It seems black and white: There are two types of women out there, the corporate ladder climbers who chase opportunity and the entrepreneurial go-getters who follow their passions. The ones who work in demanding fields in competitive industries, and those who grew their creative callings into a successful business. But what about those of us who fall into both categories?
In 2020, it feels like there is a bit of pressure to follow your true calling and pursue your passions full-time. But I believe there is plenty of time and opportunity to work your 9 to 5 while still building your side business or brand.
Since graduating university, I’ve quickly realized that at this stage in my life and my career, I love the security and fulfillment of a full-time corporate job. While I want to pursue this corporate career in the long run, it’s also important for me to have something of my own. A side hustle. A passion project. And a supplementary source of income.
For me, this comes in the form of a life & style blog. But for you, it could be a freelance consulting business, a handmade jewelry brand, or whatever else you put your time and heart into on evenings and weekends. Something that brings you both joy and additional income.
While it can feel overwhelming and intimidating to put so much energy into two (potentially very different) endeavours, here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned to balance my time and avoid burnout:
Schedule your Days
There’s nothing worse than a long list of to-do’s and no action plan to get through them. By simply blocking off time in your schedule (I use Google Calendar) for the items on your list, you’ll be able to get a snapshot view of what you have to work on and when. This will help you stay focused and keep deadlines in check, all while allowing you to get more accomplished in a shorter amount of time.
Explore New Environments
Working all day at the office then going home to finish up more work before getting to emails and planning for your side is a lot and you don’t want to burn out. Be productive during the day at work, then reserve your evenings for checking out a new coffee shop or co-working space, where you can reset your mind and get to work on your side business in a fresh space.
Invest in Courses, Workshops or Conferences
Use them to get inspired! Too often we get wrapped up in our own headspace without bringing new perspectives and ideas into view. An investment in learning is an investment in self – and will benefit you in both your day job and your side gig!
Break Down Long-Term Goals Into Actionable Plans
It’s easy to say “I want to be X in X amount of time”, but what’s difficult is determining how you will get there. Having long term goals is a good thing, but it’s more important to create an actionable plan with checkpoint mini-goals throughout the process. Focus on the small wins throughout the journey, not just the end goal.
Take breaks and Rest
We all know how glamorized “being busy” has become. But honestly, more credit should be given to those who work hard and play hard. I truly believe that by taking breaks for yourself – be it a 45-minute lunch break or a one week vacation without working – we end up more productive in the long run.
Whether you’re in the early stages of your entrepreneurial idea and aren’t quite ready to go all in yet, or you truly love both your day job and side gig, the truth is you’re more than capable of doing both! You don’t have to choose corporate or creative, and you don’t have to be confined to one or the other. Managing both a full-time job and a side hustle can be a balancing act – but once you get into a groove that works for you – it can be an extremely fulfilling career experience!