As freelance work becomes more commonplace, gig workers are starting to make up a substantial portion of the U.S. workforce. Many people are attracted to the gig economy as a way to earn extra cash, pursue their creative passions, and gain new skills.
For some, side hustles represent a way to supplement their income in their free time since other important responsibilities like childcare or eldercare may take up a large portion of their day.
For others, side hustles and freelance work is their full-time job. A study by Payoneer showed that over 80% of professionals work 1-3 jobs at a time. Individuals who work multiple freelance jobs can be considered “serial side hustlers”, whether or not they have a traditional full-time job as well.
While freelance work and side hustling is a way to break with traditional “9-5” jobs and gain more creative freedom over one’s work, it does not come without potential downsides. One major issue is that just like in every other industry, female workers typically make less than male employees. In the freelance world, women make over 4 times less, as shown by an AND.CO survey.
The gender wage gap is a phenomenon we try to fight every day, and pursuing a non-traditional route is one way to step away from age-old practices. As more women join the freelance workforce, it will undoubtedly accommodate talented people who deserve more for their hard work.
Whatever your reasons for pursuing multiple gigs, and whether you aim to work as a freelancer, in the service industry, with app-based services, or online, check out this serial side hustle guide to learn how you can succeed with several jobs at once.
Side hustling has the potential to be very rewarding, but it’s important to understand the challenges that can arise.
Ineffective time management
This is one of the biggest issues for many new and long-term freelancers and side hustlers. Especially if you have a full-time job already, picking up one or multiple side gigs can significantly decrease your free time, or the time you would typically spend with family or friends.
Organization can be a challenge when managing multiple projects and gigs at the same time. Having too many things to remember and figure out can contribute to a lack of structure and organization that can make life as a serial side hustler potentially stressful.
Creative burnout is a very serious issue for many freelance workers. It can be challenging to keep coming up with ideas and solutions when you’re spending all your time working on one task.
Solutions and Tips
Fortunately, despite the challenges, there are many ways to increase your productivity and alleviate possible stress. Side gigs can be very rewarding and enjoyable, and if you take the right steps, you’ll love your new serial side hustler job.
Block your time
Considering the ever-present challenge of time management when pursuing multiple gigs, blocking your side hustles into chunks of time in the day can be a great way to set a consistent schedule and stay organized. Pick one time that you work on a specific task, client, or job every day or week, depending on the demand, and try to stick to that schedule.
Plan your schedule ahead of time
In a similar vein to blocking your time, creating a schedule ahead of time is a good way to make sure you are not getting overwhelmed and effectively managing all your tasks. When committing to a new project, carefully consider how it will factor into your current schedule and whether you have the bandwidth to take it on.
While finding a mentor may not be as easy in the gig economy as it is in the business world, it is still doable, and can be very helpful in the freelance industry. Whether you’re graphic designing, programming, ride-share driving, or copy editing, you will likely need help at some point. Consider searching for someone who has been on the platform or app you’re using for a while, and asking them for guidance on things such as getting used to a new platform or finding more clients.
Take time off
Serial side hustles are a great way to stay busy and productive if you have free time, but it’s incredibly important to make sure you still have free time after everything you’re doing. Being fully booked at all times is an easy way to quickly become exhausted and stressed. To avoid burnout, proactively build time into your schedule to relax and take a break.
A good way to stay focused and organized is by setting an end goal in terms of the side hustle you’re doing. Whether that’s earning a certain amount of money, mastering a specific skill, or finding a new passion, an actionable and optimistic goal will motivate you and create a sense of bigger purpose.
Becoming a serial side hustler can be a way to achieve your creative goals and realize a lifelong passion without committing to a full-time job or having to work for someone else. Up your side gig game and learn more about this career path with the infographic below from ZenBusiness.