Advance Your Career with a Side Hustle

May 2, 2017
Kaplan Test Prep

Here’s 3 questions to help you find the right side hustle gig.

Hustling isn’t just about money—it can advance your career.

The work world has been upended, and we can expect to work for multiple employers over the course of our careers—not just one. Increasingly, employees are developing side hustles as alternative ways to improve their skills, increase their personal visibility, and bring in more money.

As employees flex their side-hustle muscles, progressive employers are starting to see vibrant side projects not as a threat, but as an attribute: They show that an employee has ambition, an entrepreneurial attitude, and personal interests that can feed creative thinking at work.

Here are a few tips on how to start your side hustle:

1. What are you into?

When it comes to vinyl B-sides, no one knows more than you do. Why not start an Etsy store to sell your favorites? Or you have an eye for midcentury furniture—why not find some at thrift stores or garage sales and flip them on eBay? Online marketplaces are made for side hustles. Showcase your obsession with vintage lunchboxes on Instagram, then turn around and sell them at a profit.

2. What complementary skills can you build?

Get deliberate about using your side hustle to armor-plate your corporate future. Need more social media credibility? Build a following on Twitter that can bolster you at work. Need to understand business plans? As you’re working on your MBA, run a side business plowing snow from people’s yards on weekends. One benefit of a side hustle is that you’re doing everything—production, marketing, managing cash flow—which means you get true 360-degree experience.

3. What are you in a unique position to offer?

Maybe your friends always enlist your shopping help when they have a big event coming up. Or maybe you’re the one who is called on to rewrite your friends’ resumes. These could be fruitful avenues for a side hustle: Could you offer your resume writing services to your network for a fee? Could you pick up personal shopper clients on weekends? Who knows—maybe your second career will become your first.

Start thinking of a side hustle as a fun way to add ballast to your career, and try something. If it doesn’t work out, you haven’t risked anything. If it does, then you’ve opened up whole new possibilities. Go ahead, get out there!

Want to advance your career with an MBA? Sign up for a free online GMAT practice test to prep for business school admissions.

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