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Some of you know that I started this blog because I didn’t want people to make the same money mistakes I made. What you may not know is that I started the blog shortly after my company went through some downsizing. I just felt like I needed a creative outlet outside of my regular job to keep me motivated.

Even though I started my blog as a sort of backup plan to my day job, I never intended it to be a side hustle. I wasn’t sure if anyone would be interested in hearing me talk about money and travel, but here I am three years later. I’m fortunate that my side hustle has generated me some income, but what I’m most proud of is the fact that it’s improved my skills and generated connections.

Here are 5 ways my side hustle improved my career:

It improves my current skills

When doing my day job, I do similar work every day. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just a repetitive thing. However, when I started my side hustle, I took the current skills I had improved on them. Since I have journalism training, I started a blog and wrote on a more regular basis. I also have formal media training which came in very handy when I started to reach out to outlets for coverage. I also went into networking overdrive since I wanted to meet like minded people. I always had these skills, but I needed my side hustle to help me improve them.

I learned new skills

Without a doubt, my side hustle has improved my career because I had to learn new skills. Since I’m a blogger, I had to learn about website design, search engine optimization, photo editing, and much more. At the start, I tried to learn everything, but now I outsource things that are a bit too complicated for me. What’s great is that the skills I learned while blogging has helped my career in a few ways. I now consult bloggers and brands on a variety of topics including working with influencers and how to pitch to the media. I’ve also become known as an expert when it comes to all things personal finance and travel.

It boosted my confidence

After surviving my company layoffs, I was in a bit of a rut. I felt like I could be the next to go, and was just feeling down. Well after seeing some minor success with my side hustle, I got a huge confidence boost. It started off small when a few random strangers shared my blog posts, but my first real high was when I was approached to become a freelance writer. When people appreciate the work you do, it just boosts your confidence overall. I’ve tried to carry that confidence over to all aspects of my life.

New opportunities presented themselves

As mentioned, my blog has generated some side income. I now freelance write for a variety of publications and have been hired by a few different companies to be a brand ambassador. These side hustles have created new opportunities because I’ve now got an online presence that people can look up. More importantly, I’ve met and networked with some amazing people over the years. I’ve worked with various PR companies on multiple projects with different clients. A lot of the time my work comes from referrals so it’s important for me to keep networking. If I never started a blog, these opportunities wouldn’t be available to me.

I may have a new career

It’s weird how things work out. My side hustle was a passion project, but I’m now at a point where it could become a career if I wanted it to be. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my day job, but I feel a bit more secure knowing that I have a backup plan in case I do lose my job. It took time to get where I’m at, but it’s amazing how my blog might help me switch careers in the future. I already know bloggers who have quit their jobs to freelance full-time. Maybe that will be me one day.

Final thoughts

I’m not sure which direction or path my side hustles will take me, but I’m comfortable going along with the ride. It may not last forever, but I’m confident that simply having a side hustle has improved my career.

How I Improved My Career With a Side Hustle

About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi


  1. Avatar Ms ZiYou on June 19, 2018 at 1:27 PM

    That’s really cool Barry, that your side hustle is now at a stage you could make it full-time gig – that is an amazing amount of hussle!

    And I love how your hard work has paid off and now opportunities come to you.

    • Avatar Barry Choi on June 19, 2018 at 3:51 PM

      Ms ZiYou,

      I got lucky and I’m very grateful that I was able to turn my side hustle into a full-time gig. The new opportunities are amazing.

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