5 Little-Known Perks of Weekend Side Hustles

Side hustles can be a great way to make extra cash and they’ve become popular with workers as inflation has ballooned, with an estimated 54% of Americans having one.

But there are lots of other reasons why you might want to spend some of your extra time working on a side project, aside from improving your cash flow. Here are five little-known perks of weekend side hustles and a few suggestions for getting started.

1. Creative outlet

Before I became a freelance writer, I blogged as a creative outlet. Since my day job didn’t offer many writing opportunities, I’d get up early, go to a coffee shop, and spend an hour writing.

My blog never took off, but that didn’t matter much to me. I was more interested in spending a little time every week doing something I really enjoyed. I was more satisfied in my day job as a result and it was well worth the effort to have a creative distraction.

Why do it: Recent research shows that 46% of Americans use creative activities to relieve stress and anxiety. Everyone’s creative outlet will be different. I have friends who’ve created online games and children’s books. The point is to find something you enjoy doing without the added stress of trying to make money from it.

2. Upskilling

While some people start side hustles by tapping into skills they already have, you can also start a side hustle to build new skills.

Adding a new skill to your resume could be a huge asset. Gallup data shows that workers who upskill earned about 8.6% more income than they did before learning new skills.

How to do it: There are lots of great platforms for learning new skills, including MasterClass and Skillshare. You can also try your hand at the new skill by setting up a gig on Fiverr or Upwork and charging a small fee as you build up your new skillset.

3. To help you get a new job

Maybe you want to start a weekend side hustle just for fun, and you learn some valuable skills. Once you’re proficient, you can list those skills on your resume, potentially helping you get a new job.

Many employers also like to see that potential employees are able to learn new skills and want to take on new challenges. Creating a weekend side hustle on your own time signals to employers you want to do more than the bare minimum.

How to do it: If you want a side hustle to help you get a new job, you may want to spend some time looking at jobs on LinkedIn and what skills are listed in the descriptions. Find something you’re interested in pursuing and then match it up with potential job opportunities.

4. Networking

Working on a side hustle can make it easier to network with people who share your interests. It can also put you in touch with clients who know other people doing the work you’re doing.

When I first started freelance writing, I reached out to editors and shared my experience and interests with them, to make connections and find work. Not all the networking was fruitful, but some of it was and I found that many people were more than willing to connect.

How to do it: Don’t be afraid to reach out. Connect with people in your industry on LinkedIn or other social media platforms. You’d be surprised how many people are willing to connect if you request to do so in a respectful and pleasant way.

5. Trying out a different career before jumping into it

I have a friend who’s always been interested in technology and started teaching himself how to code years ago. He spent time on the weekends learning new programming languages and fiddled with tech projects just for fun.

As he became more unhappy with his day job, he realized he might be able to turn his hobby into a career. Fast forward several years, and he’s now working as a programmer for a Fortune 500 company.

How to do it: Not every weekend side project will turn into a new career, but you never know where it might lead. If you already have some experience with your side hustle business, consider creating an online course to share your knowledge.

No matter what your reason for starting a weekend side hustle is, remember that doing so can be far more beneficial than just helping to improve your monthly budget. Find something you enjoy doing just for the sake of doing it. If it leads to earning additional income, then great. But if not, you’ll still have put your time into something valuable for yourself.

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