Side Hustles: The Next Revolution

Terrell Waller, Workforce Development Specialist | 10/17/2013, 9:08 a.m.
There should be a personal economic-revolution — one that creates a secondary work force comprised of part-time, weekend and consulting ...
Terrell Waller

“Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.” It was a popular saying when I was growing up. I, like most people, took it to mean that we should never simply rely on one option, when others just as or more attractive are still present.

The recent government shutdown has pushed many of my federally-employed colleagues into a state of extreme panic — understandably so. The once powerful “good government job” has changed before our very eyes. What was a beacon of secure employment, especially in times of weak economies, can no longer be trusted as such. Thus, what are we to do?

As I have lectured many times, there should be a new revolution — a personal economic-revolution. Not one of challenging the government; that’s one that can’t be changed. We will always elect the same dolts that end up doing us wrong. The kind of revolution I speak of is creating a secondary work force. One comprised of part-time, weekend and consulting jobs. It is time that those of you that generally rely on just one job (government or private sector) to feed you and your family, pay your bills and create consistent savings, start to examine what else you could do with the skills you have acquired throughout your working life. If you are expert in your field then make the most of it.

For example, have you considered freelance writing/publishing, teaching in an evening program or consulting? And this may not work for all of you. There are some of you that are not yet an expert in your career. To you I say: find a good part-time job. If you already have one, then find a better one. Better, find one that allows you to earn more for your efforts.

However, all must remain in their field. Whatever you decide to do “on the side” must add value to you as a professional. If you are a plumber, than you should source and apply at a school that teaches plumbing. You should also consider providing workshops to homeowners on basic plumbing fixes. This kind of action will not only keep you secure in times of industry instability, it will also enable you to command more income in the future.

Remember that this, my readers, is YOUR time. You’ve been given a hint as to how unstable even the most stable of industries (and, yes, I do consider the government an industry) can be. Do not let it catch you off-guard again. For if it does, it’s your fault!