I have a friend named Mimi Newman who I worked with at Microsoft. She worked in communications, but longed to expand her knowledge into Digital Marketing and SEO to truly understand how to make the narratives and stories she was an expert in creating actually land with the right audiences. Since this was not a part of her day job and there were already people who were doing this as part of their day jobs, Mimi decided to do what any entrepreneurial person would do: she started a side-hustle during her 5-8 time.
She tapped into her passion for food and cooking, took an online course in food photography, started a food blog and a dedicated Instagram page. She practiced her dishes and her photography and really perfected the craft, sharing her journey along the way. She then started doing various experiments with digital marketing and SEO to see what resonated with people most. Within about 3 months, her blog was getting TONS of viewers, comments and shares thanks to her beautiful, creative photography and her lovely storytelling.
Her articles were soon getting featured in some top food blogs all over the world and was the top result when searching for specific recipes.
This experience got her curious about UX and front-end design and she has been expanding this skillset over the past few months.
Because of all of this work she's been doing on the side, she was able to change jobs and become a marketing director for a startup using the knowledge she gained on qualitative and quantitative analysis of her blog. She currently identifies as being a marketing director, food blogger, designer and photographer. She's also started a small-batch catering gig on the side!
Having a 5-8 is SUCH a good way to gain experience in things you're interested in, but might not fit into your day job because of your role you're in…or because of random gatekeepers who might try and stop you since it's "not your job".
I highly recommend doing your own thing on the side to gain experience if you want to grow in your career or change jobs someday to another field. Another avenue is volunteering to do this kind of work for non-profits or startups for free as a confidence AND resume builder for you and a benefit for them.
You can find Mimi's blog here:
And her Instagram here:
If you have a side-hustle/5-8 that you've used to change jobs, I'd LOVE to hear your story!
Dona is the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Prima Dona Studios, a fashion line that helps women achieve economic power. There are a million fashion lines in the world--but how many of them count some of the most powerful women in tech and business as their customers? How many of them have a mission of spreading that economic power to 1B women all over the world? We do. Find us here: https://primadonastudios.com/