Side Jobs Saved My Sanity Many Times Over

Side Jobs Saved My Sanity Many Times Over

Everyone likes earning money online or from home, I am no exception there – but the side jobs I have held over the years have been what saved my sanity, kept me going and allowed me to earn risk free, hassle free side income much easier than all those experiments of earning money online did.

Most side jobs are physical in nature

For better or worse: Most side jobs are not desk jobs. Some of them are dirty, most of them physically demanding, many of them get you out in the open during rain and shine and cold winters.

Obviously these things get hard at times, especially for someone who does any of these jobs full-time – but for me they are a welcomed change of pace, feel like getting paid to work out and I love being in nature anyway. Being able to work these jobs on the side is a luxury, not a pain and this furthered my belief that having different jobs is the best thing you can do for yourself.

I still find it surprising how much it clears my head to put on my weatherproof jacket, hop on my scooter and drive the five minutes to the pizza parlor even though I still remember the same effect from my previous side jobs. Six more hours after eight hard, mind-numbing hours? Yes. Please.

The money is not shabby

I suspect that things will be different in other parts of the world but Germany has this nice concept of tax-free side income if you make under 450€ a month – which basically means that to generate the same income in my day job I have to earn 900€. Granted, you don’t get most of the benefits – but money-in-pocket the money is actually pretty okay until that 450€ barrier. Together with tips I make between 10 and 12€ an hour and I have worked for less than that during my school years on the farm.

Compared to internet side income the great part about these jobs is that they are stable, the money is guaranteed and many people work online for less than that.

You meet actual people instead of fake personas

Again my favorite saying „for better or worse“: You meet actual people in these jobs. Everyone there is in the same boat, nobody has a reason to feel superior to the others, act like they are constantly busy and overworked.

Even better: Most people do these jobs next to their regular ones which means you get insights into a great deal of different realities. At my main job you don’t have that, everyone you talk to is an office worker, most of them have retired mentally before they hit 30 and the topics never change much. But outside of that I have worked with everyone from retirees to cops and you get eye-opening insights into people’s life. I still think back to that cop and his recounts of how it feels to stand in the front line during demonstrations. Musicians, farmers, I once worked with a ralley driver who drove sponsored cars worth a hundred grand but needed the side job in the warehouse to pay for his gas to get to the track.

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The point here is: There is life outside the office, plenty of it and if you lose track of that you end up bland, boring and shallow and worst of all disconnected from reality.

You can just focus on work with only basic responsibilities

Programming is a career path where even right out of studies or apprenticeship you often times get a large amount of responsibilities resting on your shoulders – I know I did. Now I am the sole maintainer of my system, haven’t had uninterrupted vacation time in more than two years and must admit that I’m starting to feel a little burned out thanks to those. Part of the reason why I’m leaving that job, but this state of affairs is not exactly rare in the tech world.

Compare to that how I can just allow myself to focus on work at the delivery job, how everyone there is up to their responsibilities and does their job well and the difference couldn’t be any more drastic.

I still like being responsible for my system at work, that is great fun and it taught me a lot – but man is it exhausting. A change of pace is much needed to catch a breath and also get some perspective on how life can be different to what you grow so used to.

There is no experimentation needed

With online side income there is always a lot of trial and error, hard work that is all upfront and may or may not pay off – reducing most experiments to below minimum wage.

With pizza delivery, event location construction, this or that all you need to do is answer to a newspaper ad, sell yourself as a good worker and then keep showing up for work to get paid.

Side jobs are great to keep in touch with life

I will always try to find at least some kind of side job, at the very least offer up my help and tools to help coworkers and friends move and renovate just to stay sane – and I hope that I can keep it up.

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