Side hustles are the new wave among millennials, and for good reason. Our generation is known for being multi-talented and totally unsatisfied with the thought of having just one career path. Job security is becoming less and less of a guarantee as well, and it’s now almost necessary to start pulling income from multiple places.
A side hustle is a way to make some extra cash that allows you flexibility to pursue what you’re most interested in. It can also be your true passion– a chance to delve into fashion, travel, or whatever it is you care about the most without quitting your day job.
I think of a side hustle as a project, hobby, or small business that you have outside of your regular responsibilities. Your side hustle uses your talents and passions to make some sort of profit.
This wave is not just for 20-something millennials who work 9-5 jobs, though. Having a side hustle while you’re still in college can be a huge advantage, especially when applying for internships.
A successful side hustle will set you apart from the crowd
Taking the initiative to start a big project by yourself will always catch a hiring manager’s eye. Most people don’t have the courage to try to carry out their visions at a young age. Doing so will make you stand out in a crowd of applicants.
Committing to and being passionate about a side hustle shows that you approach life with ambition, enthusiasm, and innovation. These are traits that any employer would love to see put into practice at their companies. All those “buzz words” you fill your resume with will actually hold power when you have a well-developed side hustle to illustrate them.
You’ll also gain resume-worthy skills and experience
It’s a struggle applying to really good internships, especially as a Freshman or Sophomore. You probably lack the experience and skill sets that highly selective employers are looking for. You might begin to feel your resume is a little bare when all you have to draw from are accomplishments from high school or clubs that you joined only a few months ago.
With a side hustle, you can gain the skills and experience that employers are looking for on your own. I consider blogging to be my side hustle, and most of the skills and experience I refer to on my resume have come directly from my work on Macarons in the Morning.
Organization, time-management, research, data analysis, and communication skills are almost inherent to any hustle. You will also gain experience specific to your work. For example, if you become a freelance graphic designer, Illustrator and Photoshop will be mastered skills after a few gigs. You’ll also learn how to build your brand and its credibility, attract new clients, and be a versatile thinker.
Don’t feel like a side hustle you do out of passion cannot be useful to your academic pursuits because they aren’t closely related. The skills you will acquire can be applied to many internships that you apply for.
Explore your passions while still pursuing a marketable major
There is a lot of pressure on college students to have majors that will get them good paying jobs once they graduate in order to pay off loans and still live comfortably. Finding majors that will provide this opportunity often comes at the expense of exploring our more creative sides.
Having side hustles and hobbies allow you to develop your other talents at a pretty low risk. You can still ensure you’ll have financial security while giving yourself a creative outlet. You can thrive and survive this way!
Make money on your own terms
Some side hustles can eventually grow to take the place of an on campus job and can become a pretty reliable source of income. If you prefer to have the freedom of being your own boss and deciding how you want to make money, a side hustle is the way to go.
Of course, side hustles require a lot more hours and some time before they really start being lucrative. Make sure you’re also passionate about your side hustle. It’s easy to want to ditch it if you’re just doing it for the money.