How My Side Hustle Became An Ongoing Networking Event

financial futures aren't made by hoping something will happen

Just one month after graduating from university I entered the workforce. I was young, eager, passionate and ready to take on any challenge. When people asked me how I landed the job I was seriously confused. "What do you mean?" I would ask them. "I applied for the job, nailed the interview and start next week."

What I didn't realize back then was that most people find jobs through networking — not applying for hundreds of postings and crossing their fingers. I didn't realize how lucky I was to land the role that I did with no experience and no help. But now I do.

These days, many of the job offers I receive come through the relationships I have built professionally. In fact, networking is key to keeping relevant in the industry that I work in during my 9-5.

But networking isn't quite the same as it used to be

95% of my professional relationships were built online. In fact, I have yet to meet any of my current coworkers in person since accepting the role. The original bricks and mortar aren't as essential to a position as they used to be — and this statement is especially true for those who can see your professional resume as an ongoing live feed. Big Brother style.

Mixed Up Money is a wonderful tool used to help support millennial females and males who are interested in a successful financial future, but it is also a personal tool that I use to brand myself and display an online library of my work, personality and readership.

In fact, many people ask me about that aspect of my blog. How I earn an additional income, whether the blog is my future career, or why I spend my free time on a "hobby."

What many of these people might not see is that by staying connected online, growing a dynamic and loyal group of followers and showing my passions through a variety of platforms, I am constantly networking myself to potential opportunities.

Many people believe that side hustles are not valuable to you if you do not plan on pursuing them as a full-time gig one day. I disagree.

Side hustles are also valuable to build new relationships, display your talents and explore your passions without the added pressure of deadlines formed by others.

This blog post is to come out tomorrow — and I am just writing it the day before. In fact, I almost caved and accepted a guest post last minute because I just got home from vacation yesterday, start two side jobs next month and have potential contract work to complete in the upcoming weeks. However, that's when I realized that although this side hustle is a lot of work and is not always allowed to be my priority — I wouldn't have other priorities if it weren't for this site.

Being "busy" has always been my downfall

I love to accept every opportunity that comes my way — even if that means I have to sacrifice something else that I enjoy doing in my downtime.

Networking in the online world means that you do not always get a weekend, you do not always get an evening to catch up on Netflix and you do not always get to avoid writing an essential blog post because you're tired of running behind.

But networking in the online world does mean that you are more financially secure, more susceptible to lucrative job opportunities and you are more often viewed as a desirable employee.

So for those of you second guessing whether or not you have time, have the passion or will see any financial gain — sometimes the gain comes from other places you weren't expecting.

A side hustle isn't always about what the "side" is — but what the hustle can do

Yeah, that's right. I'm a philosopher, too.

Apologies for this short but sweet post, however, I think you and I can agree — short is better than incomplete, and thoughtful is better than no thought at all. And honestly, because this blog post is shorter, I can make more time for the wonderful opportunities gained from times when the posts are long. Which will be next week, I swear. Cross my heart. Hope to die. Stick a needle in my eye.

Now, go. Scram. Get busy hustling — if that's what you're into anyways. Because financial futures aren't made by hoping something will happen. They're about making sure what happens was done by your careful planning and honest earning.

What do you think about online networking? Has it helped you with your career? Let me know in the comments!