Most people may not know this about me, mainly because I haven’t really publicized it, but I do freelance marketing consulting and web design in my spare time. Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of debate on whether or not people should focus more on their side hustle and leave behind their 9-to-5 or corporate career. I disagree, and here’s why.
Freelancing has helped me grow
It is still early in my career. In reality, I have been fully working in my field for the 3 to 4 years. But, my total work experience spans more than 7 years. After graduating from college, I had a hard time finding positions in my field. My biggest roadblock was not having enough experience. So, I turned to freelance and taking on marketing related projects to combat the age-old job search hinderance undergrads face. Within a year after graduation, I was accepting my first job at a digital marketing agency thanks to the help of the new experiences I gained throughout my year of freelancing.
There is so much to learn
This probably holds true for many other areas of interest, but there is a vast amount of knowledge, ideologies, and overall techniques related to marketing. Sure, reading and research can help you come close to scratching the surface of all topics. But, I am a firm believer in learning by doing. The skills I gain and learn at my 9-to-5 are transferable to the freelance work I do. And vice versa. There are things I have learned in a corporate setting that I probably would not have learned on my own, and I know there is still so much to learn. There are also things I have learned during freelance that I would not have been exposed in a corporate setting due to focusing on specific tasks and goals. It’s a win-win.
They don’t have to exist in silos
I am thankful that I have the opportunity to pursue my passion through more than one avenue. I understand that not everyone has that opportunity, so there is a greater desire or need to pursue their passion and side hustle more than anything else. But this isn’t the case for everyone, like me. If you have the opportunity to do both, I encourage you to do so. Take what you learn in one and apply it to the other. You will see far more growth than if you tried to make them exist without silos or gave one up before you were able to reap all the rewards.
Don’t rush the process. Take your time and learn all that you can. Also, use it as a time to network. You will know when the time is right to dive into your side hustle 100%. But, until then don’t feel pressure to jump in when you’re not ready, just because it seems like that’s the standard that society is trying to set.
Do you have a side hustle? What’s the most important thing you have learned?