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How to Sell Your Side Hustle in Your Next Interview

“Should I mention my side hustle during the interview?” - A common question asked by many job seekers deciding how to leverage each piece of their experience when talking to a hiring manager. Truth is, the main thing on your mind when walking into an interview is how to “wow” the company with your professional skills, while translating all of the words on your resume into why you should be the leading candidate for this role. Most of the information listed on resumes is everything that person accomplished at a 9-5 job, but, sometimes, the expertise needed most for your next big break is found in your side gig. To avoid discounting these talents, here is how to sell your side hustle and successfully connect it to the bigger picture.

Despite your hesitancy to mention this, your side hustle ultimately makes you more marketable to the hiring manager. Having a side gig is no longer seen solely as an employment gap filler or a part-time job to make some extra cash. Rather, this entrepreneurial spirit is seen and sought after by companies now more than ever. Diving into this project or start-up with the interviewer automatically shows them many things about you, specifically your passion, your time management and your ability to take on new tasks - All qualities a manager wants to see as a part of their team.

In order to properly introduce this subject during your interview, be strategic about your approach. While having the talent to be able to manage your project on the side is very admirable, you don’t want the hiring manager to assume you have too much on your plate. Position your side gig to show your true passion, and prepare success stories around it - The skills you have developed, new platforms you have mastered or the number of consumers you have reached thus far are all examples of ways you’ve grown professionally. From there, show how these areas have or will affect your performance in your primary job and will set you and the company up for success in this new role.

Lastly, as you are discussing your side gig during the interview, be sure you are hitting key points that are relevant to the job description. For example, if you are applying for a financial role but your side hustle is managing a fashion blog, pick out daily tasks and responsibilities of each that nicely coincide with one another. You could discuss the financial piece of the partnerships you have through the blog or any funding you were able to raise and manage through this process - Any relatable aspect is great to identify, and it shows the employer your comprehension of the industry in more ways than one.

How to Sell Your Side Hustle in Your Next Interview

Leaders Share Advice to Their Younger Self

We’ve All Been There

No matter who you are, we all have that one thing—that one situation—we regret or would do differently. Whatever it is, reflection is a good tool to make that specific situation be a lesson to you, or someone else contemplating the same decision.

Reflection as a tool is often times not utilized in the professional space, which leaves leaders repeating an unproductive process, or even worst, a costly mistake.

How Can I Implement This Tool?

Reflection can be as easy as spending 5 minutes to think about your day before you go to bed, or as intense as the car ride home without the music on.

Benefits of Reflection

There can be many benefits of self-reflection depending on how you use it. I will just name a few that I have personally experienced:

Learn From My Actions

  • I can analyze what I did on a ‘good’ day and what I did on a ‘bad’ day and change my attitude or actions to ensure a better day.

Gain Humility

  • When you are able to analyze your thoughts and emotions outside of the immediate conversation, you can find faults that could be attributed to yourself, which in the end makes one extremely humble and makes you think before you speak before the next time.

Challenge Myself

  • We spend time in reflection to grow, it never hurts to give yourself a mini-challenge the next day to correct minor things (i.e. coffee consumption, water consumption, saying hello to a stranger, etc.)

How Does This Apply to the Hard Workah Show?

On the show, I make it a point to ask my guests: “Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your 21-year-old, younger self?”
I am not surprised that these leaders knew exactly what they would advise their younger self. Some of my favorites (in no particular order) from our shows are below. Be prepared to learn from someone else’s mistakes and let us know if it was helpful in any way to you.

Don’t want to read it? Listen to it in this episode!

Work-Life Balance

“If I was going to give advice to someone who is just starting out on their career, again, I would say, “Be committed. Find something that you’re passionate about or that you at least really enjoy doing, because you’re going to spend a lot of time at work. And when you’re at work, work smart and work hard so that you can go home to your family and do ‘home’.”
- Allison Gwisz, Human Resources Business Partner, The Suddath Companies

To listen to the full conversation, click here.

Recognize the Resources You Have

“Nobody’s a self-made man. There’s always somebody there who’s helping you out and helping you along the way. My recommendation would be to anyone, pay attention to what you’re doing. Listen to those people. Do the best you can and just understand that every decision that you make today will affect every decision that you make in the future.”
- Lt. Jason A Clements, PE, PSM, Civil Engineer Corps, United State Navy

To listen to the full conversation, click here.

“I can tell you, I think I would have told myself what a recruiter is and what they do. Because when I was 21 and I went to UNF, I had no idea that a staffing agency existed. I had no idea that there were people out there that, pending graduation, were able to assist me and that it would be so simple for me to have the door open to all of these companies that I had never even heard about.”

- Erica Brockway
  

“One, it’s gonna be okay. And you will find a job, you will figure out what you wanna do with your life. I mean I think that Erica spoke to it very well, where if I had known there was going to be a resource for me coming out of college, I probably would have been more comfortable. I was one of the students who took every class, changed my major like four times- I had no clue what I wanted to do and I think I could have probably gone to a recruiter or a staffing firm and said, “Listen, this is what I like and this is what I don’t like and this is what I hope to make in life.”
- Taylor McLellan, SNI Companies

To listen to the full conversation, click here.

