There have been numerous studies about how people are not working in their dream job. Most people think the best way to change this statistic for you to start your own business. However, this was not an option for. I’m single. I don’t come from a wealthy family. I have no one that I can go to for support. If I quit my job and the business failed, I would be in a serious financial hot mess.
I decided that I would be one of those “crazy” people who pursued their passion while bringing in a steady income. While I was working my 9 to 5, I created a blog called Starengu. This decision left me feeling just as fulfilled. It satisfied my desire for entrepreneurship, keeping up with technology, while not having to stress over how I am going to pay my monthly bills.
For many reasons, it is good to have an outlet. After being on my job for almost six years, I was laid off. This blog helped to pay the bills. I’m really glad I took time to invest in myself and I encourage others to do the same.
Although you will run into some narrow-minded recruiters who are intimidated that a person can handle more than one job, I encourage everyone to invest in themselves to satisfy their desire for fulfillment outside of their 9 to 5 job.
Starengu is where I blog about marketing, productivity, and technology. I treat my blog as a side hustle. It’s my opportunity to connect with other bloggers and small business owners who may or may not have this knowledge. Everything I created for Starengu was built during my spare time (i.e. lunchtime, after work, evenings and weekends). I spend my spare time blogging because it is a fun creative outlet for me. Emphasis on MY spare time.
I was proud of my blog so I included it in my LinkedIn profile. You can imagine how excited I was when I came across job applications that provided an option to list your blog/website. My blog was finally going to get the love I thought it deserved.
My blog was never a “problem” when recruiters were actively recruiting me to join their company while I was working at my last job. However, when I was unemployed the conversation went a little something like this:
Recruiter: “It’s great that you took the initiative to start a blog. That is so awesome. Is your blog something you plan on keeping up when you return back to work?”
Me: “Yes, this is definitely something that I plan on continuing. I started this blog while I was working during my spare time. It doesn’t interfere with my work because it’s something that I do in my spare time.”
Many recruiters have even stated how impressed they were with my experience at Starengu BEFORE I explained that it was a blog! The irony is that these are the same recruiters who most likely would not have given me the time of day if I did not have my blog listed on my LinkedIn profile. An employer should NOT have an issue with their employees having a blog, podcast, etc. (especially, if it is within their field). If anything this should be encouraged for the following reasons:
Let’s be real. There will always be aspects of your job that you don’t enjoy. Creative outlets like blogging, podcasting, etc. enable your employees to feel more energized to complete those mundane tasks.
Many times when employees pursue a side hustle their tends to be a correlation to their current job. Even if it’s not, the mere fact that they are proactive in gaining the skills they lack positions them to be in an even better position to help your company.
The majority of your employers work to live, not live to work. Even if an employee is not working their “dream job” they will still make an effort to do their job to the best of their ability. Many employees that pursue a side hustle fund it with their job. Their actual job may not promote them or provide them with a bonus. Therefore, it’s only fair that an employee should be able to pursue other ways to make up for the lack of income they aren’t receiving from their job.
Employers need to remember that they are hiring people NOT buying them. You cannot control every aspect of your employees’ life. What they choose to do with their paycheck is up to them. Your employees’ blog is not your competition. You should view it as a tool that demonstrates how passionate they are about helping people, continuing their education, demonstrating their expertise, etc.
Employees spend the majority of their day at work. Companies should not place themselves in a position to further monopolize their employees’ time by discouraging or denying their right to start a blog. Encouraging your staff to express their creativity will help prevent them from searching for greener pastures.