The Help Files: Need Extra Cash for the Holidays (who doesn’t)? Try a Side Gig

The Gig Economy: Mark Warner on Flickr

Image by Mark Warner on Flickr, No Changes, License

The U.S. Thanksgiving holiday heralds the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, all part of the giant monolith capable of eating a paycheck from miles away, have already staked their claims on our wallets. So in addition to all the fun and festivity associated with these holidays, there’s the undeniable downside: you’ll be asked to lay out boatloads of cash.

According to evidence both statistical and anecdotal, money-related issues are at the top of pretty much everyone’s panic list. And the stress grows exponentially at this time of year when everyone seems to have their hand out for your hard-earned dollars. You’re expected to buy gifts for your kid’s teachers; relatives who need absolutely nothing still expect Christmas presents; you’ve just been assigned to bring the most expensive food dish known to culinary science to your company’s holiday potluck lunch; and you need to purchase truckloads of wine to survive all that time spent with your family.

And just where is all this magical extra money supposed to come from?  Why, from your side gig, of course.

When I was growing up in the 1960s and ‘70s, having a second job was unthinkable. If you were an educated, working adult back then, your one job was your life. My dad worked for Honeywell. His pay raises were regular and he usually got at least five percent. Sadly, those days are gone forever.

Nowadays, side jobs are the thing. It used to be called “moonlighting,” and was frowned upon, but not anymore. Side jobs are also called “side gigs” and “side hustles.” Side jobs are done on the side, apart from your regular full-time employment.

Side gigs not only allow you to cushion your bank account throughout the year, but they can also give your personality a chance to shine through. Too many people trudge to their day jobs not because they enjoy the work, but because they need the stability of safe, full-time employment. A side gig can show more of the real you, more of your personality, and may also provide some protection against the ever-present threat of being laid-off.

Side gigs are a good thing. And if you don’t have one yet, no worries. The November 2016 edition of The Help Files is here to lend a hand. Just don’t ask us to help you find gifts for all your crazy relatives.

6 Reasons Why You Need a Side Gig Right Now

Sometimes people start side gigs not just for the extra money, but because they dislike their day jobs. People want a little something on the side that provides the satisfaction that their day jobs lack. If you’re lucky, the side gig you love might evolve into the day job you love. Read John White’s article on for more information.

How A Side Gig Can Be Your Key To Career Satisfaction

While working their day jobs, people occasionally notice that their company’s customers may not be completely satisfied with all aspects of the business. If you decide upon the right side gig, it can offer the “opportunity to do meaningful work that can promote career growth and satisfaction.” Read Jane Porter’s article on for a few pointers on how to choose the right side gig for you.

3 Things To Remember When Looking For A Side Hustle To Help You Launch Your Career

Whether you’re fresh out of college or a mid-career professional, a side gig can “often teach you more about leadership and your career of choice faster than patiently waiting” will. For more, read Tori Utley’s post on

On the Concept of a “Side Hustle”

Mike Sturm works his side gig for free, because he loves doing it. According to Mike, trying to monetize what he does on the side makes it seem more like actual work. He already enjoys doing it, so why try to fix it? Read Mike Sturm’s piece on

7 Secrets for a Successful Side Gig

If you’re fired up and ready to get your side gig going, you might want to read a few tips that will help you succeed. Obviously, one is to “expect setbacks and learn from them.” For the other six tips, read Christine Ryan Jyoti’s article on The Muse.

Have some tips or tools to share with your fellow technical communicators, information developers, and content creators? Let’s network! Drop me a note: Follow me on Twitter, connect with me on LinkedIn, circle me on Google+, or email me at I enjoy connecting with others in the industry.

Category: The Help FIles

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