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.
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!