That Side Hustle Life

by Lisa Hill

In undergrad the saying went “Good Grades, Social Life, Sleep. You can only pick two.” As a new professional, I am quickly learning just how fast my paycheck disappears after taxes, insurance, retirement, and bills have been paid. My updated version of the old saying goes “Paying Bills, Saving for Retirement, Extra Cash. You can only pick two…if you are having a good month and your old car didn’t breakdown again.”

Before going further I must state that I feel very privileged and happy with the salary and benefits package of my current position. My salary is higher than I expected to earn and is actually the highest that I found when applying for coordinator level positions. Additionally, the benefits package provided at my institution is generous and makes me feel valued as a professional. However, I am still an entry-level Student Affairs professional and we all know that our field is not designed as a get-rich-quick scheme. We are here because of our passion and our belief in the work that we do.

Shortly after starting my current position I sat down, dusted off my math skills from freshman year of undergrad, calculated my take-home salary, and set a budget for my new life. While all my basics are covered and I know where my next meal is coming from, I am not content with the small amount I am setting aside for emergencies and future expenses, let alone for travel and fun purchases.

I now find myself spending my evening after work doing what any good millennial would do in my situation, consulting Google. But what is an introverted Student Affairs professional to do? I’m way too snarky and blunt for retail, my 9-5 job schedule is too unpredictable for most traditional job, I don’t have the social media savvy or dedication to be successful at sales programs, and after my day job I’m too exhausted for unnecessary social interactions. I haven’t yet found my solution but I’m determined to make this happen. A side hustle is a small price to pay for a fulltime job that provides me with fulfillment and coworkers who share my passion.

Recently I have noticed more and more friends who are living the side hustle life. As new Student Affairs professionals how do you fill the gaps in your budget? Do you have any suggestions for an introvert friendly side hustle?

Student Affairs - the First Years

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