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How connectivity is helping Aussies find fulfilment

Looking for something more out of your life? Many Australians are going online to set up a side business or make money from their hobbies. 

In between work and play, a high percentage of Aussies are seeking personal fulfilment, according to recent research commissioned by nbn.

For many Australians, fulfilment means being able to pursue interests and hobbies outside work, allowing them to build their skills and, in some cases, even set up a business that could generate some extra income.

This is known as the side hustle.

Having your own side hustle can bring the benefits of greater knowledge, personal satisfaction, increased personal connections and the potential for a larger bank balance.

New research commissioned by nbn shows 71 per cent of Australians are interested in setting up a side hustle of their own as a way of boosting their sense of accomplishment.  

What Australians are looking for 

nbn’s Side Hustle Report found that a number of Australians have unrealised ambitions that are creating a sense of dissatisfaction with their everyday work routine.

As part of the report, nbn spoke with The School of Life, which offers classes relating to the ‘big themes’ of lifestyle, career and relationships.

“Work can be very good for people,” explains Christian Stenta, the How to Find a Job You Love faculty leader at The School of Life in Melbourne.

However, “work can narrow our characters. When a certain range of issues and ways of thinking become entrenched, it means that others start to feel awkward and even threatening.

“A person who has become used to implementing the ideas of others – and maybe very skilled at it – can find it deeply uncomfortable to be put on the spot and asked what they think the big objectives should be.”

Christian shares that it seems only natural that we would look to having a side hustle to explore our own thoughts and ideas outside of our regular work.

“In some ways, it is an opportunity to find out more about ourselves by experimenting with what we can do in the world,” he says.

Through his work, Christian has found that not everyone is interested in self-realisation through their day job.

“Many people don’t feel that their work needs to reflect or express who they are.

“This is, in a sense, a huge advantage. It means that we can look to find fulfilment elsewhere in our life – freed from the anxieties of making a living.”

Thanks to increased access to fast broadband via the nbn ™ network, Australians are more and more able to explore different ideas.

“We can look inside of ourselves, ask what we want, what we enjoy, and then go online to investigate”, says Christian.

This investigation can lead us to a more fulfilling and even profitable way to spend our time outside of work.  

Finding your happiness 


January is a popular time for people to reassess their career and sense of personal satisfaction.

“The end of a calendar year and the start of a new one is a similarly ritual occasion – one that encourages us all to take a moment to reflect on what we’ve achieved and to look ahead and think anew,” says Christian.

However, sometimes the biggest challenge is deciding on a specific change.

“For 99% of us, knowing what we want to do doesn’t arise spontaneously. We don’t hear a God-like commanding voice telling us to go into accountancy or logistics.

“That isn’t to say we don’t have strong passions, we just might not be very aware of them or we might just catch glimpses of them from time to time.”

Christian’s advice to find out what your passions might be is to start by parking any concerns you have about money for a while.

“Write down everything you’ve ever enjoyed doing or making, the weirder or more offbeat the list the better.

“Analyse your list and look for patterns that keep cropping up. It’s in spotting these patterns that we can then start thinking about what kind of activities might best suit us,” he explains.

Setting up a side hustle can be as simple an idea as offering custom cupcakes via a Facebook page, or working with families to create beautiful photographic portraits on the weekend.

Tech fans might find they can get work fixing people’s computers out of hours via one-off job sites like Airtasker. Craft fans can side hustle by selling their work to the world through Ebay or Etsy.

An incredible one in four Australians are already off and running on their quest for fulfilment with the help of an online side hustle.

Some Australians are able to do so with the help of increased connectivity via the nbn™ network.

“A fast internet connection enables us to do little experiments more quickly than ever before” says Christian, adding that an attempt to find personal fulfilment outside of work is a way of reconnecting with a sense of joy and pleasure sometimes not experienced since childhood.  

Are you on a "mission for meaning"? The School of Life has some tips on how to get started.

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