Glamourising the idea of a second job is bad news for workers
In our ever busy, demanding and expensive world it's become a necessity for many of us to increase or maximise our income streams. According to the latest labour market report from the Office for National Statistics, there are now more than 1.1 million people across the UK who have more than one revenue stream.
Whereas in the past people may have taken on small jobs in order to earn pin money, nowadays Instagram is awash with people proclaiming that they're living a life of luxury fuelled by 'side hustles', but as with many things we see on social media, the reality is often far more complicated.
Earning extra money on the side of your main income is something that many of us have done for a variety of reasons; supplementing income when on maternity leave, earning a bit more for holiday spending money, or maybe even to pay for school fees or uniforms. This may have taken lots of forms such as ebaying old clothes, doing car boot sales or taking in ironing.
All of these things have a proven track record of helping people, but aren't exactly glamourous. However, there's been an increasing trend to rebrand second jobs into the more instaworthy 'side hustle'.
Although the term is different, generally speaking, a 'side hustle' is still additional work - either another job, or maybe a small business based around your hobby (think Etsy shop), that you take on outside of your main source of income to earn extra money.
While the term itself isn't new, the use of it, especially by media outlets, as a catch-all phrase for all secondary work is. The BBC has recently been asking people 'what's your side hustle?' And Guardian Labs has a page dedicated to them. Side hustles, it seems, are everywhere.
A side hustle can be a great way to earn some money by doing something that you love. But many of the recommendations for good ways to earn money are not found from these reputable media outlets, but instead from click-bait articles promoting quick fixes over developing a sustainable business.
In many ways it's hard to distinguish the idea of modern side hustles from the age-old problem of having to juggle a number of jobs to help pay the bills.
Side hustles often claim to offer flexibility and independence in a way that traditional roles do not. But the reality is that many merely offer insecurity, unpredictable pay, and few workers' rights often for companies with worrying associations to pyramid...