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Multiple Streams of Income and the Job Seeker

October 11th, 2010

Friday I reshared some ideas on creating multiple streams of income. I get emails from people who own a business saying they are doing the same thing – creating multiple products/services that can generate various types of income (passive, etc.).

I think some job seekers (or happily/unhappily employed people) wonder if they can have multiple streams of income, and if so, how do they do it?

Let me relate a story.  Growing up I knew my dad, who worked for the government, could not have a side business.  Not only did he work all the time (so he had no time to pursue something else), there were policies in place precluding him from having a side gig.

That, I thought, was normal.

I didn’t think too much of it. I was that typical worker-bee who wanted to do good stuff for the company and not have side distractions.  No big deal.

Then, in my job search I had a really interesting interview.  It was after I had launched JibberJobber and I had my mind set on having JibberJobber run as a little side project that might make a few hundred bucks a month.

I asked the interviewer, who was at the VP level, if there was a problem if I had this little side business.

His reply floored me:

“Not a problem – the manager across the hall has a movie theater and the one down the hall has a such-and-such business, and …. “

My thought?  Why didn’t I get this memo???

Why was I trusting 100% of my income to one person when I could have had side gigs that were producing a few hundred, perhaps a few thousand dollars each month?

Talk about securing my own income!

I missed the boat on that one…. but I walked out of that room thinking NEVER AGAIN.

The funny thing is, most of the people who were involved in the decision to lay me off had their own side gigs – other income.  Why was I so blind?

Can you have a side gig? Yes, you can.  Don’t wait until you NEED the extra income, though.

4 Comments »

4 responses to “Multiple Streams of Income and the Job Seeker”

  1. Carla says:

    This is so true. It actually happened in reverse for me, I decide to start a small home business while I was home for a couple of years having children. I did eventually decide to go back to work full time but I never let the side business go. It couldn’t have worked out any better for my family because my husband lost his job two years ago and decided to go back to school full time. Without that side business, we would have really struggled to survive. The only negative to this is it really can add a lot of stress to everyday life. I took a small nervous break down before I had a good balance between the two jobs and family life. So my advice would be to make sure you have balance in your life or the extra income isn’t worth it. Good luck to anyone adventurous to try it!

  2. Kevin says:

    It’s interesting the dichotomy between people with side income and those that don’t have it – parallels (obviously) the level of entrepreneurial spirit and passion. Most of my staff at the “real job” have side businesses… in this area that’s often small vineyards. While my primary income is from running a manufacturing company over the years I’ve created some online businesses, the blog, sideline consulting.

    But the big question happens when your sideline income surpasses your primary income. Then what is “primary income” and you start to wonder whether you should just focus on the presumably more fun sideline projects. That then also gives you a “f it!” attitude at the real job… which can make you more powerful and decisive… or a real prick!

  3. Kate Davids says:

    I never really thought about this before, but it makes complete sense. I’m in graduate school now, though I hope to join a company full time upon graduation. Still, I just might be starting a side business now to help me get through school! Great idea!

  4. I have thought this way for a very, very long time. I just only recently learned not be be ashamed of it. Writing (what I do) runs in “feast or famine” cycles. Good sense told me that while I freelanced, I should have a parellel income stream or two. To an unenlightened employer this can look like job hopping or adult attention deficit. To acutually WANT a part time job seems shady or not totaly invested to others. I think the real shame is to have one, solitary person in your life who can cut off your entire income overnight. Having parellel jobs is a puzzle to include in resumes and on job boards because of the concurring dates. Coaches don’t get it. Networking partners say, “find out what you really want to do and come back later”. I found a way to include a desire/presence of multiple streams of income/several loves on my LinkedIn profile that makes sense, though. It’s not perfect, but it’s the most truthful way I know to get it done.