Being a moonlighter, or even an unpaid volunteer, can bring you more rewards than you may realize. Here are some reasons to expand your employment horizons.
1. It looks great on your resume.
A side job allows you to acquire experience that your main job doesn't. And if it's with a charitable or community organization, it shows that you are a well-rounded and caring individual — the kind that any hiring executives in your future will love.
2. It lets you test the waters.
If you're thinking about a complete change of career direction, a side gig can give you a taste of what the field is like before you take the plunge.
3. It makes you more efficient.
Having a second job forces you to manage your time better; there's just no other way to get everything done by the end of the day. This is a skill that will benefit your life both on and off the job.
4. It makes new connections.
For building a successful career — or social life — you can never have too many people in your network. Any one of this new group of co-workers may lead you to the job of your dreams, introduce you to your soul mate, or become a customer if you start your own business.
5. It lets you pursue your passion.
Maybe your ideal life work doesn't actually pay enough to make a living, at least for now. Go ahead and take those standup comedy gigs, draw portraits in the park on Saturdays or volunteer at the animal shelter. You'll be happier when you spend at least part of your time fulfilling your true purpose.
Bonus reason that sort of is about the money: That second job can be a very welcome safety net if you get laid off from your primary job. And since you're already established there, you'll have the best chance of turning it into your next full-time position.