something you’re doing for fun and due to passion will accidentally become something hugely successful – we’ve all seen it happen many times before!
So, what’s stopping you? I hear from people all the time that want to start up something on the side – be it as simple as an Instagram page to a fully fledged business, but often times this comes with excuses. Perhaps there’s not enough time, or said person needs to take out more time to develop their expertise, or maybe they’re simple just worried about perception.
I’ve been there before, too… haven’t we all? This year I started up my own fitness page on Instagram, I started it because I wanted to a platform to share this new passion and mine and also for the simple fact that I felt like it. But I was apprehensive about starting it for some time mainly because I had a very much “who do you think you are?” feeling towards myself around it all. Eventually, I realised I couldn’t let excuses hold me back, so I went for it, and a few months down the line, the page is going very well and I’m happy I took the plunge.
Finding time is always something I think you can find if you really want to. Of course – you can’t do everything. I’d love to have a thriving career, a blog, some social media accounts, learn to swim, learn a language or two, take weekly dance classes and maintain a good social life whilst keeping up going to the gym 5x a week… let’s chuck in writing my own book too. But there’s only 24 hours in a day, and for many of those hours we should be asleep. So – it’s just about prioritising. I write only one blog a week (well, heh, I try to…) because that’s all I have the time for. I go to the gym in the mornings so that I don’t have to stress about going after work. I try to be productive on my weekends but make time for friends, family (and a good turn up ;)), and just general relaxation after what has probably been a very long week. I try to do just one thing every evening that is what I personally want to do – that may be related to a number of any other side hustles (this evening’s one job – dusting off a blog post I wrote on Sunday and posting it!), I’ve gotten quick at filming and editing fitness videos for my fitness page, I make to-do lists, I get help when and where I can. I fit everything, and as much as I can of anything, into different slots. But I proritise what I really want to do the most. I’m not so sure if I’ll ever learn that language, but at some point I will take some dance classes and also one of these days, I’ll learn how to swim.
What’s in it for you? Well, a side hustle can be one of multiple streams of income. Also, the way the internet is set up these days, there are very minimal barriers of entry to pursuing some of your passions. It’s a way to put all of yourself and your creativity into something you can take ownership of.
If you have an idea in your head right now – I encourage you to just go for it. Enough excuses, more execution! Side hustles are what most young adults are doing to stay inspired these days.