5 Pros & Cons of Side Hustling vs. Working Overtime

By Kayla Sloan

| Photographs By Tetra Images/Tetra Images

Life is expensive. Between your necessary expenses, like bills, rent and food, things you might want to do for fun, and saving for the necessary life events, both expected and unexpected, it can feel like your paycheck, no matter how large, is never enough.

While you could search for a job with a higher paycheck or negotiate a raise, those options aren’t always feasible or achievable. And if you like your job or company, searching for something different might not be for you.

So, you are left with two options: opt to work overtime or pick up a side hustle.

While both decisions will likely lead you to an increase in income, depending on your schedule and life, one might work better for you than the other.

So, before officially opting for working overtime or a side hustle, consider the pros and cons of each. 

Working Overtime 

1. It Might Not Be an Option for Everyone 

If you’re an hourly employee, then overtime can be a great option for you. That being said, however, if you’re paid on a salary basis, overtime might not necessarily be an option.

Some companies recognize overtime and will compensate you accordingly. But others might feel that your salary allots for overtime as well. And while there are laws regarding overtime, depending on your paycheck, you might very well be exempt.

2. Better Recognition

One major benefit of overtime is the effect it could have on your career in the long run. Employers are quick to recognize employees who take initiative in the form of extra work and responsibilities.

Being open to working longer hours could put you in the front-running for various benefits, such as bonuses, and promotions. In the end, it could increase your overall earnings and let you quit working so much overtime.

3. It’s Already a Job You Know

Side hustles can be a nice break from your normal job. However, there’s no doubt a benefit in simply working a job you already excel at. Unless your side hustle involves skills you already possess, it could mean learning new skills or training.

For most of us, this might take longer than we’d like when it comes to earning more. By working overtime, you can start earning money instantly with the skills you already have.

4. Sacrifice Your Social Life

Working overtime will no doubt have an affect on your family and social life. The longer you’re at work, the less time you’ll have with friends and family. Plus, since work rarely works around your schedule, it could mean missing out on important events and functions with the ones you love.

Be sure the income is worth it and maybe discuss it with those most important to you before potentially going down a path that could strain your relationships.

5. You’ll Get Burned Out 

Even if you like your job, doing anything too much has the potential to burn you out quickly. Having a balanced home and work life is imperative to being not only a happy and productive employee, but a happy person, as well. If it begins to feel as though you never leave work, overtime might not be the best solution. 

Side Hustling

1. It Can Release Your Creativity

Most people don’t have an opportunity to use their creativity or passion in their day-to-day jobs.

If you’re someone with an artistic or creative passion, having a side hustle could be a way for you to utilize those skills—all while making money. Whether you’re a writer, painter, photographer, or furniture refinisher, there’s no doubt that people would pay you to do just that.

2. Increase Your Skills

If you don’t necessarily have a skill already that you can use, but have a job or skill you’d love to learn, then side hustling can be a great way to do so. Anytime you have an opportunity to increase your skill or knowledge level it’s inherently a good thing.

Overall, increasing your skills increases your equity as an employee and job seeker. So, if you’re hoping to learn something new, a side hustle could be a great way to do it.

3. You Could Find Your New Passion

For many people, the jobs they go to every day are sometimes roles they fell into, not necessarily ones they dreamed of doing one day. While that’s not a bad thing, and for some it is a job they love, it doesn’t mean that your passion couldn’t still be out there.

Having a side hustle can be a great way to try an array of jobs and roles. That being the case, you never know where it could lead or what passion you could discover.

4. It Could Affect Your Day Job

Side hustles are popular for a reason; however, depending on the one you pick and how much work you receive, it could turn into a complete second job before you know it. If work picks up with your side hustle, it could cause your productivity or work in your first job to suffer.

Plus, some employers have specific rules when it comes to working additional jobs, which could get you into hot water. Nonetheless, even if your employer is OK with it, be sure you can handle the stress and work that comes with two jobs before having a full-blown side hustle.

5. Lack of Time for You

Although your social life might suffer when you’re working overtime, a side hustle could in some ways be worse or leave you with little to no time for yourself. If you’re working overtime, you still have the potential to go home and relax.

If you have a side hustle, however, you might simply go home and begin your second job. Carefully consider the amount of time and effort your side hustle will take before officially signing up for one.

The Bottom Line

Extra income can be a great thing. It can free up money to allow you to live a little more comfortably, provide you with extra entertainment money, or simply help you save and reach your financial goals more quickly.

Even so, whether you choose to work overtime or create a side hustle, extra income inevitably means more of your free time. Be sure the income is worth sacrificing certain aspects of your life for. And at the end of the day, carefully consider the pros and cons that come with both overtime and side hustling to ensure you choose the right option for you.


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This article was written by Kayla Sloan from Everything Finance and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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