Monthly Archives: July 2013

‘Side Projects’ and the world of work


Almost any whole and effective adult professional I know has “side projects” that they do. Almost always, they make their work life better, just as their work life can make their home life better.

hitchartWriting a technical book?  You are brushing up on skills you need on the job.

Taking a pottery class? You are relaxing and recharging.  And I bet when you get into the zone you solve problems you are having at work!




Volunteer on a board? Yes, you left work early a few times last month, but the policy and politics knowledge you gain is immediately applicable on the job.

Running a boy scout troop? Organizational learning abounds.

Do you paint landscapes?  See pottery class above.

So as not to seem obtuse – I am writing this to say that me writing a book on the side whilst looking for a full-time gig hasn’t detracted from me (nor will it) as an employee.  In the past two quarters I have been an author and looking for a full-time position.  But I have also:

  • Learned about and run a Kickstarter
  • Improved my Google analytic skills
  • Learned more about DNS
  • Started a storefront and learned CreateSpace
  • Learned scads about WordPress and twitter
  • Managed two sponsorships with associated metrics measurements
  • Have formal corporate underwriting meetings booked
  • Met with a number of major non-profit institutions executive directors
  • Worked as an editor and coach for almost a dozen writers
  • Had press placement in a major NYC suburban newspaper
  • Managed a high school student as co-producer and writer of an animation
  • AND built a project plan that will allow me to complete my project nights and weekends on time and under budget even when I land a full time gig.

Isn’t that list better than just saying I drank beer and sent out resumes for 6 months?

Warm regards to all, especially those who would hire me. And for those that say “your side project will get in the way of your job” — I say indeed it won’t. You’ll be getting an even better employee!