The rise of the side hustle generation

By Job Bank

12 Jun 2023

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The UK workforce is increasingly chasing multiple jobs and sources of income as they embark or progress on with their careers and it could change the workplace for good.

Job Bank has invested significantly in Homeworking in various routes via recruitment, marketing and an online shop all with guaranteed leads to achieve success. Job Bank has been recently nominated for best homeworking franchise at the 2023 VFA Awards.

Shabnam, 27, works on the careers team at a national training provider. She combines her full-time role with a part-time business and motherhood: providing recruitment and marketing services as a franchisee with Job Bank.

Shabnam, who is based in Manchester, says her employer is aware and supportive of her side hustle. “At my interview, they made it clear I was welcome to have my brand on the side. My CEO recently commented on my LinkedIn post in relation to a placement saying what I’d done was brilliant, even though it had nothing to do with my full-time job,” she says.

“Their openness means it doesn’t feel like a 9-to-5: it’s a job that works with my personal and professional goals and I have earned over £20,000 in less than 12 months as an additional income.”

Shabnam is one of many of the UK workforce who believe a full-time role alone isn’t enough for a fulfilling career. Generational shifts, an uncertain economy and a dynamic workplace situation mean the typical career of a worker today looks very different than years ago, pre-pandemic.

Job Bank is moving into homeworking in significant numbers with various pathways of choice, recruitment, marketing and online shop for individuals like Shabnam to create their own success story.

Analysis conducted by finder.com, in 2023, 44 per cent of the UK population have at least one side hustle. On average, Brits earn £206 from side hustles per week, which adds up to an extra £10,701 per year. The majority (57 per cent) of people earn less than £100 a week from side hustles. An additional 40 per cent of people earn between £100 and £1,000 a week from side hustles, but only 20 per cent make more than £1,000 a week.

THE RISE OF THE SIDE HUSTLE

Side hustles existed before the pandemic, but they were often manifested from a place of necessity rather than choice. In the past few years, they’ve come in the form of gig-economy jobs, either in lieu of a full-time role, or as a means of supplementing wages.

Even now, side hustles are necessary for an additional income for many people: one September 2022 survey of 4,000 UK workers, from insurance company Royal London, shows 16 per cent of respondents had taken on an additional role to help pay for cost of living increases.

“The stacking of jobs has always existed, but it’s usually been done by workers who’ve needed to as a means of economic survival,” explains Meredith Meyer Grelli, assistant teaching professor of entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business, based in Pittsburgh, US.

While the layering of jobs will continue to be the reality for sections of the workforce, the changed world of work has meant a new kind of side hustle has emerged for knowledge workers. Adopting flexible working patterns, employees have a greater opportunity to pursue passion projects and make extra money through choice rather than necessity.

“Without full-time office settings, there’s less visibility on the worker,” says Caroline Frankum, CEO of consulting firm Kantar’s Profiles division, based in London. “Working hours have also become less fixed and regimented, while commuting times have reduced, it’s enabled more people to do more side hustles.”

The result is that a second source of income has become desirable even for employees in well paid full time roles. “Following the pandemic, side hustles have appealed to a different level of worker and expertise,” says Meyer Grelli. “These workers are higher up the job value chain: they can now figure out how to combine roles and side projects in their lives as a way of maximising income against their skills.”

The rise of online platforms like Shopify, Amazon and Etsy that allow workers to easily monetise hobbies, and social media accounts customised for personal branding, is a main driver. “The model that’s been used by workers layering jobs out of necessity has created a pathway for those in higher earning jobs to adopt themselves,” says Meyer Grelli.

THE GEN Z TWIST ON THE SIDE HUSTLE

While more employees are pursuing side hustles, the trend is being led by those just beginning their careers. A February 2023 global survey of 10,000 workers by Kantar shows that 40 per cent of Gen Z workers are combining at least two roles. 

Companies are increasingly allowing Gen Z to embrace their roles at work as well as take on other projects. Much of this is still being driven by financial considerations, amid economic uncertainty and the rising cost of living.

“We have a constant awareness that you need more than a nine-to-five to make money,” says Shabnam. “We’re told on social media that we need multiple sources of income.”

However, broader generational shifts also make side hustles more appealing to Gen Z. “Career paths are becoming less direct,” says Caitlin Duffy, director of research at consulting firm Gartner, based in Virginia, US.

“Young workers are entering a turbulent work environment: they want to set themselves up for long-term employability, remain flexible and be able to move between workplaces, rather than necessarily stay in one job longer term.”

Side hustles also diversify risk, says Meyer Grelli. “Younger workers are aware that roles and industries can become obsolete at a dizzying pace. The careers of their parents’ generation are no longer necessarily stable options, so they instead often look to their peers, who are innovating new pathways through experimental side hustles, amplified on digital platforms.”

The versatility that side hustles provide are also key to Gen Z. “Among students I work with, there’s a perceived inflexibility to a traditional career: one told me they’d never give their ‘whole self’ to work,” says Meyer Grelli. “Instead, they want to construct a pathway that’s spread more evenly around their lives. They’re entering the workforce at a time where everything is in flux, so they’ve grown up with flexibility.”

As well as opening new sources of income, side hustles also allow young workers to invest in their passions. “Work is a source of identity for many,” says Meyer Grelli.

“Passion projects mean those at the beginning of their careers can explore and test interests and ideas beyond the dominant pathway of their career trajectory – they serve as a way for young people to find value.” Flexible work arrangements allow younger member of the workforce to pursue their passion projects as side hustles. 

A FUTURE HALLMARK

In the new world of work, there are signs that employers are already becoming more accepting of employee side hustles. “Before the pandemic, workers were less open and willing to talk about anything that could potentially divert energy away from their full-time job, even childcare,” says Meyer Grelli. “But now, businesses are more empathetic and receptive to the deeper needs and wants of their workers – and that includes passion projects and supplementary incomes.” 

Not only could side hustles serve as a retention tool for employers, but they can also enable employees to accrue experience and deepen skill sets that are invested straight back into their day job.

“A young worker now will have a long career in which they’ll expect to evolve and side hustle,” says Meyer Grelli. “It falls on employers to figure out how to incorporate that into their own growth, rather than avoid or stifle that.” 

When done right, a side hustle can be fulfilling, providing workers a variety of experiences, skill sets and sources of income that heighten their career achievements.

The caveat is that it could lead to overworking – however research highlights side hustles feel more like fun than 'work'. Plus, side hustlers understand it will benefit benefit their future.

As more of Gen Z enter the workforce, side hustles are likely to become more normalised – and perhaps will one day be a workplace expectation. “There has been a fundamental shift in what a career looks like since the pandemic, particularly among younger workers,” says Meyer Grelli.

“What motivates and drives young workers is often doing multiple things, being more purposeful in the workplace and continuing to learn – all of which can be achieved through a side hustle.”

Job Bank are in the driving seat in the world of side hustles! Continually investing, innovating, developing, scaling, and finding solutions in the homeworking business market within recruitment, marketing, and an online shop!

Many of the entrepreneurs and clients that joined the Job Bank platform at its inception in 2017, still work with us today. This is testament not only to the effectiveness of Job Bank, but the long-term partnerships we build with entrepreneurs and clients throughout the United Kingdom.

Job Bank focuses on meaningful innovation and is only getting comfortable in the driving seat. They are motivated to drive forward and continue to provide what is missing in the homeworking business market and help achieve business growth for our clients whether it is providing them with talent or customers within the United Kingdom with a longer term vision to scale to the United States.

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