Be Resilient

“One that I’ve struggled with, from time to time, that I’ve hopefully gotten better with over the years is, when you hit upon hard times or when you don’t get something you’re pursuing, being resilient with a positive attitude.”
- Harold Stankard, Senior Vice President, General Manager and Regional Leader of the Fidelity Investments Regional Center in Jacksonville, FL

To listen to the full conversation, click here.

“The main thing I’d probably tell myself is to be open to being an entrepreneur, because the nine to five cubicle space was not for me. I don’t sit still well; it just wasn’t for me. And I’d say the last thing would be to always be ready, because in some moments maybe I was in between jobs, I still got up every morning, and I got dressed like I was going to go to work in case I got a call from a resume, or I got a call from a staffing agency, or I got a call to do some temp work, whatever it might have been. I had some of my best sales whenever someone said, hey, can you come right now? Just always be ready.”
- Katie Norton, Independent Agent at LegalShield

To listen to the full conversation, click here.

This advice comes from combined years of experiences and a LOT of mistakes. My wish is that you are able to avoid some of those hefty mistakes and run with this great advice from successful leaders.

There is a Balance

Warning: too much reflection is overthinking and overthinking is unhealthy. If reflection brings on anxiety, try doing it in small doses, or focus on things that are correctable.

For instance, you can correct your attitude by how you speak to people or by your morning routine. You cannot correct someone else’s attitude or thoughts, you can influence them, but try to focus on YOU in reflection.

Activity

Try to spend 5 minutes right now, wherever you are and just think about your day (so far). Think about the interactions you had, about the times you spoke, or emailed, times when you got upset, or felt uneasy. After taking some time to do that, now try to think about how you can improve the rest of your day, or tomorrow.

Here are some examples:

“I spent the morning rushing out the house and I didn’t even say goodbye to my family. Next time, I will take a minute to say goodbye.”

OR

“I was upset on the way to work because I got cut off (or I cut someone off), next time I will leave a couple minute earlier to avoid traffic so that I will not have to cut someone off, or I will not lay on my horn.

I use this format:

Today, I [What I did] and next time [what I will do].

I hope that this time of reflection becomes a part of your daily life, and that it makes you strive to be better than the day before!

If you would like to hear the full conversation, click here.


Leaders Share Advice to Their Younger Self

Why People Stay in a Job Longer Than They Should

Changing permanent jobs on a frequent basis is a problem and eventually will prevent companies from seeing you as a viable hiring option. That said, staying at a job too long when an employee really knows they should leave is also a problem. Remaining in a job that is no longer a good fit or one that isn’t taking you towards your career goals can be driven by both practical and emotional reasons. Some of the practical reasons are things like a decent paycheck, benefits, and the anticipation of future work experience that will look good on your resume. While these things all matter, it’s worth asking if you could get these things or improve upon them at another company that would be a better opportunity and cultural fit. Some of the emotional reasons employees stay are fear of making a change, concerns about the unknowns in a new job opportunity, or a sense of loyalty you feel towards your current boss and colleagues. Let’s take a deeper look at each of these and the psychology behind why people stay at a role that is no longer serving their best long term interest.

Fear of the Unknown
The biggest thing to understand is that fear of change exists for everyone at some level, but don’t mistake that for thinking you’re making the wrong decision to leave. Trust yourself and look back the reasons you decided to look at changing and how your new job aligns with what you wanted to improve. I tell candidates to do the exercise of stepping back from both their current job and the job they have the offer on. Pretend you don’t have either job and ask yourself which one you would take. This pulls the emotion out of it, and the “winner” is always going to be the one they have the offer from. Recognize to that the person making their first job change typically experiences a much higher level of anxiety than someone who has been thru the process and knows there will still be some trepidation. Starting a new job can be scary, you don’t have a crystal ball for how things will play out and there is a learning curve when starting a new role. It can be daunting to think about changing from your comfortable, although potentially stagnant role, to something new and fresh that will force you to get outside of your comfort zone a bit. Jack Canfield, author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, famously said, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” Instead of letting fear hold you back, have the courage to feel the fear and do it anyway.

Loyalty to your team
Your boss and coworkers have likely been an instrumental part in taking you to where you are today and the thought of leaving them behind can feel like a betrayal. Some of your coworkers may have been there for life milestones and you have a shared history together. Further, if your team is replicating a family dynamic, a sense of loyalty can keep you from leaving. Realize that moving on to a better job is something most of your coworkers and boss would also do if given the opportunity and just because you have moved on to a different company doesn’t mean you can’t keep those relationships that have been so meaningful to you. When you do decide to move on to a new career make sure to give a professional notice, typically two weeks, which will help with the transition and not leave your team in a bind.

Some people stay in roles years longer than they should and it’s often not until some force outside of their control forces them to leave that they do so. It’s important to ask yourself if your role is still serving you and your career goals, and if it’s not it may be time to consider moving on. These questions can include: are you are still learning and growing, if you find meaning in your work, if you look forward to going to work in the morning, if you like (or at least respect) your boss, and if you are making enough money. If you answer no to these questions than it is probably time to take a good long look at why it is you’re staying at your current role and if it’s worth considering switching jobs. If you need help find a new role, SNI Companies can help you advance your career and make a strategic move into a role that will better serve you.

Why People Stay in a Job Longer Than They Should