A woman standing outside a door as she hold the handle to enter

Each day, I wake up a few hours before work to focus on my true calling—becoming a writer. Although rising early can occasionally be a pain, I enjoy every minute of this labor of love. After wrapping the session, I grab breakfast and move onto my day job. It’s the advertising gig that puts food in my belly and a roof over my head while I chase my literary dream.

This job may not feed my soul creatively, but lately, I’ve learned to love it on a different level. I’m starting to see the role it’s serving to my overall success. It’s no longer the time-killing nuisance that takes away from my craft.

The path of pursuing a new career or business is never linear. For some of us, it’s about dipping into savings or inherited money. For others, it’s about leaning on a supportive partner. For many of us, success boils down to the right balance between a job that pays the bills and time management of your true passion, usually starting as a side hustle.

Success boils down to the right balance between a job that pays the bills and time management of your true passion.

People sometimes feel embarrassed that their dream career isn’t fully supporting them yet, but the truth is that a bridge job is a pivotal piece of the support system that builds your end goal. Just like relationships or life phases, jobs can enter just for a season—to serve their purpose. When you reframe your thinking and understand that your 9-to-5 job isn’t preventing you from your true destiny, everything will begin to flow.

Many gifted entrepreneurs and artists support their work for years before their work is able to support them. Navigating the dance between a dream career and a day job is all about the mindset you choose.

Navigating the dance between a dream career and a day job is all about the mindset you choose.

Keep your emotions in check.

Commit to the whole process. Sometimes, panic can set in when you feel stuck in a moment where current circumstances feel permanent. It’s important to take a step back and look at the big picture. Allowing feelings of misery to take over the workday at your current gig may not be the ideal approach. Those negative thoughts will spill over into the rest of your life and affect the time you’re working toward your passion.

Choose a solution-based attitude each day. Keep that energy going so it extends into your new business or career direction.

On days when you find frustration digging its heels in, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Visualize the long-view approach and all the fruits that will come from your labor. Appreciate that this support system is doing its part to fuel your passion and get you to the next level. Be patient with yourself, and know that most success stories don’t happen overnight.

Be patient with yourself, and know that most success stories don’t happen overnight.

Time is on your side.

It’s great to take a limitless view with your passions, but you also need to balance that with real world practicality. Remember you also have to do your part. One of the most important factors for success is managing your time wisely. Make a plan based on what suits your schedule best and what time of the day you’re most productive.

When you schedule time to work on your side hustle, always show up. When everyday life intervenes, get resourceful and reshuffle your time. If you miss a morning session, then book a double session the next day to make up for it. Get in the mindset that the time you devote to your passion needs to be honored. 

Less is more.

There is so much advice these days on the key to a successful life, and it seems everyone has a different opinion. Don’t get overwhelmed by the elaborate morning or night routines (aka all the meditation, yoga, journaling and gratitude lists that go along with them.) Look at what adds value to your life on a personal level, and simplify a strategy that works best for your goals.

Many people don’t accomplish their objectives because they have too many tasks and projects on their plate at once. Ambition is a beautiful thing, but it’s important not to overstretch yourself. To simplify each day and stay focused on what matters most, ask yourself, “What action step will bring me closer to my goal today?” 

Ambition is a beautiful thing, but it’s important not to overstretch yourself.

Respect the day job.

Allow yourself to feel true gratitude for the day job while you’re on the clock. Dedicate time to your true passion during mornings, evenings and weekends, but don’t spend your time on the clock at your day job making calls and creating momentum for your side business. Show up to do your best every day, and trust that this work will be a help, not a hindrance to your overall success.

As for whether you should tell your manager or colleagues about your side hustle, that comes down to your personal discretion. Every corporate culture is different. Some are encouraging of people pursuing additional careers, and some are not. However, if you work hard while you’re on the clock, nobody can fault you for being a go-getter on your own time.

How do you balance your day job with your passion work? How have you learned to keep a positive perspective in the pursuit of your dream career?

Image via Amanda Gallant, Darling Issue No. 6

2 comments

  1. This is so well written. Oftentimes, our day jobs get such a bad rap. It’s really nice to see another express gratitude for the opportunities that feed and shape us on our way to pursuing the things that call out to us. Thank you for writing this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*