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No, You Don’t Need to Turn Your Passion Into a Side-Hustle

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

When I was younger, I was obsessed with finding my dream job. I wanted to be a lawyer or a teacher, and somewhere in between, there may have been a few years when I was convinced that I would become the next Taylor Swift. Let’s just say, that’s no longer the case. 

But as a proud member of Generation Z, I’ve come to realize that the job market isn’t what it was five or 10 years ago – becoming a full-time influencer is no longer just a fantasy but instead a goal for many people. And with tools like Shopify and Instagram, becoming a successful small-business owner is entirely possible in this digital age. 

For many of us, however, pursuing an unconventional job like that full-time comes with a lot of risks – so enter the term, side-hustle. Everyone seems to have one these days. Whether you’re curating a Y2K collection on Depop, blogging about self-help on Medium, or growing a following on TikTok in hopes of PR packages – the list of possibilities are endless. 

Work a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life – right?

Speaking from personal experience … WRONG.

How many times have you told yourself that you would start a Youtube channel, pursue TikTok seriously, or finally start selling your handmade tops on Depop? Because for me, that answer is too many. And no, I don’t have a Youtube channel, I’m losing TikTok followers every day, and I haven’t posted on Depop in months.

I’m not mad at myself for giving up. I’ve simply come to terms with the fact that I don’t inherently want to monetize my passions just because there is an opportunity to do so. 

Success kills creativity – I recently heard this phrase from Emma Chamberlain’s podcast, Anything Goes, and I couldn’t agree with it more. It really does. When I first started posting sewing tutorials on TikTok, I would simply capture the process of creating a piece that I wanted to. But after gaining a few thousand followers in a month (call me Charli D’Amelio, I know), the question was no longer, “What do I want to make?” but rather, “What do people want to see me make?

I noticed that the videos of me creating corsets from Adidas track pants gained a lot of attention, so I started listing them on my Depop. By the time the last one sold, I already knew I wouldn’t be making any more. Sewing used to be fun, not just a task I needed to check off on my to-do list. 

Don’t get me wrong – if your passion also allows you to pay the bills, that’s great. I’m not saying don’t start a side-hustle. I’m simply saying you don’t need to start one just because you have a passion for something that can be monetized. 

In the end, work is work. And not absolutely falling in love with your work is fine. Instead, find work that you like enough so you can fall in love with things outside of work.

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Jessica Ho

Ryerson '24

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