Want to Start a Side Gig? Here Are a Few Things to Consider

What is the “gig economy”?

If you’ve never heard the term, “gig work” or “gig economy”, it’s basically just a fancy term for contract or freelance work. It’s generating a lot of buzz these days because it’s estimated to comprise roughly 43 percent of the workforce by 2020. Whether you’re trying to save a little extra cash, fill your time, or break into a new industry, a side gig can be the perfect solution. But remember, it’s not always easy to add a second job to your plate. So before you start picking up shifts, consider the following:

Does it complement your full-time job? Will it help you learn new skills?

A side gig is a great way to gain exposure and insight in other areas. Do you want to sharpen your customer-service or people skills? Try a brand ambassador shift. Are you interested in event planning but not sure where to start? Try an event staff gig. The opportunities are endless when it comes to a side gig. Even if you don’t think the gig fits into your current skill-set, it will come in handy to a plethora of experience in future interviews. Side gigs also allow you to meet people who you otherwise would’ve never met. Every introduction can be an opportunity.

Is it something you will enjoy?

Now that you are ready to get into gig work, the next step is to actually find one that fits your needs. As you’re evaluating potential positions, it’s important to determine if and how it will fit into your current schedule. If you want to become a part-time event worker or brand ambassador on top of your 9-5, do the shifts have a set schedule? Are they on the weekends or weekdays? Will you be able to regularly attend and work events in your area that don’t conflict with your full-time job? You want to find a position that naturally fits into your schedule. Even if you’re taking on a side gig just to earn some extra cash, it’s a big commitment—you should enjoy whatever job you choose.

Can you manage your work-life balance?

It’s easier said than done. When you first start your gig, it can be easy to lose the groove of your normal extracurricular schedule. It’s important to figure out how to prioritize your life outside of your second job. Yes, your side gig is important—but the rest of your life is important, too. So before you dive into the world of shift work, do a little planning, a lot of reflection, and wait for that perfect fit. Create a realistic list of your most important activities and priorities and schedule them out by day or by week. You should also plan your side gig hours into your schedule. Keep your self on task and organized.

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