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‘Your career doesn’t have to be your entire life’: Why some companies are encouraging side-hustles

Published 9/08/2021,

After falling in love with the white beaches and crystal waters of St Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands while honeymooning in 2012, marketer Stephanie Knoeck and her husband Ben decided to relocate there from Chicago in 2015.

In August 2020, after years of consideration, they started a boat charter company. “It was now or never,” she said. “I didn’t expect much from year one and have been pleasantly surprised. We’d love it to continue to grow.”

The Knoecks are two of 4.4 million people in the U.S. who started a business in 2020 — a 24% increase from 2019. But what’s more remarkable is that Stephanie remains a full-time senior director of client success at WorkReduce, a flexible staffing provider for the media and marketing industry. She’s still a career marketer, with no plans yet to step away.

And she isn’t alone. In the U.S., 34% of people started a side hustle this year, according to automated work platform Zapier, which surveyed 2,000 adults. Of these new part-time business owners, 38% were motivated by wanting to spend their time on something fun and creative, and 33% wanted to diversify their income streams, according to the same report.

While some employers may regard employees having a side hustle as an unwelcome distraction, others are actively encouraging their staff to pursue them. WorkReduce has developed somewhat of a side hustle culture and Stephanie’s colleagues have set up an eclectic mix of businesses, ranging from bike shops, doggy daycare businesses to podcast and YouTube channel hosting.

Founder and CEO Brian Dolan said it’s become an unintentional trend fostered by its fully remote and flexible workforce. For Dolan, it’s about reconciling the fear of distraction and resignation amongst side hustlers, with the benefits of engagement and satisfaction, especially in the face of the widely reported “Great Resignation” — citing the 1,000 open roles across the five ad agency holding groups WorkReduce services…(read full article)

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