Assistants Can Have Side Hustles Too

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you have a side hustle. In today’s gig economy, side hustles are the norm.

Nearly 4 in 10 Americans have side hustles. I’ve met therapists who are Uber drivers, PhD students who manage AirBnB’s, and data scientists that sell people’s stuff on eBay. Technology makes it easier than ever to take your niche skill or hobby and turn it into a tool for financial independence.

Assistants are no exception to the rule. I meet assistants every week with side hustles. They are bloggers, bakers, brewers, dog walkers, and more. It’s needless to say that they work hard both as assistants and in their side careers.

And their motivation in neither is money. We all know that assistants, by and large, should earn more money than they do. That’s a conversation for another day, however. Generally speaking, having a side hustle is not the secret to getting rich. The median income for a side hustle is $200 per month.

A side hustle, for most people, is about expressing and executing a creative vision. It’s also about finding more fulfillment in our lives through balance, trying new things and taking risks.

Before starting Cabinet, I worked as an assistant and had a couple of side hustles. I rented my apartment on AirBnB when I traveled and hosted pop-up fitness classes at a local brewery. These couldn’t be further from the wonderful world of office administration and that’s why I found them fulfilling; I needed to stretch different muscles. But, I barely broke even on both of these ventures.


My goal in sharing this story with you is you don’t feel alone in your desire to find fulfillment outside your day job. I also want to give you a helpful piece of advice: share you side hustle with your colleagues, if possible.

It’s extremely difficult to keep a side hustle private. To me, it was very important that no part of my life be a secret. I knew occasionally I would need to leave work to help an AirBnB tenant, for example, and would never want to lie about where I was. Being honest with my leaders came naturally. I feel fortunate, however. Many employers don’t create psychologically safe environments like the one I was in.

This is a mistake. After all, retention is very important to businesses. If this side hustle makes you happy with your current job and you’re still doing great work, why wouldn’t they want you to continue it?

There’s also another argument for sharing your side hustle with your leaders. It is likely to position you in a new light to your colleagues. For most side hustles, the gig will portray you as a boss, as a creative, and as a strategist. It’s not surprising that assistants crave a side hustle.

So what is your side hustle? Or rather, what will be your first side hustle? Share in the comment section below.

  1. Yes! You are right Julia. I have my own personal assistant business and I am a personal trainer on top of my full time job as an Executive Assistant at a private equity firm. I think our personalities as assistants naturally just drive us to want to do more and help others outside of our “9-to-5”.

  2. I’m an EA who has always thought about getting a side hustle. The more I considered it, the more I realized how much the work/life balance is so important to me. I didn’t want to overwhelm myself and take away from my downtime outside of work. I think it’s great that you mention to find something you’re passionate about. I’m passionate about riding my bike down mountains. Although I’m sure I could twist that around to some sort of bike delivery service or such, I decided to take a different route. I sat down and did research on my salary. I then scheduled a meeting with my boss (lady) and asked for the largest raise I have ever asked for in my life. I showed her the study I did and had been talking to her before about my side hustle search. Since she didn’t want me getting distracted with other work she gave me the raise I requested.
    Retention is important to businesses and I am also fortunate enough to work in a company that recognizes that.
    Though I still think about a side hustle, I do tend to find good use for my time outside of work these days that tends to change all the time (very much like my job).

    1. That is a GREAT point, Mercedes. Your side hustle does not need to make you money. It could be a passion or hobby. A great job affords the opportunity to spend time pursuing those passions. Way to go asking for a salary increase and understanding your value!

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