Becoming an entrepreneur is more popular than ever. Maintaining a full-time job while pursuing a passion on the side provides freelancers the best of both worlds: the comfort and security of a steady paycheck and benefits, along with the excitement and endless opportunity to do what you love and make a bit of extra money on the side.
But pursuing a side gig certainly isn’t easy, or without its share of worries. Especially when juggling a 40-hour work week along with other responsibilities.
Many freelancers worry about taking on too much or finding the time to excel at both a full-time job AND a side gig. From a manager’s perspective, your boss may worry that a side gig will cut into work time, leaving you unfocused, stressed out and spread too thin.
Even still, the benefits of freelancing far outweigh the concerns and working a side gig can actually improve your performance at your full-time job. Here’s how:
1. Manage time like a pro.
When you have a very limited window of time to work on your side gig, you quickly learn how to laser-focus in on tasks to complete projects.
For example, I do most of my freelance writing on weekdays before heading to my full-time job; I have two hours each morning to make progress on blog posts, articles, e-newsletters and more.
It’s amazing how much can get done in two short hours when you have a plan, a set amount of time to work, deadlines to reach and clients to keep happy.
Use this same method at your full-time job to increase productivity; give yourself a specific amount of time to complete a project and focus on only that task.
You’ll quickly see that what may seem like a daunting project becomes much more manageable when you create self-imposed deadlines and give yourself specific windows of time to get work done.
2. Bring skills from your side gig to your full-time job.
Think about all the skills you’re picking up and sharpening as you develop your side gig — maybe it’s blogging, SEO, design or social media.
Not only are you honing your professional skills for your own business when you bring these new skills your full-time job, you show your boss and colleagues that you’re committed to constantly educating and bettering yourself professionally. You also become the go-to person on that specific topic.
On the flip side, a benefit of maintaining a full-time job while working a side hustle is bringing the skills you learn in the office to your own business.
Before I started my full-time job working in public relations and marketing, I knew little about email marketing, but with the skills I picked up at work I’ve created my own e-newsletter for my blog community.
3. Hone-in on the art of prioritization.
Freelancers often juggle multiple clients and projects at a time. In order to reach deadlines, prioritization is key.
Many freelancers develop systems using Google docs, social media or productivity apps and hacks to help manage workflow, produce their best work and complete projects in a timely manner.
At a full-time job — where your to-do list is a mile long — freelancers who successfully keep multiple balls in the air can use those same strategies at work, showing colleagues and managers that you understand the importance of prioritizing projects to produce results and reach goals.
What are some other ways rocking a side gig can improve your performance at your day job?