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Pattie Lovett-Reid

Chief Financial Commentator, CTV


Money is scarce and time is precious, so a side hustle can be a wonderful thing – or it might not be. 

I know people who have taken on different jobs to help pay down debt, save for a down payment, or pick up a gig simply for the love of the sport. It all comes down to getting the biggest bang for the buck paid. 

Before committing to a side gig, consider the following: 

1. Do I have the energy to take this task on? There are only so many hours in a day, and if your full-time job is taxing enough, you may become very resentful very quickly.

2. Do I have the skills to do this gig? If a large financial investment on your part is required to attain the required skills, you might want to rethink the return on investment.

3. Is the pay worth the effort? And will it cover your expenses such as clothing, transportation, taxes, and preparation time? It is important to assess the financial gain periodically so you don't find yourself with less money and time. 

4. Be honest with yourself.  Are you looking to turn a side hustle into a bigger gig like a full-time job? Years ago I volunteered in community television for a year with an eye of eventually moving into TV full time. It worked. Be clear on your agenda. As American businessman Stephen Covey would always say: "Begin with an end in mind.”

5. A side hustle can provide a great networking opportunity that could open up paths you never considered. Always be open to the next great opportunity when you least expect it.

6. It is okay to take on a side hustle simply because you enjoy it. Teaching an exercise class is a classic example of being paid to do something you love – it’s a win-win.

7. Make sure your employer is okay with you taking on another job. Always ensure you broker in their support and get sign off before you embark on a new journey.

8. A side hustle allows you to play to your strengths. It can also help you follow your passion, and, in some cases, gives your life more meaning. It all depends on what you want to do, how you want to do it and who you do it for. Working for yourself means finding your own clients and that can be a lot of work.

9. Not all side hustles work. Know when to cut your losses and move on. First be clear on how much time you are willing to put into it, how much money you get out of it and evaluate from there. 

10. It’s okay if you’re taking on a side hustle simply for the money. In today's environment, holding down two or more jobs is becoming the norm. Just be sure to focus on you as well so at the end of the day, you aren't left feeling angry and depleted. 

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