These days, it seems like everyone has a side hustle – a way they are making money aside from their regular jobs. But a side hustle isn’t just a part time job. A good side hustle brings in income, but can also allow you to try out a new business idea, monetize a hobby, or just let you flex your creative muscles in a new way.
Physicians and healthcare professionals work long hours and many have schedules that can vary greatly from week to week. The idea of spending your hard-earned time off by doing more work probably doesn’t sound appealing. But while making money is an essential component of a side hustle, it’s not the only factor. Here are six ways you could benefit from a side hustle.
Create a New Income Stream
When it comes down to it, everyone could use a little extra income. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, medical school graduates in 2019 had an average debt of $201,490. With that balance and a standard 6.25% interest rate on a 10-year repayment plan, those graduates are looking at payments of $2,288 every month. A side hustle early in your career can help you pay down your debts faster, giving you more disposable income and allowing you to put more into savings.
If you’re lucky enough to have already paid off your student loans, a side hustle is extra income. Besides providing a safeguard against unforeseen expenses, a side hustle may help you take that dream trip or help put your kids through college.
Monetize Your Hobbies
One way to be a better doctor is to be a well-rounded person and a key part of that is having hobbies and creative activities you’re passionate about. If you’re lucky, you’ve become so highly skilled at one of them that your friends and family tease you about changing careers. Maybe you don’t want to spend all of your time baking custom birthday cakes or giving new life to old furniture pieces, but why not take a few orders, get paid for your skills, and cover the costs of your materials?
It’s your side hustle, so you get to decide how much or how little you want to do. If you know you traditionally have a little downtime at certain points in the year, focus that time on your side hustle.
Hedge Against the Unknown
The business of medicine is full of uncertainty. There are many things out of our control – regulatory changes, supply chain issues, insurance carriers that dictate timing and amount of reimbursement, and even public health matters that impact our hours of operation or the scheduling of procedures.
A side hustle, particularly one outside of medicine, can provide another way to keep your income steady when your primary job is in flux.
Try Out a New Business Idea
Your side hustle can be related to medicine, but different from your day job. If you’re considering starting your own practice or trying concierge medicine, a side hustle is a great way to test the waters before taking the plunge. Of course, working in the same industry as your day job creates some challenges. You may need to negotiate with your primary employer to make sure your side hustle doesn’t violate your contract or create a conflict of interest.
Increase Your Retirement Savings
According to a recent survey, three in ten Americans currently have a side hustle. In some situations, a side hustle can allow you to open another type of retirement account, such as a solo 401(k) with earnings from your extra income. Talk to your financial planner or CPA about the tax implications of your side hustle.
Grow Your Network
A side hustle can also open up avenues to network in new ways. The people that you meet through your side hustle can become your clients, service providers, or professional partners in your full-time job. Your side hustle customers can also become a source of referrals, sending friends and family to you when they are looking for a new care provider. Finally, your side hustle can be a point of differentiation, making you memorable to the people you meet when the room is full of doctors or healthcare professionals.
Everyone has their own reason for side hustling. Whether your primary goal is to increase your income or to try something new without a full-time commitment, a side hustle could work for you. The hardest step is deciding to start.