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4 Reasons Why Multiple Gigs Are Better Than One

04/12/2013 04:49 pm ET | Updated Jun 12, 2013

The latest unemployment numbers are in, according to the March Jobs Report. Ultimately, unemployment rests at 7.6 percent, which means there's still a lot of work to do before we're in the clear.

There's another interesting takeaway from the March Jobs Report, however. Average hourly income for workers has steadily increased over the past 12 months. Though there are many reasons for this outcome, it should be also be noted that 40 percent of employers plan to hire temporary and contract workers, compared to 36 percent last year. And with many hourly or temporary workers holding multiple gigs at once, we may be seeing a shift in how we view our sources of employment.

Are multiple gigs better than one? Can they combat unemployment in the long-run? And should we view two or three projects in the same light as we view one job? Let's explore some reasons why the answer to these questions are yes.

They serve as a backup

The obvious benefit of multiple gigs is the backup factor. If you lose one job or one project, you've got another in your back pocket. This can't be said for a permanent job; if you're laid off or decide to quit, you may not have another source of income. A variety of gigs, however, allow you to pull income from different sources, which means you've always got some reserves, should you need it.

They allow you explore multiple interests

Many of us like different things. You may be an artist with a pension for social media. You could have a background in accounting, but are really into the culinary arts. You may even be an actor who likes Web development. No matter your situation, multiple gigs allow you to explore a variety of interests, instead of being pigeon-holed into one. In addition, they allow you to still pursue your primary interest, without getting in the way or burning you out.

They build your connections

It's all about who you know, right? Well, multiple gigs serve as the perfect gateway to building up your connection list. After all, the more people you know in your respective industry, the higher your chances at getting work. Plus, if 80 percent of jobs are landed through some form of networking, the likelihood of you landing a job based on who you know are pretty high. The result? More options, better work, and a more fulfilled career.

They show your work ethic

Let's face it: working multiple gigs seems like the harder option because it involves more than one position. Of course, it some instances, this may be the case. However, when you have more than one job, and can work them all well, it can illustrate a positive work ethic.

For example, if you were in a job interview and the interviewer reviewed your accomplishments, they would likely notice your ability to work more than one job successfully. No matter what job you're applying for, the chances of working on more than one project will probably happen. So, in the end, multiple gigs help make their decision because they can see that you can perform well, no matter how many projects or jobs are handed your way.

Though having multiple gigs may not seem like the norm, the truth is, they may be able to help people lead more fulfilling careers and combat unemployment because there are more options. Up until this point, more people have held down one gig versus those who have one because it may have seemed safer. Ultimately though, it's important to look at multiple gigs as one collective benefit to your career. The sooner you start doing so, the better off you'll be.

What do you think? Do you believe multiple gigs are better than one?