How to Grow Your Side Gig Without Getting Fired

Published on: Feb 10, 2021fb-roundtwitter-roundemail-round
grow your side gigMarcie Mintrose

The Story 

Because your side hustle should add to your income, not get in the way of it. 

You read my mind.

Yours and close to half of all US workers’. That’s how many Americans had side gigs last year, according to one study. Among them, three in 10 need the added income to cover basic living costs. Especially since the pandemic started. For other side hustlers, it’s a passion – that could even become a main gig one day. 

How can you do both?

It's a balancing act. But here are some tips to get you started.

  • Check your employee handbook. Your company might not allow side gigs if it’s related to or competes against your day job. If you’re not sure of the rules, set up a time to chat with your boss to find out and discuss your plans. And assure them you won’t mix business with side business.

  • Set your schedule and stick to it. Balancing two jobs (and the rest of your life) requires efficient time management. Plan to dedicate a certain number of hours each week to your side gig. And make sure they’re outside of your regular working hours when you should be focusing on your main gig. 

  • Check in with yourself often. You need to make sure you’re hitting your goals for both jobs and keeping yourself accountable. You can schedule times – maybe monthly, quarterly or yearly – to examine your overall situation. Is your side gig still working out? Is your day job? Or is it time to drop the juggle and focus on one?

  • Avoid burnout. Make sure you pencil in time for yourself. Because one job can be stressful enough. You don’t want taking on double the work to double your blood pressure, too.

theSkimm

Side hustles can be a good way to test-drive a passion project and/or give your budget some breathing room. But when you’re ready to grow your gig, be sure it doesn’t creep into your 9-to-5 and hurt your career.

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Skimm'd by: Ivana Pino, Stacy Rapacon, and Elyse Steinhaus