Moonlighting Millennials Part I

Moonlighting, or having a second job in addition to one’s regular employment, has become the norm for the Millennial generation.

Whether it’s a part-time job, a side-gig selling handmade crafts at farmers’ markets or online, freelance writing work, social media consulting, or personal training…the possibilities are literally endless.

70% of high school students say that eventually they want to work for themselves; they want to be their own boss. It’s no surprise that one in three Millennials are making it happen, by launching their own side businesses (source: Young Entrepreneur Council) to satisfy their desire to be in-control, be entrepreneurial and be able to customize a career, while still having the benefits and security of being employed part- or full-time at a company. Due to obtainable collaborators with similar goals and mindsets, a professional and academic support network, free business resources, and lower personal risk, many do so while in college.

Here’s four of the top reasons why Millennials seek moonlighting gigs:


Underpaid and underemployed, 20-somethings find that side-gigs provide the much-needed additional income and hours.

To learn more about how to make more money and manage the money you have, visit author Kimberly Palmer's website. She offers free downloadable financial resources and is the author of “The Economy of You: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life”.


Many beginner-level job requirements today request applicants have 3-5+ years of relevant experience. The catch-22 is that you can’t get a job without experience, and you can’t get experience without a job…

In addition, on one hand, Millennials tend to want to stay kids for as long as possible—living at home longer to save money, getting married later, even traveling more and taking gap years before or during college—while on the other hand, employers want to recruit candidates earlier and earlier; young candidates have essential skills and new ideas to bring to a business.

By starting a side-business, Millennials can add more experience to their resume, force themselves to learn new skills to satisfy client needs, seek mentors, and be more recruitable to companies. Entrepreneurial ventures, internships, and balancing part-time jobs in addition to school are major factors of being offered a full-time job.


The best ideas usually start with leveraging existing passions or skills. By pursuing interests or acting on an entrepreneurial spirit, Millennials are more likely to be happy, healthy, and financially successful.


Today’s 20-somethings have observed their parents and mentors not only job-shifting but also career-shifting; this situation may not always be a negative thing as it opens doors, but it can make career commitments seem daunting.

Career advisors also find that 20-somethings are scared of salary negotiations, leading folks to be paid too little and need a supplemental income. This leads many Millennials to moonlighting.


Anything I’m missing? Why have you started a side business or taken on another part-time job? Leave a note in the comments.

Moonlighting Millennials series idea inspired by Lindsey Pollak and Kimberly Palmer’s post Why Millennials Need Side Businesses. For more about the trends of the Millennial generation, look no further than the world’s leading expert on Millennials, Lindsey Pollak.

Check out Moonlighting Millennials Part II for seven tips on how to get started creating your own hybrid career.


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