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Why it’s okay to cheat on your 9-5

Updated: Mar 16, 2023

From global economic uncertainty to a complete shift into the digital era, there are several reasons why the world witnessed the rise of the side hustle. In contrast to previous generations, Gen Z and millennials have always craved flexibility in their careers and choose to pursue passion projects that allow them creative autonomy. It’s no surprise, then, that when the pandemic hit, the need for and the possibility of flexible work paths only strengthened. People, especially creators, started taking on more work. Whether it was a passion for baking that turned into an Instagram cake shop or a content writing side gig, people began to embrace the possibility of working beyond their 9-to-5 jobs.

This sudden increase in income generation didn’t come without its share of

problems. The main one? Companies rarely want you to have a side hustle. A data

analyst by day who bakes cookies in their free time? Not a problem. A graphic

designer by day who takes on a side project post-work hours? Definitely a problem.

While moonlighting has always existed in creative spaces, the past few years have

sparked conversations over how ethical it is and whether it should exist at all. In

often overworked and underpaid marketing and advertising roles, poor job

satisfaction directly leads people to take on more. Inflation and rising costs of living aren’t often reflected in the average creator’s salary.

Companies tend to be wary of side gigs because they believe it prevents their

employees from working satisfactorily in their main job. While managing both can be challenging, there are ways by which you can efficiently work towards both.

1. The To-Do List

Rarely has the famous to-do list not come in handy. By making one, you can

prioritize tasks based on their importance and timelines.

2. Boundaries

To prevent burnout, it is crucial to draw boundaries between your primary job and

your side hustle. Assess how many hours you can realistically allocate to both

without compromising on either.

3. Plan before you Play

Keep everything you need in place before you get started. Information, resources,

files- it’s always easier to know where they are before you begin. By organizing your things beforehand, you can use your time more efficiently.

Beyond the need for more financial comfort, artists should have the right to explore creative pursuits beyond what their job asks of them. In an industry that’s highly dependent on networking, it is detrimental to the creator not to have links with potential future employers. Additionally, questioning moonlighting’s ethics won’t make it disappear. It’s obviously the more sustainable model for several people in the creative industries and it’s here to stay.

While your day job often provides an opportunity to build a portfolio, freelance gigs allow you to make that portfolio stand out. You have more say in the projects you wish to take on and the trajectory of those ventures. This, in turn, is beneficial to companies because it not only boosts employee satisfaction but also helps employees explore creative avenues and build skills that make them better innovators - a crucial need in any workplace.

While getting started in the freelance world can be both exciting and freeing, it can

also be overwhelming. To help you kickstart your side career, we’re listing down

websites that’ll help you ease into the flow.

For the content writer/copywriter in you: Fiverr

Fiverr is every creative’s first step into the world of freelancing. It’s especially useful for new writers who don’t really know where to start. Once you know what’s wanted, you know what you need to sell. You can build your portfolio and profile accordingly to be more attractive to potential clients.

For the photographer in you: EyeEm

EyeEm is a popular photography community and marketplace that allows

photographers to showcase their work, connect with other creatives, and sell their

images to a global audience. But perhaps what makes it all the better is that it offers a range of tools and resources to help photographers of all levels improve their skills, so you can learn as you earn.

For the designer in you: Behance

You’re not really a graphic designer until you have a Behance profile. As one of the

most popular online platforms for creative work, it allows designers and other

creative professionals to showcase their work, connect with peers, and discover new design trends and techniques.

While creative side hustles have always been questioned, they’re a necessity for one’s quality of life and artistic freedom. The creative industry needs to accept that employees will seek work beyond what is offered to them between eight hours from Monday to Friday. It is essential to both an organization and an individual’s growth to accept moonlighting as part of one’s career and journey.


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