A key aspect to unretirement is work. When we think of being retired, we think of “not working”. Many individuals are finding that they like work. They like the challenge of work. They like the camaraderie of work. And they even like the financial rewards of work.
But that doesn’t mean that our work has to remain the same.
It might make sense to transition from full-time to part-time. Or maybe have an encore career, also referred to as a second career. You could also have a portfolio career, where you do a few smaller jobs instead of one big one. Then of course, there’s the option of being a freelancer, contractor, or consultant (aka creating a side hustle as part of the gig economy).
The reason I’m bringing this up is because I just read an article on The Hustle that LinkedIn is building a gig marketplace. The idea is that the “Marketplace” will be similar to Fiverr and Upwork, which are sites that host freelance work. If having a side hustle is part of your unretirement strategy, then it could make some sense to watch what LinkedIn is doing. Here are also a few other things to consider.
Keep your LinkedIn profile current. Most of us do not have career events happen that justify changing our LinkedIn profile on a weekly or monthly basis. But that doesn’t mean you can simply set it and forget it. Make a note to yourself to check your LinkedIn profile every six months or so to ensure it looks the way you want it to. If you feel your profile needs a good overhaul, Hannah Morgan (aka Career Sherpa) has a reasonably priced LinkedIn eGuide that can help.
Start posting news and paying attention to others. With your LinkedIn profile in order, now it’s time to start creating engagement. You can do that by posting articles of interest, giving endorsements, and writing recommendations. You can also do it by commenting on other people’s posts. It’s not hard, but it does take having a plan. If you’re thinking about a side hustle in unretirement, then you need for others to remember you. Being engaged helps people remember you.
Think about how you would display your side hustle on your profile. Lots of people have a side hustle. This isn’t anything to hide. What you have to do is find a way to share it so it looks cohesive with the rest of your profile. A few years ago, an HR Bartender reader asked about displaying side hustles on their resume and LinkedIn. A couple of recruiters shared their thoughts. Check it out when you have a moment. It might give you some creative inspiration on how to let others know about your side hustle.
Test drive the Marketplace feature. As I mentioned earlier, LinkedIn’s new feature will resemble other freelance marketplaces. At some point, you will want to test out these sites to see how they work. You’ll want to know their terms and conditions. Are there any other things you will need to create to participate (like a PayPal or Venmo account). You’ll also want to see if others are doing the same type of work you’re doing. On one hand that can be a good thing – because the site might have a reputation or attracting customers looking for a specific product or service. It could also be a negative if there’s too much competition.
Set a date to evaluate your progress. I’m thinking of this activity as a way to learn more about side hustles. I do believe the best time to do that is when you’re still employed. The goal isn’t to start working two jobs, although you might find that adding the side gig now makes perfect sense. Just be prepared to regularly look at the effort you’re putting into your freelance work and the return you’re getting from it.
Freelancing work is a common way to transition from regular full-time status. It offers individuals freedom and some income. But make no mistake freelancing doesn’t just happen. It takes time to build a side hustle. If you’re thinking this might be for you, try it out before you need to make a final decision.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, GA