Three Easy Ways To Fit Your Side Hustle Into Your Day Job
Hustling on someone else's dime is A-OK.
May 31, 2017 at 6:06 pm
A side hustle isn’t supposed to take up all of your time. It can, but it doesn’t have to. And I bet it’s hard to imagine how you can have a successful side hustle—one that’s adding enough to your life for it to be worth the time—while you still have that whole “day job” thing going on.
Listen, Linda. You can have your job and your side hustle, too. In fact, there are a few ways you can use your day job to grow your side hustle.
A day job is usually the biggest time-consuming commitment in a person’s life. But if you’re savvy, there are things that you can do, both in and out of the office, that can help you develop your side hustle into the business you want. And we both know that learning on someone else’s dime is always the best way to learn.
So how do you fit your side hustle into your day job? You start by thinking about the time you spend on your job as an opportunity to learn and develop new skills—even if what you’re trying to learn isn’t directly related to what you were hired for.
Be prepared to think outside of the role you have now and the roles you’ve had in the past. Think about what you want to learn today and who in your company is already doing those things. This is where you’ll want to start paying close attention to what’s happening.
Step outside of your job description
Forget what LinkedIn says about you. Take on a new project at work—outside of your normal duties. If the skills you need to help you grow your side hustle don’t have anything to do with your actual job, see if there’s another part of the company that does have an opportunity for you to learn.
Is your company planning a new corporate social responsibility project and looking for volunteers to help get the word out? Volunteer to help with their marketing efforts. Do you need more practice planning events? Lend a hand with your company’s annual holiday party or company barbecue.
See where there’s a low-risk (and low-commitment) opportunity for you to get your hands dirty that no one would oppose you helping out with. This will help you test out the waters and get more experience without adding this to your daily duties forever.
Extra perk: you get a chance to boost your reputation as a team player.
Use your lunch hour to eat and work
If you’re in a position to take a lunch hour every day, don’t just use it to gossip with coworkers or catch up on another episode of some city’s real housewife. Spend some time working directly on your side hustle.
Whether that means writing a blog post or connecting with your audience on social media or reading a book that helps you grow your business, you can really make progress in your business during that lunch break.
Even if you can’t break away from your work life for an entire hour each day, being selfish with your lunch break just 2-3 days a week can actually still make a huge difference.
Work during your commute
Your company does not—and should not—own all of your time. When you consider how much time you spend getting ready for work, getting to work, and being at work, you’re giving away the majority of your non-sleep hours. Starting your day with your goals and priorities in mind can help you get some of that time back and remind you what’s really important to you.
Depending on how much you may need to center yourself or decompress before or after your job (cue DMX's Party Up), you might not want to work on your side hustle on both ends of your commute, but try to commit to at least one way.
Either commit to hustling on your way to work or work on your way back from work (I highly recommend starting your day with yourself instead of leaving yourself for last). This way, you’ll train your mind to think about your side hustle during this part of your daily routine. And, trust, as you start to put more effort into your side hustle, it’ll help you to have some sort of routine.
Starting a business is time-consuming—I won’t argue with that—but a lot of us overlook how much time we actually have in a day. And most of us completely neglect to consider how much the jobs we already have can help us with the businesses we want to start.
If you can look at each day that you go to your day job as an opportunity, instead of as an obstacle, your side hustle will be in a great position to gain from everything your day job has to offer.