Worried About Job Loss? 3 Ways a Side Hustle Can Ease Your Fears

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  • Although the labor market is strong, the omicron outbreak could wreak havoc on your job.
  • If you're concerned about job loss, it pays to consider taking on a side gig.

Job insecurity is a tough thing to grapple with. Here's how a side hustle can help.

Earlier on in the pandemic, unemployment was a major problem -- so much so that lawmakers felt compelled to boost jobless benefits and send out stimulus checks to help compensate for it. But these days, the labor market is much healthier. Not only has the national unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level since the start of the pandemic, but job opportunities are plentiful.

In November, the U.S. labor market had 10.6 million jobs to fill. In spite of that, you may be feeling apprehensive about your personal job security. This especially holds true if you work in an industry or for a business that's likely to get hurt by the ongoing omicron surge.

It could, unfortunately, be quite some time until COVID-19 case numbers shrink. If the omicron surge continues, it could keep consumers out of stores -- whether due to illness, quarantine, or fear. That could, in turn, put your job at risk, especially if you work in retail or hospitality -- two sectors that have already been hammered over the past two years.

If you have concerns about job security, now could be a good time to pick up a side hustle. Here's how a second gig could help ease some of your financial worries.

1. You'll have a chance to pad your savings

Having a healthy savings account balance could make it easier to get through a period of unemployment if that's the boat you land in. While jobless benefits will replace some of your lost paycheck, they'll generally only make up a portion of it, especially now that the federal boost we saw earlier on in the pandemic is long gone. A side hustle could be just the thing that helps you pad your savings, especially if your main paycheck is currently monopolized by your various living expenses.

2. You'll have a backup source of income to tide you over

If you lose your job and have to wait a few weeks for an unemployment claim to be processed, your side hustle could serve as your main income source until those benefits start rolling in. That could, in turn, prevent you from having to raid your savings or rack up debt while you wait for that aid.

3. You may have an opportunity to ramp up your hours and replace your missing paycheck

You may only have time to spend five to 10 hours a week on a side hustle given your current full-time work schedule. But if you were to lose your job, you might then have a chance to spend more time on your side hustle, to the point where you're coming closer to replacing your lost paycheck in full. In fact, you may even discover your side hustle is a viable full-time job if you have the hours to dedicate to it.

While the labor market is strong right now, that doesn't mean you don't have specific concerns related to your job. Getting a side hustle could serve as not just a nice income boost, but also, a source of peace of mind. It's worth getting one for that reason alone.

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