Why millennials should work side hustles

Feb 25 2017, 6:45 am

Take a quick look through job postings, and you’ll notice the ridiculous number of years of experience job seekers need in order to be qualified for almost every good position.

Five years to be a digital marketer, three years for graphic designer, two years to be a McDonald’s manager?!

But how are you supposed to get experience if you don’t have any experience?

As a result, young job seekers are left spending countless hours applying for jobs they won’t even be considered for.

Basically, millennials are finishing university bright eyed and excited to quit their mall jobs to embark on their career of choice. But after they beef up their resume, create an epic cover letter, and then tailor everything to more than 30 job postings on the internet — they’re greeted with a wall of radio silence from prospective employers.

Why didn’t you get a single call back?

Frustrated man

Frustrated man/Shutterstock

Probably the same reason that so many university grads are stuck working dead-end jobs in the service industry. You think you have experience but it’s either not enough, or it’s not in the kind of environment that employers are looking for.

If you’re still burning a torch for your dream job, continuing to search is your best bet. But unfortunately, when you finally find something, it will probably end up being extremely part-time. After all, if it were a great full-time job you “wouldn’t be qualified” to work it anyways.

So how do millennials rise to the challenge? The answer is the art of side hustling, a work-life-work balance that could take you on a pretty crazy journey.

A journey of experience

Girl using computer/Shutterstock

Even if your side hustle is only five hours per week, you can still gain the valuable experience many jobs require you to have. Once you finally land yourself an interview for a full-time job in your field, your side hustle will give you the confidence and know-how you need to succeed.

Think of it as another degree, two years of side hustling can lead to a diploma in success. Tough it out for four years, and you might even land yourself that dream job you never thought was attainable.

You can sample your dream job to make sure it’s a good fit

cafe mtl

Katsiaryna Pakhomava/Shutterstock

There’s no shittier experience than working your butt off through school only to finish up and realize you hate your career of choice.

Countless university grads switch paths one or two years into their working life, victims of a system that doesn’t allow people to try their jobs out before committing upwards of $40,000 and years of their time in order to qualify for it.

Side hustles not only give you a sneak peek into what your future might look like, but they’re also easy to walk away from if you don’t enjoy the experience. Plus you’ll meet some pretty great industry connections who can tell you firsthand what they think of the job and what they’ve learned in their own journey.

Make connections

Image: Shutterstock

“Who you know” is just as important as “what you know” when it comes to finding a great job. The joy of a good side hustle is it allows you to expand your network in your chosen field. After all any one of your hustle connections could be the person who kickstarts your career, or gives you the heads up on a job that you wouldn’t have heard about on your own.

One thing that’s for sure is that connections don’t make themselves. Not everyone is lucky enough to know the right person at the right time. More often connections are earned by impressing people around you. Impressing your side hustle colleagues is the perfect way to expand your circle and your future opportunities.

Next time your side hustle job is hiring full-time, you’ll be first in line


Dream job/Shutterstock

When a full-time opportunity opens up at your side gig they may decide to post the new job internally. This could make the career you end up with may be an even easier transition that you thought.

If your boss really likes you, they may not even post a new opening and instead offer it directly to you. After all, you’re already trained and now have the exact experience required.

The obvious perk— extra money



Of course, until you get hired within your industry paycheques will probably be on the small side. With student loans, rent, cell phone bills and everything else you have to pay for it’s more than welcome to get a bit of extra cash flow in your wallet.

As an additional perk, most contract work as a graphic designer, freelancer, or whatever else you’re into means you can potentially take advantage of certain tax write-offs. New laptop? Well that was for work, same with your cell phone bill, furniture, and yeah obviously rent too. A little bit of research and a dash of expert accounting advice can help to make that side gig extra profitable.

Adulting is hard

To sum it up adulting is hard. It’s tough to keep up the motivation to work full-time, let alone with a little extra on the side.

But if the last few years have proven anything, it’s that side hustles are everywhere and millennials are already stepping up to the challenge. So maybe it’s time that you are too. 

Sam SchonewilleSam Schonewille

+ Vancouverites
+ Jobs