What I Wish I Knew - about side hustles and career-building

The co-founders and organizers behind What I Wish I Knew, Lesley Vaage and Jodi Goebel, recent winners of NextGen’s MEAET micro-fundraising event are working on their next event that takes place on November 21. What I Wish I Knew offers practical workplace advice for young professionals. They reference their our own experience, research, and years in the trenches to help lift you up.

Read below on the great career advice from Lesley Vaage. And make sure to attend their event The Side Hustle: Leveling Up Your Career on November 21.

Side hustles. Gig economy. Boards of directors. Building a career used to be fairly straight forward. You picked either teacher, lawyer, engineer or first elected female prime minister, and then you just got on with it.

Those days are gone. Now we are expected to have volunteer experience, side gigs, and board work on our resumes, and to pay the bills. It’s hard out there for a gal in 2018.

So for the next What I Wish I Knew, we are focusing on how to level up our careers. We’re going to ask our panelists how they built their careers, what they did right, and what they wish they knew.

In honor of our event, The Side Hustle: Leveling Up Your Career, here are the top 5 things we wish we knew about side hustles.

5. Own your domain name. Grab it now, while it’s still out there. And while you’re at it, grab both the .ca and .com versions.

4. Build your personal versus positional power. This gives key skills around exerting influence, speaking up, and negotiation when you’re not the boss and don’t have authority. When you build that ‘personal power’ muscle, you’re building your superhero skills.

3. Understand why you are taking on this volunteer role or contract gig. When you add something new to your life, you’re giving something else up so you better be intentional about that sacrifice. Side gigs take time and energy, and it’s important for your integrity and sanity that you understand the resources it will take ahead of time.

2. Volunteer gigs are excellent ways to practice new skills in a low-risk setting. I learned about budgets, auditing, strategy-setting, HR and more by sitting on boards of directors. It was a mini-MBA that I didn’t have to pay for.

1. Finish your work. Don’t make good the enemy of perfect. Your clients and colleagues have their own deadlines to meet, and they need you to pull your weight. You’ll get better at the whole “perfection” thing with practice, so in the meantime, just finish.

What I Wish I Knew Co-Founders