Money can be particularly tight at this time of year, but one trend helping to combat this is taking on a sideline job – or “side hustle”.
These are jobs undertaken in addition to studying or having a full-time job, to provide additional income, although some people take them on to help grow towards a particular goal or simply for enjoyment.
More than two-fifths of students and recent graduates have a second job, according to a survey from graduate jobs board Milkround.com.
Here’s a closer look at side hustles, their benefits and drawbacks…
What types of jobs are people taking on as a sideline?
Work in hospitality and events was found to be the most popular side hustle, perhaps because of the flexible working hours, followed by work in the retail sector. Others have sideline jobs in education, creative arts and design, sales, media and banking and finance.
Some have unusual or creative roles – such as an “escape room” host or working in a tattoo parlour.
So what financial benefits can having a side hustle bring?
For many, it’s about plugging gaps in their day-to-day living costs. In Milkround’s survey, more than four in 10 (43%) of those with a side hustle said they wouldn’t be able to afford their rent without taking on the extra work.
The average side-hustler earns an extra £3,393 a year, the research among nearly 5,000 people found.
What other benefits are there?
Their benefits can be more long-term. Many people enjoy the creativity they get from their second job, and say it widens their social circle. Two-fifths of people see their side hustles as a creative outlet, improving their quality of life. Meanwhile, two-thirds meet new people and friends through their additional work.
A side hustle can also be a stepping stone to a career goal in the future. Further down the line, an interesting additional job may help budding entrepreneurs stand out from the crowd to potential employers. Of people surveyed, 43% agreed their side hustle had helped them develop entrepreneurial skills.
Milkround says side hustles can help people enhance “softer” skills, such as communication.
Nearly a third have a side hustle to gain experience in the industry they want to work in.
How about the downsides?
Be prepared to give up much of your spare time. You may need to sacrifice a big chunk of your social life and juggle commitments with your main job or education. Nearly a third (30%) of people with a side hustle sacrificed eight to 10 hours a week or more on it, Milkround found.
What should people consider before taking on a side hustle?
A side hustle can be a commitment, so it may help to take on something you are passionate about or could help you along your desired career path.
Georgina Brazier, graduate jobs expert at Milkround, says: “It’s important that young people look at roles they are passionate about, whether that’s cooking, crafts or being outdoors. A second job is a huge burden on people’s time and it’s essential that young people don’t burn out before they’ve even started their career.”
She suggests looking at roles that appeal to lifestyle, goals and ambitions.
Anything else to keep in mind?
Check your contract with your main employer to make sure there are no conflicts with your new sideline project. There may also be tax implications to consider.