7 Compelling Reasons to Start a Side Project

Lying on a rooftop in the sun, working on a side project

Creating more work for yourself? You must be kidding me, right? The thought of pursuing a side project might send you running for the hills, but for those of you who are eager to quench your thirst for fulfillment, beginning or resuming a side project might just be the perfect thing to activate your joy switch.  

Plus, Google didn’t introduce their famous 20 percent rule, allowing employees to spend 20 percent of their time pursuing extra-curricular projects, without an ulterior motive. It was designed to grow a more productive and creative cohort.

So, what does a side project entail and how does it differ from a hobby? A hobby is best defined as a long-term interest, while a side project has a distinct output/finished product. In order to reap the rewards, one must adhere to the following criteria: low risk, low pressure, and labour of love. In other words, food on the table should not be contingent on the success of your project, you should have complete freedom to experiment with new ideas and this should be something that brings you joy. If you haven’t yet reached for the notepad, perhaps these 7 perks will inspire you to take action.

Enjoy creative freedom

The ability to work at your own pace, according to your own schedule, without deadlines or specifications imposed by anyone but you, is truly liberating. You’re more inclined to take risks and reach your creative potential when fear of judgment is removed from the equation.

Discover your passion

Pursuing a side project that combines your interests can help you uncover your true passion which can play a pivotal role in shaping your career. For projects that tickle your fancy but you know very little about, tap into the mammoth selection of short courses online, from starting an Amazon store on a tight budget to baking like a pro, the options are endless! Start learning on Udemy today! 

Restore the balance

Side projects compensate for what work assignments often lack – freedom and autonomy. If work is frequently intercepting your thoughts and it’s all you find yourself talking about, tackling a personal project can help you restore the balance in your life.

Test the waters

Pursuing a new career and swimming away from familiar territory can spark panic and a generous portion of uncertainty. Side projects give you the opportunity to test the waters of a potential career path or startup before diving in headfirst, unequipped with the knowledge or skills to succeed.

Renew your sense of purpose

If the 9 to 5 grind is dampening your spirits and dissolving your motivation, search for another source of fulfilment that jolts you awake each morning. Pursuing a project that you feel passionately about can offer a renewed sense of purpose and restore your motivation.

Top up your knowledge bank

Side projects provide an opportunity for personal growth and development. You can expand your knowledge, acquire new skills or at the very least, refine your current skill set. Taking the initiative to develop your skills can also help you excel in your career.

Build your confidence

Witnessing the progression of your side project and mastering a set of skills will undoubtedly restore your confidence and faith in yourself. If the knowledge that you have acquired is relevant to your line of work, this new found confidence will shine through in your performance.

Whether you choose to write a book, develop an app or code a website, the benefits you are exposed to are invaluable. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your notebook and start brainstorming ideas for your next project!

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