Symptoms of the Itch: Signs You Need a Side Hustle

The gloss of your first job is wearing thin... here's how you need to know you should start looking for a side project.

February 7, 2017
woman bored at work
Compassionate Eye Foundation/Hiep Vu

Adapted from The Big Life

Every Badass Babe has faced that moment when the gloss of your first job starts to wear thin and you feel the Itch. You're not unhappy, exactly. Just a little dissatisfied, with a smidge of anxiety brewing below the surface. There's this nagging question that keeps pulling your focus: Is this all there is? The Itch is similar to the one you get when you're dating someone who is nice—the sex is fine, he knows the good restaurants, and tells clever stories at parties. But you find yourself wishing he were taller, sweeter, more assertive, kinder to waitresses, less into where his coffee beans are grown, or more into traveling. You suddenly realize the relationship doesn't quite mesh with the vision you have of yourself. There must be something bigger out there for you. That's the Itch.


Sound familiar?

I have no doubt that you hustled your ass off to line up for your first big job. If anyone was looking for the ultimate summer intern, there you were, memorizing everyone's coffee orders on week one, taking notes in every meeting, and asking your supervisor for mini-reviews every 4 weeks. You know your leadership skills are amazing, so you showed them off by organizing a food drive for a local homeless shelter. Down-time? You tore through Lean In and #GirlBoss, and you studied the Everygirl's career profiles and Levo League's "Finding Your Passion" and "Building an All-Star Network." You networked like crazy, and your interview outfit, while appropriate, had the right dash of personal flare. The entire process might have taken longer than you'd expected, but it happened. You got a Job. Hello, biweekly salary!

More: 3 Should-Be-Patented Steps for Nailing a Job Interview

On day one, you had just about everything to learn, and you gave it your all. You mastered the basics, including some of the weird office politics, like who was allowed to be seen having lunch with whom. Your boss's boss knows your name now, and you feel a tiny spark every time she says it in a meeting. And while you still work through lunch more often than not, you've slowly graduated from the sad daily desk salad to an occasional lunch out. That workplace where you were once the new kid is much less of a mystery. You're more in control and have earned some domain. But instead of giving yourself a pat on the back for successfully navigating the tricky waters of the entry-level job, you're wondering... what else is there? Where is that next big thing? And how do I make it happen right now? You know you have more to offer than the taskiness of your job demands, so why doesn't everyone else?


You've definitely got the Itch. 

Symptoms of the Itch: Signs You Need a Side Hustle:

1. Your after-work cocktail banter with friends is morphing from chats about new projects to a bitch fest about that annoying chick who is so obviously sucking up to your boss and blocking your spotlight.

2. Your boozy weekend brunches with girlfriends are being phased out in your new quest to be Productive, Productive, Productive.

3. You bought a mug that says, "Good things come to those who hustle!"

4. You've reached a point where your role as head of operations (BTW, you know that despite the fancy title, you're technically the office manager, receptionist, and head of human resources all in one) doesn't feel worth bragging about anymore.

5. You've sent late night LinkedIn requests to Lena Dunham, Gabrielle Bernstein, and Oprah!