There’s no doubting the fact that the U.S. work environment has seen some great shifts in the last decade or so, and millennials have a large part to play in that. It’s not uncommon for younger members of the workforce to have gigs and side hustles they work either in addition to or instead of a more traditional full-time job. Ever used to a world that’s different from what their parents come from, millennials have made the most of new employment opportunities to carve out their own unique brand of employee happiness.
Becoming Untethered to a Desk
Employees who have families may dislike how their jobs can keep them from attending their kids’ games, plays and other similar events. Not all employers offer flexible work hours, leading many millennials to take up side gigs that allow them to set their own schedules so they can tend to their financial obligations as well as their duties as parents. There’s also the fact that workers can become burnt out by traditional jobs, and having several gigs can better ensure they remain engaged in their work and bring their best every minute they’re on the clock.
Getting Out of Student Loan Debt Faster
Besides overall job satisfaction, having a gig or side hustle can allow millennials to pay off their student loans faster. The cost of a college education has increased exponentially over the years, leaving college graduates under mountains of debt. By having multiple sources of income, younger employees can pay off their student loans and other debts off faster without having to worry about going to their bosses to ask for an advance on their pay or more hours, both of which can be hard to come by for some companies. Debt can lead to a great deal of stress, and taking care of it as quickly as possible provides ultimate peace of mind.
Putting Money Back Into Savings for Emergencies and Retirement
Millennials often find it difficult to make ends meet when their earnings don’t keep up with inflation, which leaves them with either very little or nothing at all to kick back into savings or retirement. Taking up a side hustle or gig while not working their full-time job can offer a stream of income that can be devoted to building up a savings account for life’s emergencies as well as investing and saving money in a retirement account.
Something else to think about is that the future state of government programs and systems designed to financially support senior citizens is up in the air. Millennials may not have as many resources to fall back on when they reach the age of retirement, making it more vital than ever that they have a way to take care of themselves.
They Aren’t Left to the Whims of Their Employer
Massive and sudden layoffs without severance pay are becoming commonplace, leaving millennials with the constant fear that they can be employed today and unemployed tomorrow without a moment’s notice. While hustling off the clock and taking up a side gig won’t stop a layoff, it can promote a sense of self-reliance that comes with knowing there are other avenues of making an income that can be utilized should misfortune come knocking at the door. Laid-off employees can leave with their heads held high and working out a way to turn a part-time hustle or gig into a full-time endeavor.
Companies Have Started To Embrace the New Work Model
Employers have recognized the fact that some younger employees like working on projects rather than in specific, long-term roles. That’s why they often look to freelancers and independent contractors to work for a specific period of time rather than bring on full-time, long-term employees. This model allows employees to come onto a team and work on a project for a brief period of time, which lets them earn money and put their skills to good use while gaining some new ones. What’s more is that a company may be so impressed with the work that was done that they offer a full-time position, if that’s something the contractor or freelancer likes the sound of.
There’s a lot of change to navigate and get used to in today’s workplace, for employees of all ages. Millennials are often better positioned to take advantage of the shift, mainly because they have the right resources and perspective to maximize a gig or side hustle. It will certainly be interesting to see what’s coming up next for workers and companies alike.