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2022 Student articles and tips

What is a Side Hustle: 4 Tips for Starting One.

by Chioma Iwunze

The era of sticking to one job for the rest of your life is gradually fading away, especially with technology (AI) taking over certain jobs, transforming the work environment, and democratizing every aspect of human life. More people are now exploring side jobs or side hustles, earning extra incomes and building multiple resumes. 

From my teen years, I’ve always wanted to pursue careers on the side and earn income from my other interests. But for many years, I struggled to put my plan into action because I hadn’t yet cracked the side hustle code. It took me a while, but I’m glad I finally made full-time careers and businesses out of my side hustles.

If you’re interested in building a career outside academia, launching a side hustle might be a good way to start. At least, that’s what I did. And I’m not unique in this.

According to a recent survey by Career Builders, a third of millennials in the US have a side hustle.

At this point, you’re probably wondering what a side hustle is. Don’t worry. I will explain.  

A side hustle is simply any work done in exchange for a fee, work experience, and/or the purpose of building a portfolio. In many cases, side hustles are undertaken to supplement one’s full-time income.

Starting a side hustle can be tough and sometimes discouraging for newbies. To make our journey smoother, I have listed my top four tips for getting started on your side hustles.

Sign Up To Freelance Marketplaces.

Ever heard of Fiverr, Upwork, Weworkremotely and other freelance marketplaces? These are platforms that connect contractors with business owners. They make the job search process easier and more exciting.

During the sign up phase, you’ll be asked to list your skills, interests and relevant work experience.

If you’re interested in exploring a career outside the academic environment, this is definitely a good place to find employers and job roles that match your education and skill set. With a side hustle on a reputable platform, you can earn an additional income and develop a new career path.

Set Clear Goals

While many employees have dreams of starting something by the side to supplement their current income, most never realize their objectives.

These people fail mainly because they haven’t set SMART goals. 

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What problems will your side hustle solve? 

Be as specific as you can be. I wanted to make it easier for creative and academic writers to find opportunities and to build community, and so I created an education blog called Creative Writing News.

  • Whose needs do you intend to meet?

Every business must meet the needs of a group of people. When I launched my career in content marketing, I found that I was a more productive freelancer when I focused on my niche market. 

  • Set realistic timelines.

Once you’ve decided on what your mission is and who your clients are, create reasonable timelines for meeting everyone’s needs.

Don’t start your side hustle without determining the feasibility of your plan.

Identify your Passion, Skills, and Interests

Want to increase your chances of succeeding in the gig economy? Identify and focus on your strengths, skills, and passion.

Side hustles thrive when there is passion and skill. It’s okay to go into your side hustle because you want to earn some extra money and to transform your hobby into a business. However, you need to bring a skill; you must be open to developing new skills eg. social media communication/ marketing skills, graphics designers, wordpress etc.

Do not start a side hustle just because others are doing it or because you want to make a quick buck. You need extra gusto and motivation to succeed in the world of side hustlers.

And you need something to motivate you when the chips are down.

Before you start that side hustle, ensure that you have a combination of curiosity, interest, and relevant skills.

Avoid Conflict with your Main Job

Never allow your side hustles to conflict with your full-time job. Always review your employment contracts to see what you can or cannot do as a side hustle. Remember your goal is to build multiple CVs and/or to make an extra income.

There is a reason a job you do on the side is called a side hustle. A side hustle presupposes that you have a full-time job or that you intend to keep one.

Many people have gotten into trouble by using company time and resources to carry out their side hustles.

Below are ways to avoid conflict between your full-time job and your side hustle.

  • Review the terms in your employment contract
  • Don’t engage in your side hustle during work
  • Don’t come to work exhausted from your side hustle
  • Avoid using company property
  • Don’t reveal company information

Except you plan to break out and make your side hustle a full-time gig, avoid potential conflict with your current employment.


Thanks to technology and remote work tools, everyone can try out a part-time career. Through gigs on freelance marketplaces, you can build a solid side hustle that can blossom into a full-time career. This is especially true for people who have their sights on startups.

Remember, the many benefits of side hustles. Apart from providing another source of income, it can turn into something you may want to pursue full time.

Are you considering starting a side hustle? Please leave a comment on our social media pages. Tell us what you’ve done thus far. What pitfalls have you regretted overlooking? What challenges have you overcome? We look forward to reading your tips.