Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the UK has experienced severe disruption to both its economy and social life. However, an unlike side effect of the disruption has also introduced and accelerated changes to our world of work – many of which were slowly taking place. Many Brits, and especially the younger generations, took this opportunity to follow their passion by running a side hustle to earn extra cash and learn new skills in the process. And this has grown to such an extent that many have called it ‘The Great Resignation’.
What do you mean by side hustle?
The chances are that you have probably heard the term ‘side hustle’ and you’ve wondered what it actually means. To start with, it is not what Elon Musk meant by calling Dogecoin a hustle on Saturday Night Live. Actually, it is a form of work that you do alongside your main job to earn some extra money. Here, we are talking about everything from simple tasks like dog sitting to the skilled jobs like design work or even consultancy. The only limits really are within your imagination… and maybe your skillset.
…but is side hustling really worth it if you are over a certain age?
I know what you are thinking right now, this is another craze for the youngsters that doesn’t really apply to me. Whilst Airtasker recently reported that most young Brits (70%) have already secured a second job and about half of that proportion (34%) spends a good 20 hours a week on their side hustle, I think that if you are in your 50s you can also get a slice of that sweet pie, and this is why.
Demand is rising…
The same survey suggests that 46% of all Brits, tight on cash, adopted a side hustle and over half of that proportion did so during the pandemic. This demand for skills has been the driving force behind the £346 billion hustle economy in the UK alone. For the participants in the survey, this resulted in an average of £274 extra cash per week to recover some of their lost income during the pandemic.
Uncertainty is the enemy of commitment
Over the last 20 months, the coronavirus pandemic has become synonymous with uncertainty. And this makes planning a living nightmare, especially for businesses. What we’ve seen during the pandemic is the growth in the number of people that have joined the contingent workforce. However, this trend has already been in motion since before the pandemic. According to the Office for National Statistics, temporary employees currently make up about 6% of the total workforce. This is almost a 1% increase from the summer of 2019. This trend is likely to stay as more and more people are looking for flexibility and a better work-life balance.
You’d say that the young will have the edge here as they are more technologically savvy, and they have time in their corner. Well, I’ll argue that you also have the benefit of time… time that has passed. If you are in your 50s then you have learned a thing or two in your life, and you can leverage that experience by testing the waters with something you are particularly good at. In fact, a study of 2.7 million start-ups found that a 50-year-old founder is almost three times more likely to create a successful company than a 25-year-old one.
Don’t just assume that side hustling is the domain of Gen Z or the Millennials. They are not the only people who can start a fun and lucrative side hustle. There are many opportunities for people in their 50s to do so themselves. However, you shouldn’t neglect the fact that you have to be willing to be creative and adaptable.
So, are you still thinking that your time has passed?
The post Side hustles know no limits: why starting a side hustle in your 50s is more achievable than ever appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.
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