Recently, I spoke with a hiring manager in the technology industry who said the #1 most important question he asks college students that want to work for him is this: "What have you worked on that was off project?" He's actually asking: Tell me about your passion. Your drive. Your side hustle.
"Side hustle" is an underground term for people's outside-of-work passions and talents (e.g. blogging, web/app development, consulting, coaching, podcasting, etc.) that lead to boosted personal brands, higher mastery or ultimately their next job/career. Side hustle is an after-thought for many Millennials who witnessed companies express zero loyalty towards their parents which translated into a natural desire for transferable skills that transcend their current job skills.
With today's turbulent marketplace and saturated talent pool, individuals must commit to building stronger personal brands. For Millennials, side hustle is the solution to keep their skills sharp and their expertise sharper while exploring their passions and having an immediate, tangible, and trackable impact.
Years ago when you were getting your side hustle on, it was much more difficult and time consuming to produce a tangible result. The Internet and increased connectedness have enabled us to start a blog in seconds, create an app in minutes, and reach the world in one click all before noon while kickin' it poolside.
On the flip side, side hustle can be costly creativity and energy leaks for organizations. So it has become uber crucial to harness the side hustle and make it your next generation catalyst. Denying the hustle would be irresponsible in today's highly collaborative, creative and crowd-sourced culture. Keep the passion lit, just learn to leverage it.
12 Game-Changing Ways Leaders Can Leverage Side Hustle
- Have side-hustlers guest post on the team blog.
- Cut "red tape" where you can.
- Provide more ownership and freedom on work projects.
- Always give credit where credit is due.
- Provide the latest tech (e.g mobile) and platforms (e.g. social media) to keep collaboration high and to keep the hustle in house.
- Increase the frequency but decrease the duration of touch points for effective coaching and vision-casting.
- Provide ample space and time to explore personal projects. (Take a note from Google's 10% work-on-whatever-you-want rule.)
- Provide clear, concise objectives and mission clarity.
- Be flexible with "work hours." Allow creativity to strike whenever and wherever.
- Make the culture more open and collaborative. (Think in terms of physical workspace and leadership styles.)
- Recruit better in order to align unique passion and talents with company mission.
- Encourage it.
Side hustle has the potential to generate some of the best breakthroughs your organization has seen to date.
Harness the hustle.
Question: What is (or will be) your side hustle?