How can I balance my job and hustle?

Caroline Mboijana. PHOTO/FILE 

What you need to know:

How easy is it to concentrate on my job while still keeping the hustle afloat?

Dear Caroline,

I want to start a side hustle because my job is flexible, but I keep worrying about how to balance the two. How easy is it to concentrate on my job while still keeping the hustle afloat? Also, should I worry that my supervisor may have a problem if they find out?


The first thing you need to re-phrase is the wording “hustle”. I appreciate it being used loosely but I prefer that you use the word ‘projects’. Nonetheless, we will stick to side hustle. I share this because how we define it in our minds influences how we approach the project.  My first question is, why do you want to venture into this side hustle?  Your motivation and purpose define the hustle in its entirety; from what, to the resources, to the where, who are your customers, marketing, pricing etc. I know this sounds all textbook, but all these aspects must be identified and articulated for it to be a success. If you have identified a hustle that you want to do and believe you can do well, it is more than just filling a gap created by time.  This is a hustle that you must give time and effort to do well. On the other hand, if you only want to fill time, then side hustles such as becoming an Uber driver come to mind. This type of work allows you to control the amount of time you can give. Note that even in this hustle, you must do it well. Your customers must have your undivided attention.

On the issue of concentration, it will depend on what you have chosen to take on. It will quickly come to light how much time and attention is required based on the demand of what you are delivering and what your customers want from you. One of the biggest challenges with side hustles is when you start and have established a client base, your clients will expect a certain level of service. Once you drop back on quality service delivery and become unreliable, they will quickly find an alternative supplier. It is a challenge in this world of immediate gratification.

I am not sure where you work, but you need to check whether you are allowed to. Many people assume having a side hustle is not an issue; however, check the fine print of your contract. It may be stated there. The other aspect you need to be careful about is ensuring your side hustle does not disrupt your employment and ability to deliver your obligations. Otherwise, we get into the issue of performance management, etc, which can cause you to lose your job.

Think carefully about it, research and be sure you understand the why and what that entails. Good luck.

Caroline Mboijana,

Managing Director, The Leadership Team (U) [email protected]


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