56% of Millennials Got a Side Hustle During the Pandemic. Should You?

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What could you gain by getting a side job?

Key points

  • A new survey reveals that a large percentage of younger workers took on a side gig in the course of the pandemic.
  • You need good time management skills and a flexible schedule to make a side hustle work for you.

If it seems like half the people you know have a side hustle these days on top of their main jobs, you're probably not alone. A good 56% of millennials took on a side hustle during the pandemic, reports MassMutual in a recent survey. Among those, 63% were motivated by a desire to have extra money, while 30% wanted an opportunity to do work they're passionate about.

At the same time, though, 80% of millennials report they're experiencing some level of burnout. And a big part of that could boil down to stretching themselves too thin.

You may be thinking of getting a side hustle so you can boost your savings account balance, pay off debt, or work toward another goal. Or, you may want a second gig to get access to extra spending money you can use day to day. There are plenty of ways a side job could help your financial picture improve. But before you pursue one, ask yourself these important questions.

1. Am I good at time management?

To pull off a side hustle, you need to be good at managing your time. You want to be honest with yourself before committing to a gig you do on top of your main job. If you typically struggle in this area, you may want to either hold off on getting a side hustle, or limit yourself to one that you have complete control over.

For example, if you sign up to drive for a ride-hailing service, you can choose when you want to work, and you can work as few or as many hours as your schedule allows. But if time management isn't your strong suit, be careful about taking on a side gig that requires you to show up at a client's home or to a place of business, like a store or restaurant.

2. How demanding is my current job?

If your main job has you on a pretty consistent schedule, and one that isn't overly demanding, then getting a side hustle may be a reasonable thing to do. But if you frequently work long hours and log on over the weekend, then taking on a second job could end up being too much for you to handle.

3. Do I really need the money?

There are benefits to getting a side hustle beyond earning extra money. Your side gig could help you meet new people and potentially explore career opportunities that set you on a better path.

But if you're iffy about getting a second job because you're already pressed for time and you don't actually have a need for money, then you may want to hold off. There may be other ways you can expand your social circle or build career skills that don't require you to spend so much of your free time working.

What's the right call?

If you're on the fence about getting a side hustle, a good bet is to start with a gig that doesn't require a huge time commitment, or one with a very flexible schedule. That way, you can ease into that job and make sure it works for you.

Having extra money is certainly nice. But you shouldn't sacrifice your well-being to get it.

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