Making Money on the Side is a Millennial Must-Do

Date posted: March 17, 2017

Photo Credit: Jordan Whitfield

Millennials get a bad rap. We’re often depicted by the media as lazy, entitled, and with unrealistic expectations. While this may be true of some millennials, in my experience, our reality is much different than that shown by newspapers and magazine articles. In my experience, millennials are hard-working, tech savvy and extremely resourceful. We’re like finely tuned racehorses eager to get out on the track and run, but there’s nowhere to run.

Many millennials are stuck in jobs whose pay does not reflect their real skills or talents. Room to advance often just isn’t there, as boomers delay retirement to save a little more because they didn’t save enough in their earlier years.

If this sounds like your situation, I feel your pain. We’ve all been there. Being a millennial in the workplace can be a real pain, whether you’re handed the company website to run because you’re young, or asked to intern at your dream organization for free because they can’t afford to pay you, satisfaction is often out of reach.

Fortunately, there is a world where you can make your own hours, set your own fees, accept dream clients or reject troll clients who don’t understand your brilliance. That world is the world of side hustles, and if you don’t have one already, it’s time to get one.

A side hustle can be an amazing way to monetize your talents for a reasonable fee. Whether your thing is graphic design, crafting or – like me – writing, doing these activities on the side is a great outlet for your creative energies that your full-time job may not be able to provide. Here are four reasons why you need a side hustle.

More Money

Ok, let’s be honest. The first and foremost reason you need a side hustle is the money. Entry-level jobs don’t pay much, and you’ve got student loans bills coming due. I first started side-hustling because I wanted to earn extra money over and above what my company could afford to pay me. I started out charging $25 per blog post for some small local blogs, and my first year in business I made about $2,200. That’s not much, but it’s enough to make some extra payments on my student loans.

As the years went by I was able to increase my rates and charge more, and now I charge about $200 per blog post. Last year I made $20,000 from my side hustle, which took my overall income from “meh” to “wow.”

More Creativity

Most jobs don’t allow you to focus on your passion. This is totally fine – it’s called work for a reason – but having a side hustle doing what you love is a great way to feel creatively fulfilled outside of your work. Whether you love walking dogs, painting, or building websites, finding a side hustle niche that lets you monetize your passion is an amazing way to help pay the bills and deal with the mind-numbingly boring work you do for your full-time gig.

More Autonomy

Most millennials these days cannot fathom why their bosses won’t let them get their work from home or a coffee shop. I know that I’m much less productive at the office because I’m listening to my coworker's chat, catching up on office gossip, or spending time in yet another boring meeting. When you have a side hustle, you get to make your own hours, choose your work location, and even pick your clients. If you’ve got a particularly annoying or demanding client, you can simply fire them. This is something that you can’t do at your full-time gig – as much as you’d love to.

More Stability

One of the things I love about my side hustle gig is that it takes the pressure off. I like to say my husband, and I have two and a half full-time jobs because right now we could survive and pay our bills using any of the following income combinations:

His Full-Time Job

My Full-Time Job

My Side Hustle













If you dropped one of the three sources of income for our household, we could easily survive. That means if my husband loses his job, we don’t need to panic. If I lose my full-time job, we don’t need to panic.

In a world of last-in-first-out, millennials tend to live in a state of constant fear that our we’ll be fired at any time without notice. Having a steady income-producing side hustle gives you a source of income to fall back on if you ever did lose your job, and that brings with it an incredible sense of peace of mind.

Finally, you never know, if you end up being really good at your side hustle, maybe it could become your full-time gig? Many side hustlers have successfully transitioned their businesses into a full-time endeavor, where they make their own hours, pick their own clients, and their roles are only as limited by how hard they are willing to work.

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