Become an effective slasher in 2019

It is becoming increasingly common for South Africans to hold down more than one job.
It is becoming increasingly common for South Africans to hold down more than one job.
Image: Andrey Popov/123RF

Many South Africans struggling to keep their heads above water in a tough economic environment have found a new way to survive: They've become "slashers" or "portfolio careerists" where you work multiple jobs to create multiple income streams.

"You can easily make a couple of thousands a week from a successful side hustle.

"However, it requires some technical skills as companies embrace the workplace of the future," says Scelo Makhatini, CEO and co-founder of on-demand freelance talent marketplace, LinkdPro.

According to a recent report by GeoPoll, Africans have fully embraced "side hustles", with Nigeria, Kenya and SA leading the pack with a majority of those polled saying they find it rewarding to have more than one job.

However, no career path is without challenges, warns Makhatini. He says there are some checks one needs to make before becoming an effective slasher, especially if one already has a full-time job.

These include:

• Conducting a self-assessment to check how much extra time you can dedicate to your side hustle, whether it needs a financial injection to get off the ground and how you will allocate the additional income to your expenses.

• Checking with your current employer for possible conflicts of interest as different employers have different rules when it comes to employees with side jobs.

• Keeping your main source of income to take care of the majority of monthly expenses and fulfil your other financial needs should the side hustle not pay off immediately.

• Building on your savings and emergency fund to ensure you are covered in case things don't work out, especially if your side hustle needs financial support to get it started.

• Updating your CV to ensure you showcase the skills gained through your side hustles.

Sort out your admin

Once you have done your checklist, the next steps are to set up your business and get it running, which may seem daunting, but it honestly isn't.

"It only needs you to put on your admin hat and take it one step at a time," explains Kendi Sapepa, founder of clothing brand Barbara McKenzie and writer at She Leads Africa.

Steps to get your side business going includes registering your business, creating templates for your quotes and invoices, building a profile, getting a logo, creating a social media presence, keeping track of your product or service offering, and most importantly sorting out your tax.

Pros and cons of side hustling

According to youth portal, multiple in
come streams create a sense of security and allows you to split your financial responsibilities.

While your monthly salary may cover rent, car instalments and groceries your side hustle may cover expenses related to leisure and investments.

A side job helps you tap into your creativity especially if your side hustle is something you're passionate about. Aside from the extra income, it also offers you a back-up plan by diversifying the baskets your eggs are in, especially in the current unstable labour market.

You need to be self-disciplined, motivated and be able to do more than one job.

A side hustle or business drives you to invest in your own personal development and not rely on training programmes offered by your employer.

As your own boss, you develop faster and become well rounded in your softer skills. Your side gig can also add value to your day job.

However, you'll need to develop clear boundaries to separate your work from your downtime and ensure that your side hustle does not impact your quality of life.

The experts - and the myriad South Africans who have become "slashers" agree: For the bigger part benefits continue to outweigh the negatives.

Bankable side hustles to try out this year:

• Rent out a spare room on Airbnb

• Catering & baking

• Grooming, including doing hair, manicures and pedicures as well as massages

• Blogging, freelance writing, photography and design

• Weekend Uber/Taxify drive

• Tutoring

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