[ 5 min read ]
In other words, is it really worth it? Is it a good deal?
I mean, when people have a full-time job they must give away 8 full hours out of their day and it’s usually the time when they can’t leave the workplace. They can’t say “Ok, now I need two or three hours to do my thing / meet someone / go somewhere / browse the internet / write an e-mail / call someone back / give a speech / be a salesperson (try to sell my shit to people)”. They can’t do that. Full-time work wouldn’t allow it. It’s like they’re trapped for the 8 hours (or more — for the same money).
Now, when the money is good (and when you’re struggling to keep your side hustle it is rarely the case), then by all means you can be cut out from the outside world for 8 hours. The money compensates it and maybe you’ll be able to quit the job a couple of months or a year from now and give your side hustle your full attention (it will cease to be a side-hustle). Quite a reasonable solution. Unfortunately it’s very rare. It’s simple — people who pay good money usually want your full commitment and they don’t like people who do something else and, God forbid, when their own thing is their whole world so to speak. It’s understandable — they want to know that it’s worth the money they spend.
So unless you’re very lucky (and they didn’t notice), or you’re such an expert that you can charge a lot for your work / expertise (and you can usually forget about it if it’s something you did full-time in the past, but no longer are doing full-time — there are other experts who will take your place because they’re in it full-time), then you will have to scrutinize the deal. Is it really worth giving away 8 full hours (or more — for the same money) out of your day.
The thing is when you have time at your disposal you can do other projects, or take other jobs, or find another source of income. So when you don’t work full-time (or when you don’t have an employment contract at all — you take various odd jobs instead, like when you’re an extra in TV productions or movies, or an UBER driver or something), you have the liberty to do more, which you don’t have as a full-time employee. You can make more money that way, or money will be the same, but you will have more time left or your schedule will be flexible.
A full-time job which pays little (minimum wage or close to that) is OK when you have a lot of time for yourself. Let’s say you’re a night receptionist in a hotel — it’s obvious that fewer people check in during the night hours so you will probably have some time at your disposal. At least until someone will figure out that they can give you other tasks so that you don’t just sit there doing nothing. Or a security guard on a night shift — similar thing.
So the worst possible option is when you take a full-time job in which you work your ass off full 8 hours and you get a minimum wage or close to minimum wage (it really makes little difference whether or not you have that $5 or $10 more per week as you could make those additional $5 or $10 per week with ease doing something else). You gave away 8 hours out of your day (plus the commute — probably close to 9 to 10 hours a day), you go back to your family (if you have one), and for the next 2 to 3 hours at the minimum you’re occupied with family / household matters, then your mother or brother or your bank calls you and you talk with them a while, then you think about this phone call for a while (which “costs” you additional 30 minutes), then you exchange politenesses with one or two neighbors you meet accidentally (which translates to a couple of minutes), then you need time to eat, go to the toilet, walk the dog, brush your teeth, take off your clothes, take a shower, put your pyjamas on, and bam! at least an hour less. What you’re left with are 9 (best case scenario) to 7 (regular scenario) to 6 or less (worst case scenario). And you’re tired and in a need for sleep.
A job which pays well but is extremely exhausting is also a poor choice for people with side hustle. It means they will get home completely demolished and their side hustle will soon be only a memory and their family life will be non-existent.
Sure, you can take that full-time fully engaging job for a minimum wage (or for a small wage) for a start (in order to make something, and to avoid being out of job, and without income for a long time), but don’t forget to scrutinize it after a while — if what you get justifies the number of hours you need to spend on it and if there is a smarter way.
The thing is it always appears to people that any job, anything which pays your bills, is worth it when you don’t have any other option. And that’s true. But what most of them would do is they would take that job and forget to scrutinize the deal. They would rest on their laurels, so to speak. And that’s why they will never see a bad deal when it’s there. They will never realize that there’s a smarter and also legal way they could go about making some money (let’s face it, it’s never a fortune they make, so usually there is a smarter way). But they never ponder it. So how can they ever have other options? They will usually go from one full-time fully engaging job to another and they will always live hand to mouth. Not that there is something essentially wrong or bad with living hand to mouth, but if you live that way why not be smart about it?