Nearly everyone has a side hustle these days, but few take credit for being an entrepreneur.
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According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, in 2014 only 2 percent of millennials claimed to be self-employed, compared with 7.6 percent for Gen. X-ers and 8.3 percent of baby boomers.
While many people are both self-employed and traditionally employed, people will often only claim the traditional employment when asked. This trend raises an important question: Are you giving yourself the credit you deserve in your career?
According to MBO Partners, "nearly half of full-time independent workers, 47 percent, report making more money working on their own than they would in traditional employment." Why, then, are so many of us hesitant to dive headfirst into self-employment?
Perhaps it's because the benefits of traditional employment, like health insurance and vacation time, still entice many of us. Maybe it's because we're too scared to claim the entrepreneur role.
Creating your own path is a huge accomplishment, and it needs to be recognized as such. Independent work creates new income streams and diversifies household financial risk. Many people gain financial stability and personal flexibility through self-employment.
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Everyone sees success differently. What each of us considers an "important moment" in our life or career will be different. There is no rule or guidebook as to what should be the defining point of your career. Take note of your achievements. Be proud of everything you do – including your entrepreneurship.
Recognizing the Entrepreneur Inside
Some people are natural entrepreneurs, while others have to grow into the role. However, even common pursuits like opening an Etsy shop or becoming a freelance writer on the side count toward your entrepreneurial credit. The moment you take your career into your own hands and create your own stream of income is the moment that you should recognize your entrepreneurial spirit.
And what do you do once you have recognized you are an entrepreneur? You start exploring your options.
There's no need to make any immediate decisions, but it is important to figure out what you really want and need from your career. When exploring your options, ask yourself these questions:
If you're working a traditional day job and are self-employed, is it sustainable for you to do both?
Does it make you happy doing both?
Would you like to continue your self-employment in the long term?
Would you eventually like to quit your day job and be fully self-employed?
If you like doing both or don't want to be fully self-employed, continue on your path and be proud of your ability to successfully multitask! If, on the other hand, you want to further your self-employment and eventually become 100 percent independent, it's time to create a plan for how you can make the leap to full self-employment. This plan should include how you will grow your business and how much money you need to make to support yourself. Once you figure out the point at which you can fully transition, work hard to reach your goal and put your plan into action!
Millennials Are the Multitasking Generation – Let's Celebrate It!
According to MBO Partners, 6.76 millennials now work as independents full-time. That's up from 1.9 million in 2011! These 6+ million millennials account for 40 percent of the full-time independent workforce!
It's clear: Millennials are a generation of multitaskers who can take on many different projects and opportunities at once. Why not celebrate this fact? If you are fully or partially self-employed, take credit for your hard work and entrepreneurship! Not everyone has the strength or work ethic to take on self-employment. It's something that you should be extremely proud of.
Highlight your entrepreneurial spirit on your resume. Find likeminded individuals with whom you can discuss opportunities. One of the best parts of being an entrepreneur is surrounding yourself with people who inspire and motivate you.
Almost everyone has a side hustle, but few take credit for being an entrepreneur. Be one of the few. Proudly celebrate your accomplishments.
A version of this article originally appeared on Write Styles.
Michele Lando is a certified professional resume writer and the founder of Write Styles.