Going to work is part and parcel of adult life. For many young people, it’s the next step we take after completing school, college or university. And the reality is that finding a job often marks the start of the longest chapter in our lives. If you start work today at 18 and work until you reach the state pension age, you’ll be going out to earn your living for around 50 years – half a century.

You spend quite a significant chunk of your lifetime at work. According to research, the average British adult will be working for more than 3,500 days in total. When you invest so much time in something, it’s important you enjoy it. Your work is no different – but, for some, job satisfaction is the holy grail. That dream job is out there somewhere. Finding it, however, is the challenge that many give up on.

Don’t find your dream job, make it

More than half of Brits have reached a point where they think they’ll never find their dream job. But the answer could be much closer to home than first realised. And its roots could lay in that hobby or passion that fills the time outside of work. So, maybe ask yourself two questions – first, do you have something that can be a money-maker on the side? Second, could you turn it into something bigger?

Do your research

If you’re trying to use your passion or unharnessed talents as a side-hustle, remember there is going to be competition. You’re not the only travel expert, graphic designer or IT guru out there. So, scope out the lie of the land. If there are gaps to exploit or new trends, get in there and make it your niche.

You’re in demand

It might be a slow-burner or a meteoric rise but committing to your side-hustle outside of work will start getting attention. Be sure you’re already thinking like a business, however. There’s no point in doing work for free if you’re getting nothing in return. Exposure is all very well in the beginning, but it’ll never become your dream job if you’re not monetising the thing that people come to you for.

Winning new customers

It’s true – word gets around. Do good work for someone and they’ll tell another person. It helps you win that new custom outside of your established base and brings in higher income. Be proactive as well. Use the power of social media to demonstrate your talents and, more importantly, passion.

Get everything in order

It can take time and money to keep your side-hustle on the right track. What started out as a couple of hours after work every night can start demanding a lot more of you. And you might find you need to use your extra income to restock or upgrade to take it to the next level. You can try out some of the freelancing options such as bookkeeping with quickbooks hosting services or critical IT operations such as Office 365 tenant to tenant migration to raise few bucks for your business.By managing your money and time in an effective way, you can maximise the resources at your disposal.

Don’t be distracted

If things seem on the right track, don’t lose momentum. Keep going and keep growing, even if this is going to mean a few short-term sacrifices. Weekends, holidays and more – if you’re dedicated to the end goal, the fun stuff can wait a while. It’s far more important to keep that wind in your sails.

Enough is enough?

At some point, you hopefully reach that critical mass. Is your side-hustle now bringing in a tidy sum that you could live off? Are you turning down projects because there just aren’t enough hours to fit them all in around the day job? Then maybe it shouldn’t be your day job any longer…