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  • Writer's pictureDominique Gutierrez

Why Having Side Hustles Isn't Always the Right Move (And What You Should Do Instead)

In today's gig economy, it seems like everyone has a side hustle. According to a recent survey conducted by Bankrate, nearly 4 in 10 Americans (37%) reported having a side hustle.

Whether driving for Uber, selling handmade crafts on Etsy, or freelancing on the side, having multiple income streams has become the norm.

However, having a side hustle is not always the best move for your career. While it can be a great way to earn extra money and explore your passions, it's also important to consider the potential downsides. Here are some reasons why having a side hustle may not always be right, and what you should do instead.

1. It can be a distraction from your main career goals.

When you're juggling multiple jobs and projects, it can be easy to lose sight of your main career goals. Your side hustle may be taking up too much time and energy, leaving you little room to focus on your long-term career aspirations. Instead of spreading yourself too thin, consider prioritizing your main career goals and dedicating your time and resources to achieving them.

To achieve your long-term career aspirations, you must first identify what they are. It's essential to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve in your career and how your main career goals align with your values, skills, and interests. Once you have identified your career goals, you can then create a plan to achieve them. This plan should include specific steps that you will take to advance in your career, such as developing new skills, building relationships with industry professionals, or taking on new projects that will help you reach your goals.

2. It can lead to burnout and exhaustion.

Working multiple jobs can be exhausting, both physically and mentally. It can leave you with little time for self-care and relaxation, and can ultimately lead to burnout. According to a study by the American Psychological Association, burnout is a growing problem in the American workforce, with 60% of workers reporting feeling burnt out at their job. Instead of pushing yourself too hard, consider finding ways to streamline your workload and prioritize your self-care. This might mean cutting back on your side hustle or finding ways to delegate tasks to others.

Taking care of yourself is essential to maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Make sure to schedule time for activities that you enjoy, such as exercise, hobbies, or spending time with loved ones. You may also want to consider mindfulness practices such as meditation or journaling, which can help you manage stress and stay focused on your goals.

3. It can be financially unstable.

While having multiple streams of income may seem like a good way to stay financially secure, it can also be unpredictable and unstable. Your side hustle may not always bring in consistent income, leaving you struggling to pay the bills. According to a survey by Bankrate, 69% of side hustlers reported earning less than $500 per month from their side gig. Instead of relying on your side hustle for financial stability, consider finding ways to increase your income within your main career or exploring other career opportunities.

There are several ways to increase your income within your main career, such as negotiating a raise, taking on additional responsibilities, or seeking out higher-paying positions. You may also want to consider exploring new career opportunities that align with your skills and interests. This may involve taking on a new role within your current company, pursuing a new career path altogether, or starting your own business.

So what should you do instead of having a side hustle? Here are some evidence-based alternatives:

1. Focus on developing your skills and expertise.

Instead of spreading yourself too thin with multiple jobs, consider dedicating your time and resources to developing your skills and expertise within your main career. This might mean taking classes, attending conferences, or working on projects that will help you build your resume and advance your career.

Investing time and resources into developing your skills and expertise can help you become a more competitive job candidate and increase your earning potential. It can also help you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in your field, which can be essential to remaining relevant in today's job market.

2. Network and build relationships within your industry.

Networking and building relationships with others in your industry can greatly advance your career and open up new opportunities. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with others on LinkedIn to build your network and learn from others in your field.

Building a strong professional network can help you learn about new job opportunities, get advice from industry experts, and stay up-to-date with your field's latest trends and technologies. It can also help you build relationships with potential clients or customers, which can be essential to starting your own business.

3. Get career help from the experts.

If you're feeling stuck in your career or struggling to find the right path, consider getting help from career experts like DNG Career Services. Our team of career coaches and experts can help you identify your strengths, explore career options, and develop a plan to achieve your goals. Whether you're just starting out in your career or looking to make a change, we're here to help.

Getting career help from experts can be a great way to get personalized guidance and support as you navigate your career path. Whether you need help crafting a winning resume, preparing for a job interview, or identifying new career opportunities, DNG Career Services can help you achieve your goals and reach your full potential.

Having a side hustle can be a great way to explore your passions and earn extra money, but it's not always the best move for your career. By considering the potential downsides and exploring other options, you can find a career path that's fulfilling, challenging, and financially stable.

If you need help identifying your career goals or exploring new career opportunities, contact DNG Career Services today. We're here to help you achieve your dreams and reach your full potential.

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