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Why having a side hustle will get you ahead in your career

You could spend your spare time crafting T-shirts and selling them at the local market.

You could learn some digital marketing skills and set up Google Ads for your uncle’s business.

You could be good at writing and freelance for your local newspaper.

You could start gaining real-world experience in your dream career.

Every “side hustle” has its benefits, and we’re not just talking about the potential extra money 🤑

Recently here at Grandshake we held a focus group with people who worked in HR. One thing that kept coming up again and again was the power of the side hustle and how gaining experiences outside of your education can boost your career.

Here’s why taking on extracurricular activities, freelancing and upskilling can push you ahead of the pack.

1.  A side hustle makes you unique

First things first, you are unique. You are special. But.... when you graduate, what makes you different on paper than your friends? Sure, with your high school certificate you’ll have an ATAR score to show off, but let’s say you go to law school, study a trade, accounting or engineering. What makes YOU the graduate engineer different from the pool of your peers? 🤔

A side hustle or engaging in experiences beyond your formal education will help you stand out from the crowd. Yes, of course your degree or certificate will do the heavy lifting, but everything else is like the icing on top – helping you catch the interest of recruiters, hiring managers and HR people.


2. It shows you take initiative

Organisations who are hiring don’t necessarily want the person with the best grades. But they do want the person with the most enthusiasm and dedication. Having side hustles related to your skillset or taking short courses and microprograms will show a potential employer you’re ready to give your passion to this job and step up before being asked to.

3. A side hustle teaches you extra skills

Keen to study business but also love drama? Don’t give up those acting classes and be sure to display them on your resume. In an interview you can refer to the classes giving you skills in public speaking, leadership and creative thinking.

Running a side hustle making pottery in your backyard? Very cool. To do that takes courage and running a small business will teach you skills in accounting, networking and customer service.

Today more people have side hustles alongside a full-time job, and while workplaces used to shun the idea, now they are embracing it. Smart organisations have realised that entrepreneurial employees will bring the lessons and skills they learn on the side into their career.

4. It might uncover your passion

It’s likely you’ll change careers are least a handful of times in your life, so why not start exploring what makes you light up now. While you might plan to study or pursue a certain career, there’s no reason why you can’t start a hobby or study short programs on topics that interest you. Allow yourself to be a mutli-passionate person!


5. It makes your adaptable, organised and self disciplined

Taking initiative to study more short courses or embarking on an entrepreneurial pursuit beyond your studies will require you to flex your creative muscle, improve your communication skills and stay adaptable. 

Taking on activities and pursuits beyond the usual remit will require you be self disciplined and manage your time. And what do employers love? An organised employee that gets on with the job.


What’s your side hustle? Do you bake for fun? Do you end up in YouTube wormholes about business? Start buffing up your resume and learning sweet new skills with one of our epic Upskilling Microprograms. They're totally free, take just 40 minutes and will teach you real world skills ✌️


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