It seems like everyone these days has a “side hustle”—that is, an extra source of income outside of a full-time, 9-5 job. The communications industry was MADE for the art of the side hustle, because most jobs can be done with a laptop and a wi-fi connection. (Exhibit A: I wrote this blog post on a train.) If you’re thinking of taking on a side hustle for some extra cash, or to just pursue your passion in your free time, read on!
Find Your Hustle
Think about the type of work you’re interested in, and whether you’ll be working for yourself or for someone else. If you want to work for a third-party, look to your professional network to see if anyone’s hiring. Former professors, mentors from internships, and friends in the field are great sources for finding a gig. Most people will be happy to be of service.
Searching “freelance” on LinkedIn returns opportunities you can filter by city. Mediabistro.com, a personal favorite for communications work, is another good starting point. Finally, Craigslist (yup, I said Craigslist) can be a hit-or-miss goldmine of freelance work. There’s a section called “writing/editing” that may just be the connection to the part-time passion project you never knew you needed.
Respect Your Day Job
Between 9-5, do what you were hired to do. Between 5-9, follow your passion. (Has anyone coined that phrase yet? If not, you saw it on The Corporate Communique first, folks!) When your day job is your main source of income, you owe it to your employer to carry out your job duties with diligence. This means no side hustle emails, calls, social media posts, or planning during your regular working hours.
Additionally, make sure your job allows you to pursue other endeavors outside of work without repercussion. Creating content by night for your day job’s main competition can quickly leave you unemployed. But hey, then you would have more time for your side hustle! Kidding. Sort of.
Schedule Free Time
Getting caught up in work is easy, but remember to pencil in free time into your busy schedule. Whether it’s committing to a CrossFit class or scheduling a weekly
dinner Wine Wednesday date with a friend, a break from work rejuvenates your brain and gets those creative juices flowing. Harvard Business Review even encourages multiple 15-minute breaks throughout the day, since us human beings have a limited capacity for concentrating over extended time periods. All work, all the time is a one-way ticket to burning out.
Keep Your Head Up
It’s not easy juggling a full-time job with a side hustle. Your days are long, and oftentimes the payout from your side hustle isn’t immediate. Caring deeply about your after-work endeavors is they key to success. When you’re creating something you love, the payoff will follow. Stay consistent, keep communciating, and promote yourself like the world is watching. Now get out there and hustle!