Balancing Full-Time Employment with a Side Hustle

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Lately, the concept of a side hustle has become increasingly popular among young professionals and recent graduates. A side hustle is a part-time job or business that one undertakes outside of their primary employment. Individuals start a side hustle for various reasons – some do it to earn additional income, others to pursue a passion project, and still, others view it as a way to diversify their skill set.

Unlike traditional roles that often require a meticulously crafted resume and cover letter, a side hustle shifts the focus. Here, you're in the driver's seat, orchestrating your brand and business dynamics, and directly steering your income potential. The sweat equity you pour into your venture is often reflected in the form of an augmented revenue stream.

What's driving the side-hustle trend?

There are various reasons for starting a side hustle, but the most significant factor driving this trend is the high cost of living and the need for additional income. In most industries, wages have not kept up with the rising cost of living, which has forced many people to work multiple jobs to make ends meet.

Additionally, the rise of online platforms, such as Etsy, eBay, and Amazon, has made it easier for anyone to start a business and sell products online, which has further fueled the side-hustle trend.

How much can you earn?

The earning potential from a side hustle varies greatly depending on several factors.

  • Type of Side Hustle: Some side hustles, such as babysitting or lawn mowing, might have a more predictable and often limited income range. In contrast, others, such as freelance digital marketing, freelance writer, or software development, might have a wider range and higher earning potential.
  • Skills and Expertise: If you're offering a service that requires specialized skills or knowledge, you can generally charge more.
  • Time Investment: The more time you can devote to your side hustle, the more you can potentially earn. However, it's also crucial to consider the return on time invested. Some side hustles might yield a higher return for less time.
  • Market Demand: Side hustles catering to a high-demand market or niche can earn more. It's essential to research and find gaps in the market or areas where your specific skills are in high demand.
  • Pricing Strategy: How you price your services or products can also influence your earnings. Factors such as competition, perceived value, and target audience all influence the optimal pricing strategy.
  • Geographic Location: Local market rates can influence physical side hustles, such as tutoring or personal training. An area with a higher cost of living might have higher rates for services.
  • Overhead Costs: Some side hustles might have associated costs, such as buying equipment or software, advertising, or even hiring other people. It's important to subtract these costs from gross earnings to obtain a clear picture of net profit.

To give a ballpark figure:

  • low-investment, low-skill side hustles (e.g., dog walking, online surveys) might bring in an extra $50 to $200 a month;
  • medium-investment or skill-specific side hustles (e.g., freelance writing, graphic design, selling crafts) can range anywhere from $200 to $2,000+ a month, depending on the volume of work and pricing; and
  • high-investment or high-skill side hustles (e.g., mobile app development, e-commerce store, real estate investment) have a vast range, with some individuals making $1,000 to $10,000+ a month. However, these often require a substantial upfront investment of time, money, or both.

It's important to note that while these are potential earnings, there's no guaranteed income in most side hustles. Factors such as market changes, competition, and personal circumstances can all influence earnings. However, with dedication, research, and a bit of entrepreneurship, many people find side hustles to be a rewarding way to supplement their income or even transition into a full-time endeavor.

Balancing a full-time job with a side hustle

Managing both a full-time job and a side hustle requires organization, discipline, and prioritization. It's essential to set clear goals for your side business and to plan out your time accordingly. Use your evenings and weekends to work on your side hustle, and make sure to set boundaries and avoid burning out. It's also essential to communicate with your employer and ensure that your side business does not interfere with your primary job responsibilities.

Benefits of having a side hustle

Having a side hustle can be beneficial in many ways. It provides an additional source of income, allows you to pursue your passions, and can help you diversify your skill set and improve soft skills. For example, if you work in marketing but have a side business creating and selling products, you're gaining valuable experience in product development, inventory management, and customer service that can enhance your skill set and make you more marketable in the future.


While having a side hustle can be rewarding, it's essential to avoid common pitfalls such as burnout.

Burnout is the state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that prolonged and excessive stress causes. It occurs when the demands of your side business, in addition to your primary job, become overwhelming and lead to a feeling of being drained and depleted.

To prevent burnout, it's crucial to choose a side hustle that aligns with your interests and passions. By selecting something you genuinely love doing, the extra work involved can be more enjoyable and fulfilling. This way, you can maintain a healthy balance between your primary job and side business, ensuring that both contribute positively to your overall well-being and success.

Tips for success

Successfully managing both a full-time job and a side business requires dedication and smart strategies. The following are some tips to help you navigate this dual role effectively.

  1. Stay Organized:
    • Finances: Keep your side business expenses separate from your personal ones to maintain clear financial records.
    • Communication: Designate a distinct email account for your side business, ensuring it remains separate from your work and personal emails.
    • Safe Browsing: Use a dedicated browser like Opera for your side business activities. Its built-in virtual private network (VPN) and ad blocker provide added security, ensuring your side business browsing remains distinct from your personal sessions. This not only helps in organizing bookmarks and tools specific to your business but also adds a layer of privacy.
  2. Optimize Your Time Management:
    • Planning: Adopt tools such as Wrike or similar time-management software to help you prioritize tasks and enhance productivity.
  3. Set Clear Goals:
    • Start with achievable targets that offer satisfaction, such as generating an additional $500 each month or publishing a weekly blog post.
  4. Monitor Your Progress:
    • Web Metrics: Use platforms such as Google Search Console to monitor website traffic and engagement.
    • Financial Tracking: Leverage tools such as QuickBooks to monitor your side business's revenue and expenditures.
  5. Prioritize Rest and Relaxation:
    • Understand that significant accomplishments, much like the building of Rome, take time. Set milestones, monitor your growth, and permit yourself to take guilt-free breaks. Your journey toward success is a marathon, not a sprint, so find a sustainable pace.
  6. Maintain a Healthy Work–Life Balance:
    • Remember the importance of leisure and cherish those moments with loved ones. Dive into your hobbies and find relaxation. Your side hustle should offer freedom and joy, not become an added burden. Embrace the journey while ensuring you're enjoying the ride.

Embrace the Side-Hustle

The side-hustle trend is here to stay, and for good reason. It provides a way to pursue passions, earn additional income, and diversify your skill set. However, managing both a full-time job and a side business requires discipline, organization, and prioritization. Set clear goals, communicate with your employer, and avoid common pitfalls such as burning out or neglecting your primary job responsibilities. With the right approach, it's possible to balance both and to enjoy the many benefits of having a side hustle.

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