Many people equate side projects with half-finished websites that keep you tied to your desk for no extra money, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Think outside the box and do something you’ve always wanted to do, whether it’s a creative project away from your computer or a directly relevant one in front of it.

Check out our top reasons for having a side project on the go at all times.

1. Learn new skills

A side project shows employers and clients that you’re genuinely interested in the industry you work in whilst helping you improve your own understanding. It’s the fast track to a productive cycle of helping you win more work and kudos. In addition to anything technical you learn, you’ll also gain experience of managing projects, organising your time more efficiently, and marketing and promotion.

2. Do something for you

If you’re a web professional who spends all day involved in projects that don’t particularly excite you, or you’re forced to dance to someone else’s tune, a side project can give you the freedom you need to explore things that matter to you. Being able to do everything your own way can make a huge difference to the way you see your day job too.

3. Have something to get excited about

It’s easy to get caught in a working cycle of industries and websites you have little interest in, particularly if you’re a self-employed designer or developer with an established niche, or you work in-house for a specific company. A side project gives you a new lease of life and allows you to get involved in areas you may have no experience in.

4. If you go wrong, it doesn’t matter

There are no deadlines, bosses or clients to worry about. If you don’t have time to spend on your side project for a month or two, that’s fine. If it doesn’t work out the way you planned or you end up quitting halfway through, that’s fine too. The important thing is that you’ve tried, and that you free up the time to move on to something else if you get bored.

5. You never know where it might lead

Side projects can turn into events, magazines, job offers, changes in career path and endless other things. Some people find that their side project actually becomes their whole life and their dream occupation – you just never know till you try.

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