3 Lesser-Known Perks of Getting a Side Hustle

A woman driving a car with multiple passengers.

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You may be surprised at just how much your second job benefits you.

Side hustles have become quite popular, and for good reason. Thanks to the booming gig economy, there's a lot of opportunity to pick up a second job that's both flexible and lucrative.

Of course, the main benefit of working a side hustle is getting to boost your income -- sometimes substantially. That could, in turn, help you build up savings, pay off debt, or sock money away for whatever goal you have in mind.

While the financial benefits of a side hustle may be pretty obvious, the truth is that getting a second job could work to your advantage from more than just a financial standpoint. Here are a few lesser-known side hustle benefits you might really come to appreciate.

1. The opportunity to develop skills

Job skills come in two categories -- those that are specific to your role, and soft skills, which apply to any role. Soft skills include things like time management, communication, and attention to detail. And in today's workforce, they can be just as important as job-specific skills.

When you take on a side hustle, you get an opportunity to develop those soft skills. After all, the mere act of juggling your main job and a second one should help make you a time management pro. From there, you could set yourself up to boost your performance at your main job -- and possibly get a raise or promotion as a result.

2. The ability to meet people

Whether you're looking to expand your social circle because you're new in town or you're looking to grow your professional network, getting a side hustle could open the door to meeting new people. You never know if the client you sign up to walk dogs for has a job opening at their marketing firm that you'd love to apply for. Or, you might work some retail shifts on the weekends and find a fellow cashier who's totally on your wavelength.

3. The chance to learn more about what you want to do career-wise

Sometimes, career paths are dictated by chance, not passion. If your first job happens to be a bookkeeping role, and you take it because you need the paycheck, you might, five years later, still be working a similar job. But that doesn't mean it's the job you really want.

Of course, some people struggle with the fact they don't really know what they want to do career-wise. A side hustle could help you narrow down your choices. By trying out different gigs, you might get a better sense of what motivates you professionally and the sort of role you'll be happier in.

Say you decide to drive for a ride-hailing service and you find that you enjoy meeting the different people you shuttle around. That might lead you to pursue a customer service role.

Whether your goal in getting a side hustle is to pay off a credit card balance, pad your savings account, or scrounge up enough cash to buy a home, don't discount the non-monetary benefits of working a second gig. You may reap a lot of rewards that better you both socially and professionally.

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