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Millennials are side hustling, and not just to pay the bills

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Millennials are side hustling, and not just to pay the bills

Everyday, millennials across America are side hustling, and they aren't taking on these jobs just to pay the bills.

Of the 26 million Americans currently working part-time gigs, 20.7 million are choosing to do so for reasons that go beyond money, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

While the financial value of having  a second job is great, a good amount of Generation Y-ers are taking on additional work because they want to, not because they need to.

And what workers want is to pursue hobbies they're passionate about more intensely. 

"When it come to the future of flexible work, I am pretty optimistic," Brie Reynolds, director of online content at online job search site FlexJobs, told Circa. A recent FlexJobs survey echoed the BLS numbers: there is a trend among millennials to work part time on purpose.

An ideal work arrangement for the millennial respondents to the FlexJobs survey was part time for one employer (40 percent) or part-time work with freelancing on the side (33 percent).

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Both scenarios underpin what these young professionals want: room to pursue other interests outside of traditional work environments.

People are increasingly interested in working part time by choice.
Brie Reynolds

For millennials, side hustling is about the experience. It is about finding a creative outlet.

"We found the top answers for choosing to work part time as a millennial were spending quality time with loved ones, pursuing a creative passion like art or music, traveling and education, going to school," Reynolds said. "We see people increasingly interested in working part time by choice."

We know what you're thinking: Why not just pursue the side hustle full time?

To start, many young professionals have a ton of student loans to pay off, so the financial risk of flying solo isn't feasible.

Kacy Ray, a content marketer based in Indianapolis, works as a social media consultant to small businesses and nonprofits in her spare time. Though she did want to spin her side gig into a full-time role at one point, she says the costs of starting your own business have made her put those plans on hold.

For others, having a side gig just lets them fulfill two dreams.

Julia Hogan is a Chicago-based counselor who writes on the side because she loves doing it and "not so much because of the money."

Soraya Turner
Soraya Turner

For Army Officer turned health coach Soraya Turner, it was ironically about finding balance.

"For me, this all kind of grew out of a journey to get myself back on track," she told Circa.

"I help people, particularly busy people, improve their health and wellness and mindset and meet their health goals," she said. 

We spoke with Uber drivers, photographers, designers, musicians, fitness instructors and baristas. Turner says the number of her friends picking up job-hobbies has definitely gone up. She believes their motivation is freedom.

"Freedom to work when and where they want... to choose something they're really passionate about," she said.

Whether or not the side hustle pays off isn't the point. Millennials do it because they can and because they care.

Are you a side hustler?

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