Why I Have A “Side Hustle”

One Callahan millennial explains why she tends bar in addition to her 9-to-5.

I started at Callahan in September 2017 in my current role as marketing and engagement associate. At that point, I had spent the previous 13 months working at an Arlington, VA sports bar.

And though some in my position may have given up this restaurant job when offered a full-time role, I didn’t. For the last two months I’ve worked six days a week it’s a trend for us millennials.

Seems like everyone has some kind of side hustle.

My Kind Of Side Hustle

According to a 2016 CareerBuilder survey, 29% of workers have a second job, with millennials more likely to work two jobs than other generations. 39% of workers ages 18-24 and 44% of workers ages 25-34 reported working two jobs, compared to 29% of workers ages 35-44%, 22% for ages 45-52, and 19% for ages 55 and older.

It’s something I’ve noticed among my friends, too.

When I started with Callahan I had no plans to stop tending bar. I’m a recent graduate, and since I’m young and don’t have much work experience I wasn’t expecting to earn a crazy high salary.

I’m happy with where I am and what I have, but I knew that regardless which job I accepted I would still need some form of supplementary income to support my current lifestyle. And honestly, I like working at the bar. I get to talk to new people, meet new people. It doesn’t feel like I’m working. I get to hang out and make money. It’s fine. It’s fun.

I’d rather be working and doing something than what I’d be doing otherwise, which is nothing.

Need To Pay The Rent

I grew up in Northern Virginia, so by the time I went off to college and entered the workforce I was well aware how expensive the Washington, DC, area is. It’s ridiculous.

I don’t need to start repaying my student loans until next year, and I don’t owe a crazy amount. Rather, more than half of my monthly income goes to pay my rent. And ideally, I’d like to have money left over for me to spend on groceries, clothes, cosmetics, and the occasional Wii game without stressing. Of course, I have enough money to afford rent and food but to me it’s not about having the bare minimum to live in DC it’s about having enough to comfortably afford what I need and what I want.

Plus, it’s now the holiday season and I have a big family. That means I need to buy plenty of gifts.

But right now? Rent is my biggest issue, then it’s everything else.

I’d also like to save. In terms of bigger financial goals, I’d like to buy a condo in this area within the next few years, while also saving money for retirement. I’d like to live comfortably down the road.

So, while I’d like to get to a place where I only need to work one job, realistically I’ll always feel the need to do something on the side, even if that’s not always bartending. That’s part of my personality. I’ll always want to do more in some way.

Misconceptions About My Jobs

One of the bigger misconceptions people have when I tell them I work two jobs is they assume I overwork myself. I don’t feel like that’s the case. I feel like I can handle it, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it.

Another question that comes up: Do you feel like you’re an ambassador of Callahan when working this second job?

For me, when I’m bartending I’m in that mindset. I’m not going to do something to jeopardize my job at Callahan, but when I’m at the bar I’m just focused on my responsibilities at the bar. That’s how I view it. In general, no matter where I am, or where I’m working, I still must treat people with respect and present myself in the way I want the world to see me. I don’t want to go there and make an idiot of myself and then come into work. That’s not me.

Life is expensive. I need all the jobs I can handle.

November 30, 2017

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