The working world is changing around us at an unprecedented speed. Traditional entrepreneurship models are shifting and the rise of the ‘gig economy’ allows people from all backgrounds to pick up extra work. While having two or more jobs used to be a necessity just to pay the bills, nowadays more and more people actively choose to pursue multiple jobs or career paths. In the UK alone, nearly 3 million people have more than one income.
It is easy to see why.
Having one career for the rest of our lives is a thing of the past. The economy is unstable, global competition is fierce, and the job market is tough; we have less and less security. So, we need to find ways to stay relevant, earn enough money and create that security for ourselves.
Digital platforms give everyday people the key to small-scale entrepreneurship – freelancing has never been easier. Platforms like Upwork and Fiverr offer short-term jobs ranging from writing to software development, and translation to marketing. You can even drive for Uber, rent your apartment on AirBnB, and sell handmade jewellery on Etsy. The possibilities are endless.
However, the movement towards having more than one job doesn’t only stem from an unstable economic situation. A growing number of people, especially millennials, are focusing more on finding fulfilling work, following their passions and giving back to the community. Having a range of careers and experiences can be a great advantage, and there are many reasons why it’s a great idea to diversify:
1. Follow all of your passions
Many people who pursue a varied career are not necessarily in need of any extra income; they just do it because it makes them happy. While you might have a day job that you love, pays well and supports a cause you care about, this doesn’t mean there aren’t other passions you’d like to pursue as well.
The image of being a jack of all trades (and master of none) has traditionally had negative connotations. Today, entrepreneurs and freelancers embrace this concept as it allows them to indulge their different talents and passions. Who says you can’t be a musician, web developer and teacher at the same time?
2. Build your own business
The number one obstacle for budding entrepreneurs wanting to build their own business is lack of funds. Quitting your fulltime job is not always feasible, especially if you’re supporting a family. Having a main job and working on your business in the evenings and on weekends combines the best of both worlds. You keep your stable income and can tinker away on your own project in your spare time for as long as it takes to get going. And if you’re clever about it, you can even pick up valuable skills from your day job that you can apply to your side hustle. Just be sure to create a business plan to help you focus and achieve your goals.
3. More money, more safety
The most obvious reason to have multiple jobs is to make more money. While your main job pays the bills, you can pick up some work on the side to afford luxuries like exotic vacation or sports cars. Yet, with today’s unstable economy, it goes much further than that.
Job security can no longer be guaranteed, and being let go from your job will hurt much less if you have one or more other sources of income to rely on. Multiple income streams can help you create financial safety and prepare for retirement.
4. Diversity boosts productivity & creativity
As jobs have become more specialised and focused, it is easier to get bored at work. Having to spend 40+ hours a week dealing with the same problem, client, or project can be draining on your productivity and creativity.
Picking up a side hustle or working on your business after work helps to mix things up. You get different perspectives and experience in a different field. As you gain new skills and generate new ideas, these can even be translated to your ‘main’ career – a great way to keep yourself engaged and creative.
Furthermore, the new skills you pick up can be valuable to your clients. If they hire you as a website designer, but your copywriting skills are also just what they’re looking for, then everyone wins. By staying up to date with different areas you ensure that you stay relevant.
5. Working for a cause
Higher earning potential and increased security are not always the driving factors for people pursuing multiple jobs. Millennials, in particular, are starting to value purpose over a paycheck. If your day job doesn’t fulfil you, look for work that is meaningful to you. This can mean taking a part-time charity job, volunteering some time every week to help a cause you support or offering your skills pro bono to non-profit organisations. While not all of these options are paid, the feeling of giving something back to society makes up for any loss in potential income.
The advantages of having multiple jobs are numerous, and while it’s still an emerging trend, experts predict that this will soon be the norm.
Now, over to you. Do you have multiple income streams? Please share in the comments!