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Could starting a side hustle be your ticket to financial success?

The term “side hustle” has grown in popularity in recent years and can encompass any job done in addition to a full-time job, from tutoring to waitressing to starting a business.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, many people around the world have embarked on a parallel stampede.

Driven by the rising cost of living and the coronavirus pandemic providing people with more free time, the flexible gig economy is quickly becoming a preferred way of working for many.

What are the advantages of working in parallel?

The first and most obvious benefit of doing a side hustle is extra income. Whether it’s to help pay the bills to combat the effects of inflation or to boost your savings account, most people would appreciate a little extra cash.

According to recruitment experts, people can earn between Dh3,000 and Dh6,000 extra per month on average with a side hustle, which can boost savings or speed up debt repayment.

A side business can also help you expand and improve your skills and network. For example, if you help small business owners manage their social media accounts, you’ll learn how to grow an audience while getting paid.

It could help you in the future if you start your own business or open the door to job opportunities in different industries.

You could turn your side business into a full-time income that allows you to leave your current job for more flexibility, fulfillment and money.

Are there any downsides to starting a side business?

Whatever the type of work, it takes time. It can be exhausting on top of a full-time job and can lead to stress and burnout.

To alleviate this, it may be more enjoyable to start a side hustle doing something you’re passionate about. You can also set goals and plan what you will do with the extra income to stay motivated.

If you spend a lot of money upfront on equipment, training, or lessons and don’t recoup your investment, it could result in a loss.

To compensate for this, set a limit on how much you will invest in your side business before generating some income. Once you know you can definitely make money, you can always invest more in your side business.

Check your contract or speak with your human resources department to make sure you meet the terms of your current employer.

You may have contractual restrictions in your full-time job that prevent you from doing certain types of work; for example, your availability to work certain shifts or conflicts of interest.

However, it should be noted that under laws announced in February 2022, employees in the UAE have the right to work part-time in addition to their main job. Also, if you are starting a business, you must apply for a license to conduct your business.

Each emirate has slightly different requirements, but it has generally become easier and cheaper to obtain a business license. To find out more, consult the website of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

Which is the best side hustle to choose?

It’s common to want to start a side business, but feel overwhelmed with the decision of what to do.

Generally, it’s helpful to consider what your skills are, what your community needs, and what you enjoy doing.

The intersection of all of these answers is how you will earn money.

For example, if you’re a talented photographer, love taking pictures of people, and there are plenty of wedding venues in your area, offering a wedding photography service might be your perfect side hustle.

What are some of the most popular side activities?

Tutoring or teaching: if you have a specialized skill or knowledge, there are people who want to learn what you know. With so many easily accessible online platforms, it’s never been easier to market and sell your skills, from school subjects to knitting to sports.

House or animal care: many people travel regularly and will pay you to take care of their luxury homes and furry friends.

E-commerce: sell handmade or repurposed products through websites such as Etsy, Facebook, and Amazon.

Professional services: freelance services, such as copywriting, social media management, and digital design are just a few of the skills in demand in the online space.

Whatever you decide to do, matching a market need to something you enjoy doing is the sweet spot for parallel success.

Alison Soltani is the founder of

Updated: July 29, 2022, 5:00 a.m.

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