Many people – including millennials – have side hustles, whether it’s waiting tables, behind the counter at Starbucks, owning an Etsy store, YouTube/blogging or tutoring. For some, it is out of financial necessity, especially with rising rent prices, student loans, and the fact that life is just plain ol’ expensive. However, I currently not one of those people.
According to an article on Lending Tree entitled Have of Millennials Have a Side Hustle During the Coronvirus Pandemic, 53 percent of the Americans surveyed have a side hustle, and half of millennials have a side hustle. What is even more surprising is that in October 2020, nearly 45 percent of Americans have considered a side hustle, or a side job, on top of their regular full-time role.
As I mentioned earlier, I currently do not work a side hustle for many reasons, such as trying to maintain a balance, self-care time, and the fact that I am in a situation that does not require a side hustle. I also recognize that I am extremely fortunate that I am in this situation. However, due to the hustle culture in society today, I feel like I should try to (although I do consider my blog and other writing endeavors a small side hustle, even though they are more hobbies).
That pressure comes from hustle culture, something that is becoming more and more prevalent in social media concepts. Hustle culture, according to an article on Medium entitled Hustle Culture: Why is Everyone Working Too Hard?, is “all about constantly working.” The article goes onto say that “those who hustle attempt to devote as many hours as possible to work.” Furthermore, the article states that hustle culture has become a lifestyle. The articles says that after the author read a ton of quotes, it questioned their own work ethic, asking the questions of “do I work hard enough?” or “should I be working more?”
These same questions are those that I have been asking myself about the side hustle thing. I personally feel as though we, as a society, glorify productivity, and don’t give enough credit to the whole work life balance thing.
Now, I am not talking about those who need to work extra hours to help make ends meet, or those who have to work to try to pay off debt. I am talking about the overall pressure that is out there to be busy and productive 24/7, just skating on the verge of burnout. I am talking about the glorification and the acceptance of feeling burnt out and still expected to keep going. Having a side hustle is something that for some, equals that burnout.
Being busy 24/7 is not something that is glamorous. Sometimes, it needs to be done. But, eventually, it becomes a choice.
As I mentioned, I do not have a side hustle even though I feel guilty for not doing so. And, I know that I am not the only one who is out there. I want to preface this by saying that I am not talking about those who need a side job to stay financially stable. That said, I have many reasons why I do not work a side hustle – the main one is so I can have balance. I do have plans to try to monetize my skills in the future – which would be simply because I enjoy it. But in that case, it’s for me to use the skills that I enjoy doing. The same thing goes for whenever I monetize my blog or finally self-publish a book. That said, after I work full time throughout the day, when I get home, I want to try to focus on my hobbies, spending time with my dog, cleaning my house, or just relaxing.
It’s called balance, people.
I think balance is something that is not discussed as frequently as it should be. Balance is a daily struggle for myself. However, I know that too much of anything could equal a bad thing, so I think that while a side hustle may be necessary, it is also something that shouldn’t be normalized. No one should be expected to do it all. In fact, no one can.
I am working on trying to feel less guilty by not having a side hustle. I recognize that I am so lucky, but we need to work on taking breaks rather than contribute to the overall hustle culture that has become the norm.