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How to earn a hybrid income

CREATED May 19, 2014

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Emily Beach knows about balancing. She shifts roles throughout her day -- from a coach to entrepreneur, working on multiple projects.

"I think I have some form of obsession with just coming up with ideas and, and trying to make them come to fruition," she said.

Beach coaches field hockey full-time, and she's also an inventor. She created a training tool to help her players, and now sells it online. She's launching a recruiting web site that will help connect athletes with coaches.

Author Kimberly Palmer said Beach is far from alone in earning what she calls a hybrid income.

"There's basically no such thing as job security anymore, so we all have to build our own job security by having multiple streams of income," Palmer said. "It's all about leveraging the experience, the skills, the resources that you have."

Labor statistics show nearly 7 million U.S. adults have more than one job, with about half holding a full-time and a part-time position. Career experts believe having multiple incomes is becoming the norm.  

"It's almost surprising when people tell me that they don't," said John O'Connor, a career counselor.

Others, like Beach, also work extra because they need a creative outlet. But before you start juggling jobs, O'Connor stresses you need to prioritize the position that's paying the bills.

"If you're smart, you're going to say, 'Look, I do owe loyalty and I don't want to create any waves, so you have to really plan how to do this without alerting or offending or creating a concern with your main gig that you're doing this on the side," he said.

Beach isn't worried. She believes her side businesses make her better at her full time job. But, she does have this advice.

"Make sure you're doing what you need to in your full-time job and then go for it. It's really rewarding to see something come to terms," she said.

Palmer said often it's a life-changing event like a layoff or becoming a parent that drives people to their side jobs. She urges people to be proactive, and pursue their passion before they need the extra cash or stability.