A side gig can be your life line to perspectives, sectors, and social and professional networks that go beyond your immediate academic work. Side gigs come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from volunteerism, a part-time job, an internship, a desired collaboration. They can be paid or unpaid. The bottom line of a side gig for academics is to be active in a space that is outside of your day-to-day academic, home, and social routines. (I’m taking for granted here that you are managing to keep those areas active, healthy, and thriving while committing to your academic responsibilities.) These side gigs help to nurture your soul because they appeal to your interests and values, get you in touch with others who enjoy similar things, and offer joy and creative stimulation. Your side gig becomes even more essential if you want to keep your options open for careers outside the academy or an entrepreneurial endeavor.
Leave the writer’s block, half-written chapter and stack of grading to the side for a couple of hours a week to make time for something else that you also love to do. The work will be there and you just mind find the answer to these challenges through your side gig or the mental distance it temporarily gave you from the work. What side gig will you take on this semester?