7 Reasons It May Not Make Sense For You To Start A Side Hustle

Today, many people are feeling the pressure to pick up additional work to supplement their income and monetize the time spent away from their primary job. According to Zippia, a little fewer than half of Americans have a side hustle, whether that's food delivery, babysitting, or starting their own small online business. These secondary jobs can allow you to make extra money on the side and develop your resume in fields you may have not previously explored. But they can also create additional sources of stress, especially if one job is already demanding enough.


Nowadays, hustle culture is reigning supreme, and, if you're struggling to cover your bills or pay off debt, people are quick to suggest finding an alternate source of funds. For some, a side hustle is exactly what they need to give themselves a boost. But others might be feeling the pressure to overwork themselves — amidst a sea of friends and family that have taken up secondary gigs to keep the lights on or bolster their savings. Embarking on a side hustle is a personal decision. But, for some, it might not be the best course of action.

Your primary job is already utilizing all of your energy

If you're already devoting practically all of your time and energy to your primary job, deciding to pursue a side hustle could lead you straight down the path of burnout. The unfortunate truth is that many of the most physically and mentally demanding positions often pay the least (work in the service industry, for example). So you could be feeling the pressure to pursue another source of income, even after coming home completely drained after your shift. Picking up a side gig might work out in the short term. But after a few weeks, you'll probably find yourself completely exhausted and unable to perform at your best at either of your jobs.


If you have the option, it might be time to attempt to negotiate a raise or pursue another line of work. This is much easier said than done. But if your current position isn't adequately compensating you for your time and cutting off your ability to seek out supplemental income, you'll be stuck in the same loop until you make a change.

Your existing job is your focus

Following the same line of thought, if your existing position is exactly where you want to be, you should devote your time and energy to learning and maximizing your performance in your current role. Yes, jobs are obviously a source of income, but they're also a source of experience. If you want to stay in your current field, the best way to move up and secure a higher position in the company is by showing growth and opening yourself up to opportunities that allow you to learn and stand out. If you're devoting all of your time after work to a side hustle, you likely won't be able to do this.


If you're working in public relations, for example, adding your time as a rideshare driver to your resume likely won't do much to help you find a more well-paying position. What will help, however, is letters of recommendation from your current employer in the field and your willingness to pursue additional projects — ones that could make you a more valuable asset to a future team.

Your side hustle doesn't align with your goals

Again, the name of the game when it comes to promotions and new, better-paying positions is experience. If you're considering taking up a side hustle simply for the additional money, it won't do much for your resume. It could decrease the amount of effort you're able to put into your primary field. With that being said, however, there are plenty of side hustles that could help build applicable experience and put you ahead of other candidates.


If your dream job is working in fundraising for a pet adoption agency, part-time food delivery will do little more than add a few lines of text to your resume. Instead, consider pet sitting or dog walking to earn some extra cash. This way, you'll be learning marketable skills and gaining real-world experience that relates to your ideal future career. You'll maximize the time and effort you put in and bettering your chances of future success.

You want your hobbies to stay relaxing

If you're a creative person, you've likely had at least one person in your life say that you should start selling some of the projects you're doing for fun. It seems like a great idea at the start. After all, you spend all your free time knitting, painting, or baking anyway, so why not make some extra cash from your hard work? For some, this works out amazingly, and they go on to start successful small businesses and enjoy creating commissions for clients. For others, however, it takes the fun out of it.


If you use your creative hobby as a way to wind down after a long day and express your individuality, monetizing those skills can suddenly transform your passion into a source of stress instead of a way to alleviate it. Of course, this all depends on the individual. But if you want to ensure your hobbies stay separate from the stresses of your work life, it might be a good idea to pursue another option.

You're uncomfortable advertising yourself

Some side hustles that run through larger companies don't require you to advertise yourself as an individual. But, if you're planning to start a small business or monetize your specific skills, it requires you to essentially promote yourself as a product. If you've ever felt uncomfortable writing a cover letter or arguing why you're fit for a certain position in an interview, you might want to think twice about a side hustle.


The bulk of the work in most side hustles involves finding clients that are willing to pay for your product or service. You'll spend a surprising amount of time writing bios, stating your experience, and meeting with clients to guarantee you're the right fit. Unfortunately, it can feel a little personal if someone decides to pass based on what you've told them. With a typical position, you're working under a larger company. You won't have to deal with many one-on-one interactions like this. But when you're running your own enterprise (especially a service-based one), you function as your own marketing team, labor force, and product.

You're not in a position to take risks

When it comes to starting a side hustle, many people don't realize the level of risk required to branch out independently. If you're planning to sell your own creations, start up an online store, or advertise your services, there are startup costs associated with that. In the beginning, you'll likely be spending more of your own money than you're making. There's no outright guarantee of success, much less large amounts of profit.


Additionally, side hustles can often put you in vulnerable situations — both physically and as it relates to your employment. Many of these jobs, even if they're under a larger company, may require you to go to other people's homes or explore unfamiliar areas. They also don't come with the same level of job security as a typical position. If your company is going through a bit of a rough patch, you'll still likely have a job at the end of the day and get paid the same salary. A decrease in personal clients through a side hustle, however, will directly impact your income.

You're looking for an immediate payout

For people that need money, and fast, a side hustle is often seen as a quicker method to make some extra cash almost immediately. Unfortunately, this is only true for certain positions. If you're planning to branch out on your own, it takes time to build relationships with clients and get your name out. In the meantime, you'll be stuck working on advertising without any extra money in your pocket. Some options, like food delivery or dog walking through an app, promise quicker results. But there are often heavy fees and multi-day transfer times that can cut into your profits and cause more of a wait than expected. As an example, Rover, a dog sitting and walking service, takes 15% to 25% of employees' profits as a convenience fee.


All in all, a side hustle can be beneficial to many people, but it's not as easy (or even necessary) as a lot of people make it out to be. If you're willing to take risks, find something that aligns with your career, and still establish a good work-life balance, however, it's a great option to pad your pockets and give you some hands-on experience.