The Underrated Advantages of Keeping your Day Job

Positioning to Consider if you're Starting a Side Hustle

Let’s talk about something that may sound non-intuitive when it comes to achieving your entrepreneurial dreams.

It’s a line of thought that many of the twenty-something “gurus” touting their greatness on social media today would push back on.  It’s a way of approaching the whole concept of work-life balance with  some unique potential to optimize the use of your present resources while constructing a nice launch pad for future success while also maintaining your present way of life in the meantime.

What is it?

Keeping your 9-5 while building your side-hustle.

Do you really need to “escape”?

“What”?!”, I hear a lot of readers asking?

“But I want to leave my day job behind for ever.  I hate working for someone else.  I need to escape!

A lot of people think this way, and I can understand why.  They feel like there current job is limited, they’re not using their talents in ways that could be much more fulfilling.  Or, they don’t have the kind of flexibility with their time to do other things that they really want to do.

In fact, a lot of people talk down about the idea working for someone else.  Others encourage people to quit their jobs as soon as possible.

But in doing so, they ignore all the advantages that having a job provides.

You see, a good, reliable job, or even the ability to get a job when you need one can be exceedingly helpful on a number of fronts.  This is true even if your ultimate goal is freedom, starting a side hustle, or investing more time in mastering a hobby.

But what are some of the advantages to keeping your job and how can you start to realize them?  Let’s walk through a few of them below.

Free is often the best of all

There are multiple ways to obtain training and knowledge necessary to grow.  Some immediately self-directed options include books, courses, seminars and online educational videos.  Consuming quality informational content is one method to establishing a knowledge base you can expand upon.

But this method leaves other things to be desired.

This mindset, by itself, doesn’t inherently allow you the opportunity to develop the actual skills and experience needed to succeed.  There’s still a lot of value to the “learn by doing” methodology, and the importance of on the job training cannot be denied.  And remember, even though skills you develop through these means may not directly apply to your current or future role or side hustle, perhaps you can find ways to make them apply with some creative thinking.

Furthermore, the cool thing about leveraging your time on the job for learning the skills you need for the future is that it’s essentially free training.

Of course, the people training you while in these positions probably assume that you’ll be working there for awhile.  And maybe you will.  But it’s not always easy to know what the future holds, and there may come circumstances that are outside of your control that may require you to adapt.

Jobs come and jobs go, but the proficiencies you develop while doing those jobs stay with you forever provided you maintain them.

Mentors here, there, and everywhere

Another key advantage derived from keeping your day job is the typically easy accessibility to great mentors that it can offer you.  Assuming your present role is at least somewhat aligned with what you’d like to do in the future, you’ll likely be working in close proximity with some individuals who have achieved a degree of excellence in the same industry.

And any manager worth their salt would be supportive of you meeting and working with a mentor in your company.  They may even have some recommendations for you to reach out to – people who they respect, and have worked with well in the past.  They may even help you with an introduction if you ask for one.

Of course, not all people in positions of leadership will support you in this way.  It may also depend on a number of circumstances, such as whether you’ve shown yourself to be a good employee.  But if the option is there, in can be a lot easier to connect with qualified mentors when you already have that support system established.

I’d rather surf the waves than tread water

Who wants to live with their back to the wall?

Well, prematurely leaving your job before your side-hustle is actually generating any revenue can lead to just that.  I’ve heard countless stories of entrepreneurs struggling to make in during the early, lean years.  And eventually, some do make it.  Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.  And many of these would-be entrepreneurs even have families in tow who are depending on them to bring home the bacon, so to speak.

Not to say there isn’t some truth to the idea that having that added motivation can inspire to you work even harder.  But I think we can all agree that that is an uncomfortable situation to say the least.

Avoiding incessant questions and judgement from naysayers

If you quit your job to pursue your “passion” it’s often accompanied by negative comments from friends, family, neighbors, etc.  And if you’re not in a position on the timeline where you’re actually producing results with your business (for instance, it may be very early on  in the process), this unsolicited commentary can bring you down.

This is one of the reasons I’ve always found benefit in working on side projects without announcing it to the world.  And it’s all the more easy to do so if you don’t make drastic life changes (like quitting your job) early on.

Learning how to maximize your time

If you’re building a side hustle while you still have your job it may be a struggle to find more than a few hours every day to work on it.

This can actually be a blessing because you’ll soon realize that there’s little time to waste.  Confronted with multiple tasks that need to be done you’ll naturally have to give precedence to the most important ones.

Those things that will actually move the needle need to be prioritized and if you’re all about getting traction, you’ll be more inclined to complete the essentials early and often.

One way to think about this period of time is as your training ground.  Great entrepreneurs absolutely need to make the most of their time, and you’re getting a crash course in this principle while judiciously finding a few hours every day and on the weekend.  Of course, with a steady income from a day job, the results will come more from a must have goal-based type of place.

But that can also be a good thing because successful enterprises are often the natural the result of deliberately chosen goals.

What about you?  What’s your next step in your career and / or entrepreneurial journey?

Leave a comment below, and let me know.

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