June 22, 2018



Do you have a side-project outside of work? Are you keen to turn your hobby into a career and design a working life that suits YOU?

For this week’s #BORNATDAWNLIFE, we are exploring whether it’s possible to build a ‘portfolio career’ rather than follow one defined path. We’re inspired by author, podcaster and social media expert Emma Gannon’s new book, The Multi-Hyphen Method.

The working world is changing with the definition of success constantly evolving. According to the CIPD, within 12 years half the workforce will be freelance; pursuing any personal, commercial or academic interests they want.

Emma is fascinated with this future. In her book she identifies people who are a bit of a ‘mixture’; like a physio running an online jewellery store at night. She highlights the benefits of a side-project that go beyond extra income - mental self-care, new friends and advanced skills - and believes adding more strings to your bow will help you thrive in the digital age.

She offers guidance on how to maximise technology and carve out a job that fits our lifestyle rather than restricts it; effectively designing our own working life, diversifying our skills and working LESS not more. 

Last year, I took a risk to make my side-hustle (freelance writing) work alongside my HR career. I’ve only just begun and although it's a juggle initially, I’ve never been happier. Here’s some of Emma’s tips to help channel your own entrepreneurial spirit:

  • Don’t downplay your side-project. Create your own elevator pitch to clearly summarise both your ‘main job’ and side-hustle and write it down, including hyphens, as one mission.
  • Track your income. Even with small amounts, set up a separate bank account and Google Sheets page to monitor it; this differentiates ‘bonus’ and ‘essential’ income and helps you plan and strategise.
  • Steal time - After 12 hours in the ‘day job’ giving time to the side-project can feel unappealing/ludicrous. Think small and use the gaps; write for 20 mins while a film downloads, jot notes on the tube or meet friends a bit later at the pub. Every little counts towards your future.

Emma realises not everyone has the money / lifestyle to quit a day job or make dreams come true overnight so the ‘Multi-Hyphen Method’ creates a more realistic transition. Why not give it a go? You might create a career less ordinary that works for you…

(Photo: Lucy Williams, Fashion Me Now)

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