6451397Maintaining a full-time career while pursuing your passion project on the side offers the best of both worlds: consistent income from a paycheck, and the freedom to express your creativity while earning some extra cash.

Even with the 40+ hours you’re putting in every week, and the additional stress from your side hustle, there are some definite benefits to balancing both.

Here’s how working a side hustle can improve your performance at your day job and ultimately advance your career.

1. Learning to Optimize Your Time

Balancing a side hustle on top of your regular job requires a healthy dose of organization and time management. You don’t have time to waste, and your schedule isn’t something you can simply figure out as the day goes on.

A side hustle enables you to manage your time and energy better, while forcing you to prioritize everything on your plate. If a project is important enough, you will get up in the early hours of the morning to get it done.

Likewise, you’ll sacrifice evenings and weekends to work on what has to get done in order for you to succeed. Each moment is seen as an opportunity to do your best work, and a side hustle forces you to leverage each second you have. The busier you are, the more organized you become — out of necessity!

2. Mastering the Art of Multitasking

I’m not a believer of multitasking in the traditional sense (and there’s evidence to prove that our brains aren’t capable of doing multiple tasks at one time), but I am a believer in balancing several jobs and priorities simultaneously.

When you have a side hustle, you not only have to perform your day job to the highest standard possible, but also give 100% to your side projects. This can be tough to deal with and requires a good bit of managing your priorities and making sacrifices, while giving all of them your absolute best attention.

This is very beneficial during your career too, because you’re balancing work, a side hustle, your family, and self-care. It’s not easy, but with a little patience and a lot of experimenting you begin to master multitasking while keeping your most important things at the top of the list.

3. Expanding Your Set of Skills

Even if your side hustle is in the same vein of work as your full-time job, there are so many more things you’re learning every day. Things like managing multiple projects, building a solid work ethic, figuring out your priorities, and even pounding the pavement for leads, are part of the process.

As a side hustling freelancer you have to deal with clients, work on contracts, constantly negotiate, and submit work based on deadlines. These are all skills that are valuable in creating a successful career.

In an effort to do more in less time, you’re more open to experimenting with new tools, productivity apps, and testing out new processes for streamlining your work. This allows you to learn how certain programs and software works, which could be essential to your next big job opportunity.

Balancing a full-time job and a side hustle means your to-do list is always a mile long, but how you handle these pressing priorities shows the dedication and skills you posses. Now you can leverage what you’ve learned to produce results and reach massive goals.

What are some other ways a side hustle can improve your career?