Skip to Main Content
by Andrew Fennell | April 21, 2023


A side hustle can do more than boost your bank account; it can also boost your career. Below are seven ways a side hustle can help you climb the corporate ladder.

1. It gives you talking points during the application and interview process 

When writing a resume fresh out of college, you might find that your only real focal point is your studies. While that’s not a bad thing, having a side hustle gives you even more to talk about. It will give you a chance to outline relevant skills and accomplishments in your resume summary. It can also bolster your employment history section, which can be particularly helpful if haven’t had any internships or part-time jobs. In addition, your side hustle will give you some helpful talking points in your interviews

2. It adds to your skill set

No matter what your side hustle is, it can boost your skill set. The experiences you gain through your side hustle can strengthen your existing skills and help you gain new skills. And the better and more skills you have, the more desirable you’ll be to employers, increasing your chances of landing the job you want.

3. It gives you a competitive advantage

When you graduate, thousands of other students will also be graduating around the same time. These people will inevitably become your competition in the working world, and having a side hustle can give you a competitive edge. If you have similar qualifications to someone else, it could be your business acumen and experience that puts you ahead of them when it comes to the hiring process.

4. It helps you grow your professional network

No matter what industry you’re working in, having a successful side hustle can help you grow your professional network, adding to the connections you can turn to for references, advice, and job opportunities. You might even have regular clients that you've been working for on a freelance basis that want to hire your services full time in the future. That, or you can just name-drop impressive clients or projects on your resume to help you get ahead.

5. It helps you build a portfolio

As well as building your network, you might also be able to build a strong portfolio through a side hustle. Depending on the nature of your side hustle, it can give you a huge advantage when the time comes to securing your next role, whether freelance or full time. For example, if you’re a freelance graphic designer and you've been creating images and artwork alongside your studies, you can put these into a portfolio to share with potential employers.

6. It can increase your confidence

Another way in which a side hustle can help you climb the ladder is by building your confidence. If you've already begun dealing with customers, clients, or other professionals, you’ll feel more equipped to do so in the future. Plus, you’ll have strengthened and developed your skills, making you more comfortable taking on new responsibilities. All of this can help you enter the working world feeling confident, capable, and ready to take on your next role\

7. It can decrease financial stress

Finally, financial stress can negatively impact your career. It might force you to take a job you aren’t as passionate about or to make a rushed decision. However, a side hustle can support you financially giving you more freedom to look around and take the time to find the job that is perfect for you. Not only this, but it can help you to set your salary expectations and ensure you earn what you are worth.

Andrew Fennell is the founder and director of StandOut CV, a leading CV builder and careers advice website. He is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to publications like Business Insider, The Guardian, and The Independent.