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Can I Join the Gig Economy While I Still Have a Full-Time Job?

side hustle

The idea of working from wherever you want, whenever you want, working for yourself, and choosing the work you do is incredibly appealing.  So why don’t more people do it?

Whether it’s fear of failure, worry over the loss of a steady paycheck, or a lack of confidence, many are simply afraid to take the leap. They’d rather stay at a job they don’t like, making less than they think they deserve, just to get that pay envelope every couple of weeks.  It’s understandable.  While roughly 80 percent of small businesses will make it through the first year, less than half make it five years and less than a third survive 10 years.  If you’re looking to build a business, those are tough odds.

For many, however, it does work.  8 million people in the U.S. are now working from home.  36 percent of all U.S. workers have some kind of role in the gig economy.  That’s more than 57 million people.  Whether it’s ride-sharing, online selling, or freelancing writing, there’s money to be made.  Technology makes it easier than ever to take up a side hustle and grow it into real income.

If you’re looking to make a few bucks on the side, you can do it.  If you’re thinking you might want to go out on your own on a full-time basis, it’s a great way to find out if it works for you.

Gig Economy Stress Test

In financial circles, a stress test is an independent analysis of a bank’s ability to survive in an economic crisis.  For freelancers, side hustles work in much the same way by answering two important questions:

  • Can I really do it?
  • Can I really make a living at it?

The gig economy has opened up a whole new way of approaching entrepreneurship.  It’s no longer an all-or-nothing proposition.  You can start growing your business on the side while keeping your full-time job.  It provides a low-risk way to see if you really enjoy the work and can make money at it.  By doing it as a side gig, you can get established and start the income flowing.

Do it for six months as a side job and you’ll know whether you can hack it.  You’ll learn what it takes and the discipline you need.  You will learn your strengths and weaknesses and whether you love it as much as you thought you would.  It allows you to perfect your business practices without the stress of having your paycheck depend on it.

If your rent depended on it, you’d probably take on as much work as you can.  You might take on too much before you are ready.  With freelance work, it’s all about your reputation.  Do a bad job for a client and they likely won’t want to work with you again.  Because gig work is not your sole support, you can afford to start slowly.  Take time to build up your acumen and build your skills.  As you progress, you can take on more work.

Think about it like lifting weights.  You don’t start out bench pressing 200 pounds.  In weight lifting and freelancing, you start small and work your way up.  When you’ve built up your muscles and confidence, then you can move to the next level.

Most gig jobs allow you to start small and at lower levels.  For example, freelance writing on WriterAccess allows you to start working for clients with varying levels of expectations.  Easy jobs may have low pay rates, but help you get started.  As your skills and confidence improve, you earn the right to work with higher level clients for higher pay.

Besides building your skills, it also provides two key things you’ll need if you do want to turn gig jobs into a career:  experience and references.  When you’re pitching a job, one of the first things potential clients will ask for is proof you know what you’re doing.  The gig economy allows you to build up that body of work, show real-world samples of your work, and get referrals from prior customers.

Launch A Side Gig or New Career

WriterAccess can help you launch your freelance career.  As a writer, editor, or content strategist, you can earn money while working with a variety of clients.  Whether you’re looking to pick up a few extra bucks with a side gig, or transitioning to a full-time freelance career, you can learn more about starting on your path to financial success as an entrepreneur with WriterAccess.


Paul D. has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist writing news stories for some of the country’s top news organizations. For the past 10 years, Paul D. has worked as a marketing and advertising expert, working with hundreds of clients. He writes clear, concise, compelling copy that converts. He has won more than 30 award for writing and journalistic excellence from NATAS (National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences) Emmy Awards, Associated Press, RTNDA (Radio & Televison News Directors Association), Society of Professional Journalists, and more.

Guest Author

By WriterAccess

Freelancer Paul D

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