3 Signs It's Time to Switch Side Hustles

by Maurie Backman | Published on Nov. 25, 2021

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A tired man rubbing his eyes and sitting at his desk at work.

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It may be time for you to get a new side gig -- one that better suits your lifestyle and income goals.

Key points

  • Working a side hustle is a great way to boost your income.
  • It's important to have a side gig that checks off the right boxes.

There are plenty of ways having a side hustle can benefit you. For one thing, that extra money could come in handy for paying everyday bills, especially in light of recent inflation. Boosting your income with a side job could also make it possible to meet important financial goals, like growing your savings account, paying off debt, or coming up with the down payment to buy a home.

If you're going to hold down a side hustle, it's important for that gig to fit into your lifestyle and support your earnings-related goals. And if these things apply to you, it may be time to swap your current side hustle for a better one.

1. You're struggling to carve out time for yourself

Some side hustles are more flexible than others. If your side hustle forces you into a rigid schedule, then you might struggle to take care of the things you need to do, like follow up on health issues or even run basic errands.

Imagine you work until 6:00 PM at your main job Monday through Friday, and then have a side hustle that requires you to put in a shift from 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM every weeknight. Holding down that schedule could mean struggling to find the time to grocery shop or run errands when stores are open.

Not only that, but that sort of schedule could make it so you have zero downtime during the week. And that's not a healthy thing. If your side hustle eats up pretty much every minute of your free time, you may want to find one that doesn't require as many hours.

2. You're putting your main job at risk

Though you might do the actual work for your side hustle on evenings and weekends, some gigs might put you in a position where you're forced to take calls or answer emails during the workday. That could compromise your main job.

Imagine your side hustle involves designing websites, which you do outside of normal working hours. But if you have clients who want to discuss updates with you weekly, they may want to do so during the day, when they're at work. You may have to make excuses to cut out and take those calls when you should really be plugging away at your main job.

Now, this isn't to say you can't occasionally take a call during the workday for a personal matter. But if your side hustle is causing ongoing interruptions to your regular work schedule, then it may be time to find a new one.

3. You're not earning enough money

While you might ultimately enjoy your side hustle, let's face it -- you also want it to be lucrative. If you're having trouble meeting your income goals, then it may be time to make a change.

Imagine your side gig has you selling homemade jewelry online. That may be a fun way to earn money, but if you're only making a $40 sale here and there and your goal is to boost your income by $500 a month, that's just not going to cut it. In that case, it could pay to find a better-paying gig and save your jewelry making for hobby purposes. Or, continue to sell your creations, but get another side gig for the income boost you want.

It could take some trial and error before you find a side hustle that's a great fit for you. Don't be discouraged if you have to play around with different side gigs until you land on the best one to maintain on a long-term basis.

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