9 Tips To Turn Your Passion Project Into A Second Career

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9 tips to turn your passion project into a second career
8 min read

We’re all familiar with Wonder Woman – that kickass superhero we love to watch save the world. But even a superhero has another career going for her. She may be Wonder Woman by night, but she’s also an art historian by day! 

This superhero archetype is perhaps the best example of why people opt for two careers. While one helps you earn your bread and butter, the other one lets you discover your strengths, gives you joy, and encourages you to progress at your own pace.

Second careers have earned a bad rep over the years, as many people believe it takes away from the pursue your passion philosophy and justifies burnout culture. In reality, second careers, when done right, can be incredibly fulfilling and give you creative satisfaction, with the extra income being secondary. People can have multiple interests, whether it’s writing and baking (a personal one), event planning and astrology, or what have you. And even though it’s easy to put your passion project in the ‘hobby’ category, why should you, when you can hone your talent and make some money while you’re at it?

Why People Opt For Multiple Careers

Imagine your dream project, whether it’s opening a bakery or becoming a makeup artist. Now, imagine having more time to pursue it during the week and even getting paid for it! Pursuing a second career may seem daunting and tiring, but YOU can set the rules. The best part? There’s always a fall back if it doesn’t work out as expected. The concept of second careers solves the dilemma of picking between passions, giving you the chance to explore what you find meaningful.  

You can have your cake and eat it too!

Negotiating higher salaries can get tough for freshers, especially if they work in an overpopulated industry. Many people stick to the same job for the next couple of years, as work experience matters more than gold when it comes to climbing the ladder. Many of us are becoming more aware of investments, and are opting for side-hustles to help bridge the gap between saving and spending. A second career can help you make some extra coin on the side, while still giving you the creative satisfaction you seek.

second career-photography

Finding The Time For Extra Work

Taking on a second career when you’re barely able to finish your day’s tasks from the first seems counterproductive. But tech-savviness can come to the rescue here – you can download apps that’ll let you plan your day to a T and give your best to both projects. If you find it hard to compartmentalise all your work, a down-time app takes away any distractions, so you can concentrate on one thing at a time and juggle careers. It may not be smooth initially, but once you get the hang of it, your schedule will automatically take shape. 

Most people give 120% at work, so you could consider dialling back a bit, and focus on both careers. On days when you need to take more time out for your passion project, use up your leaves and take a creative vacation. Additionally, you could also look for opportunities in the current organisation that could help you develop skills for your other career. For example, volunteer to design posters for an event, if you’re taking up graphic design as a second career. Try to find ways to seamlessly blend your passion in your day-to-day life.

“Time isn’t the main thing, it’s the only thing”- Miles Davis

Tips To Get Started On Your Second Career

  1. Do Your Homework: Once you’ve decided to move forward to build your second career, it’s time to do the work and understand what it takes to start. Find out what skills, qualifications, or certifications are needed. For example, to be a home chef, you will need an FSSAI registration at the least. This will give you clear actionables.
  1. Read Your Current Contract: Many organisations prohibit employees from taking on other jobs, which is usually mentioned in the employment contract. Read through your contract for any such clauses to avoid getting into a legal soup. Most of the time, the current organisation wouldn’t have an issue as long as you don’t work with their competitors and keep up the quality of work.
  1. Draw Boundaries: If you’re upset about your boss giving you that last-minute task, remember that they aren’t there to ensure you’re on time for guitar class. Draw boundaries and take responsibility. Let your boss know (in a kind, yet firm tone) that you’ll be unavailable after work hours. Complete the task first thing in the morning, and you can continue the day as planned!

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  1. Start Saving: Every project needs an investment- big or small. So, start saving a small chunk of your full-time salary in a recurring deposit or a separate account. You could enable automatic deductions or transfers every month so that it’s done on time and without fail. It takes some discipline, but use this money only for your passion project. For example, if you’re running a home bakery and buying groceries for both your home and the business, bill the items separately. Having separate bank accounts for each job will also help you gauge how lucrative the side-hustle is!
  1. Use Different Tools: Now that you’re taking on multiple careers, technology is your best friend. Using a scheduling app like Google Calendar will ensure you don’t spread yourself too thin. On the other hand, a to-do list combining home and work tasks will help measure productivity and keep you on track. Make use of other tools depending on your passion project. For example, Hubspot can help you track your social media presence if you’re running an online business.
woman pursuing second career
  1. Set Clear, Realistic Goals: Without setting a goal, you’ll find yourself spinning your wheels to no avail. Understand that your side hustle won’t progress at the same pace as any other full-time job. Set realistic goals that take into account all your responsibilities (financial and professional), so you’ll know exactly where you’ll be in the next week and even year. If you feel lost initially, start with small goals and taper off into bigger ones.
  1. Start Reverse Calculations: Think of a launch date for your second career. Once you have it in mind, reverse calculate everything it’ll take to get from Point A to Point B. If the roadmap aligns with your goals, it means you’re on track and are likely to succeed. If not, adjust and try again!
  1. Set Yourself Apart: Second careers are value-based, allowing you to channel that creativity and make a difference. Check out your competition and understand what sets you apart. Stress on these points, so that you don’t lose track of why your second career exists in the first place- Plus, they’re a great marketing advantage!
  1. Delegate Tasks: Chances are, you may not have enough time to take on all the aspects of your second career by yourself. Rope in a couple of friends or relatives for assistance, especially in areas where you could use some help. For example, ask a friend to help you design creatives. Outsourcing simple tasks will free up time and mind space to give both careers your best!

Ask anyone with a second career, and they’ll say that as long as your heart is in it, the experience is fulfilling. If you’re determined to pursue your dream career outside of your current job, there’s no harm in going for it. After all, you won’t know until you try!

You’re invited! Join the Kool Kanya women-only career Community where you can network, ask questions, share your opinions, collaborate on projects, and discover new opportunities. Join now.

Gauri has a Master's degree in English Literature and advanced certification in German. A dreamer, she is fascinated with the art of weaving words and works towards becoming a better storyteller each day. Talk to her about poetry, space, or mental health, and you'll have her full attention. When she's not reading or catching up on her favorite crime show, you'll find her journaling at a local cafe, whipping up delicious treats in her kitchen or unsuccessfully trying to resist that bottle of Nutella.

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