Finding a new job can be tough, especially when you’re literally competing against hundreds of people for one job. So, how do you show off your skills and stand out against the rest of them?

Aside from adding Planted to your job search tools (which can help you find awesome jobs with startups and other high-growth companies), ramping up your resume sounds like a great place to start. But sometimes even well-written ones won’t stand a chance, especially if you only have a few years of experience or you’re making a career change.

Investing your time in a side hustle can give you the leg up that you want. Not only will you develop your skill set in something that you’re interested in, you’ll also have a chance to earn an extra buck or two. It’s a great way to put your talents to use without the pressure of managing a full-blown business (unless you want to!).

Debating whether or not to start or expand something outside your regular working hours? Here’s why your resume will thank you when you do:

A side hustle shows you’re invested in your career

Pretty sure the saying “the early bird catches the worm” was created with side hustlers in mind. By looking for and working at these extra opportunities, you strengthen what you’re already good at, while also helping expand your know-how along the way.

As you learn how to brand yourself and earn some extra income, your side hustle will provide a fun way to learn new skills. It’s a great way to invest in yourself AND step into a role you’re curious about, which shows great dedication to your own professional development.

What better way to find out what you want to do than to get real, hands-on experience?

A side hustle lets folks know you’ve got soul

Side hustles take passion, love, and a pinch of individuality.

Exploring what excites you gives you an easy way to discover brand new ideas in the industry and gives you an edge when returning to the office. You might find that your side hustle helps you bond with your team over coffee one day, or helps you brainstorm cool campaign pitches for your next project at work.

Developing those additional interests means you’ll grow viewpoints and opinions unique to you. Your extraordinary perspective will add zest to your work and interactions.


A side hustle means you’re resourceful

Building a side gig will come with its order of small fires.

Things happen (from tweeting the wrong link, to rescheduling your product launch date), so part of your role as boss and employee will be coming up with new solutions and creative ways to get things done on top of your full-time job.

Learning to think on your feet is a huge plus of running a side hustle, and challenging yourself to think outside of the box to create a unique experience will be half the fun. Your resourcefulness will translate to other aspects of your career too – double points!

A side hustle screams creative!

Dream up new ideas and don’t be afraid to pursue them! A side gig can offer you a creative outlet to be imaginative and inventive.

Ever wonder why friends and coworkers ask us what we did over the weekend? It’s not just a way to find out how you spent your time, it’s also a great way for them to get a deeper look into the hip and original things you’re involved in.

And if you get confident in talking about your productive weekends, you’ll give current and future employers a look into how your mind works, and the kinds of visionary schemes you can bring to the team. It’ll work wonders for your resume and mind.

A side hustle will let you practice your networking skills

Networking is essential to a side hustle. Putting yourself out there can be daunting, but it will be a big part of your growth.

Expanding your network can be as simple as participating in conversations in your Facebook group, or joining a local wellness class. As you build and grow your circle, you’ll also build and grow your communication skills (and you know a star communicator is a team asset!)

Don’t be scared to get to know new folks, share what you’re working on, and create connections.

A side hustle sharpens your time management

When your plate of responsibilities is full, time management will save the day.

Your side hustle should be adding to your job, not taking away from it. Having a clear-cut plan and schedule will ensure that you’re not using work time for outside projects. Your boss (and coworkers) may not be too happy to hear if you’ve been using company time for your side gig.

Hustling on the side will mean getting organized so that your momentum and productivity don’t suffer. Learning how to balance multiple projects is a great life skill, so it’s worth adding this to your career toolbox.

Where can side hustles get you?

Side hustles are the ultimate way to give your resume a nice facelift, get an extra boost of creativity, and teach yourself new skills. If you’re not sure where to start, you can get some inspiration from the tons of courses on Skillshare, or you can even teach your own!

Then, when you’re ready to  make that next step in your career, join Planted and get connected to startups that would be happy to have you and your hustle on their team.

Meet the Author:

Dronile Hiraldo is a regular contributor for Planted. She’s New York City-born and bred, with a love for travel, entrepreneurship, and wellness. She credits her East Coast upbringing in Washington Heights for empowering her love of Selena, pop culture, and social activism. When she’s not deep in a new book, she loves tinkering with photography, eating doughnuts, and listening to Michael Jackson.