As a professional athlete I have always been told from day one about the importance of not just being a jock and having a plan set up just in case things don’t work out. I have always taken these words of advice to heart and at this point I am now a motivational speaker, author, and musician along with chasing my dreams. I guess you could say that I have a Plan B, C, and D!

I believe that it is not only important for aspiring athletes to have a backup plan for their career. Individuals working everyday jobs should consider it as well. Here are my top five reasons why everyone should have a side hustle or a backup plan that protects them from sudden changes in their career.

1. There’s no job that is guaranteed – You may think your job is secure, but your always one positional change away from looking for a new job. Take it from me. More than ever, companies are looking a for ways to increase profits and lower their overhead cost. Along with technological advancements that disruptively innovate different industries every year, it is crucial that you have multiple streams of revenue.

2. It will Increase your value in the workplace – Having a side job forces you to acquire new skills, which can be implemented into your main job. If you can gain accounting, management, or public speaking skills on the side think of how it will benefit what you are already doing.

3. It will challenge you to continue learning – Acquiring a side job that is aligned with the job you already have will get you out of your comfort zone and encourage you to learn new things. I believe that one of the toughest things about working one job is that you eventually stop growing as you become more and more experienced in that line of work. Some people may be totally fine with that. If that is the case then this post isn’t meant for you. I am talking to those who want more for their lives. What is the point of living if your not learning and maximizing your talents?

4. You will acquire new relationships and networks – Having a side job opens up the doors to meeting individuals outside of your regular industry that can help you in multiple ways. These networking opportunities can present you with new ideas, business opportunities, and ways to improve what you are already doing.

5. More relaxed at the work place – Having a side jobs removes the stress of worrying about what will happen if you are ever fired from your job. I believe that a more relaxed worker is a happy worker. If something ever happens you won’t leave your work place in panic mode, you can buy some time for yourself and leverage the side job you have until you get another one.

The biggest problem with a lot of athletes is that we wait until the transition happens before we start thinking about life after. I would like to challenge everyone to be proactive, continuing learning, and continue to expand your gifts/talents! God Bless

Rennie Curran is the author of “Free Agent – The Perspectives of A Young African American Athlete”, motivational speaker, musician, and linebacker who is currently a free agent. You can follow him on twitter: @RennieCurran53, Instagram: RennieCurran, or visit his website at www.renniecurran.com.