Should You Develop a Side Hustle?

Career Blog

Love making money with your side gig, One hundred dollar bill in the shape of a heart with chalkboard text Side Gig

Having a side hustle, a way to make income outside your normal nine to five (ahem, seven to six) job is all the rage these days. This is due in part to advocates like Chris Guillebeau, author of Side Hustle. It’s sound advice.

While you’d expect the career coach side of me to agree with the practice, you might be surprised to find that the CHRO side concurs. When employees have healthy outside interests (as long as they don’t interfere or compete with company obligations) it can actually enhance creativity, engagement, and problem solving on the job.

I’ve always believed that tying your cash flow to a single job is like linking your entire retirement savings to a single stock. Diversification matters. Although I’ve had a traditional corporate career path, I’ve always had a side job or…and more preferably, a side business that allowed me to earn more, save more, and contribute to the community.

For years I taught karate. Because it was “financial gravy” to me, I could open my doors to kids who would have otherwise missed out on the opportunity. Later as a freelance writer and novelist ( I was able to donate profits from a women’s self-defense book to a great cause.

These days I continue the model with Plotline Leadership, my coaching and leadership development practice that specializes in career management and transitions. My off hours (nights and weekends) is perfect for busy professionals and again, because it’s a sideline, the model allows me to provide affordable high quality career coaching for those who need it.

The whole karma-oriented, “give a little, get a little model” makes me feel good about the work I do and helps me be even more productive and innovative in my day-to-day role because I get to see things from different perspectives.

Sometimes the development, flexibility, or advancement you seek isn’t available in your day job. This doesn’t mean you need to quit. In some cases a side hustle can fill the gap, while it lines your pockets. Succeed and you’ll likely find more happiness and security despite the busier schedule.

Need a career coach? Contact me via

Be sure to check out my latest book The Introvert’s Guide to Job Hunting and follow me on Twitter at @timtoterhi

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