In 2019, it was one of my goals to create more helpful blog content for young professional women. I wanted to kick off a series, Work Wednesdays that will discuss a range of career topics. I hope these posts incite discussion and act as an opportunity for me to reflect. I took these photos in Playa del Carmen, Mexico during sunrise. It was the most perfect, colourful way to start our day and relax. I wore a Forever 21 striped maxi dress.
One question I’m always asked (on Instagram, in job interviews, at events, etc) is how to find balance between your career and side hustle. In short, it’s about give and take, but also prioritizing one over the other. While I love blogging, writing and photography, my career has and always will come first. I started my blog in 2009 (yes, 2009!) while I was in journalism school. Chiara Ferragni’s banner image was herself in a bathtub with lettuce, and I scoured Lookbook.nu daily. This was the pre-Instagram age and digital media was just getting started. Over the years, I kept up this blog as a fun side project and portfolio for my journalism career. It was also a great way to get to events and mingle with editors and PR reps. When the journalism industry tanked, I found myself a bit lost in the shuffle, and applied to law school to apply my writing skills in a professional degree. My blog was not profitable, so it wasn’t an option in 2013 to go “full time.”
Back then, I was only using my blog to legitimize a shopping addiction and have a digital portfolio with thousands of pageviews I could list as a line on my resume. As I entered into law school, this blog transformed into a valuable creative outlet to express myself visually and in writing. It was a welcome escape amongst thousands of pages to read and 100% exams. It was invaluable to my mental and creative health, and I continued to blog throughout law school and during my articles.
How to balance blogging with work: stay focused on your passions
A lot of people see blogs as a means to make money or get free PR items, but I think content and creativity need to come first. If you are in a place where your blog becomes more important than your day job, perhaps it’s time to jump into being a full-time blogger! For me, I was hungry to prove myself as an articling student and learn the law. I took a hiatus from blogging to study for the bar exam, and many breaks when my schedule was packed. Blogging came second. My passion and drive was to be called to the bar and grow into a capable, hardworking young lawyer.
I learned to accept the fact that my page views and followers were tanking, but numbers do not measure success. I stayed focused and passed my bar exams, finished my articles and got called to the bar. Focus, focus, focus. This is the key to balancing work with your side hustle. Focus on your priorities and get through, and any time you have extra will be positively allocated to enriching your creative, right-brain side. Instead of dreading a weekly blog post or having to post an Instagram, your time spent on a side hustle will not interfere with your focus, and you can have a more positive approach. This way, you will always look forward to spending time on your side hustle.
Many lawyers don’t exercise their right brains, and I hope any young law student or lawyer will take this advice and sign up for a photography or cooking class! Many of the people I am still in contact with (admittedly I lost touch with many) have rich passions outside of their day jobs. I can think of a few gifted photographers, cooks and athletes who manage to kill it in the corporate world while still maintaining that identity.
So while this article isn’t a list of 1o apps or products that will help you manage your schedule, I hope my message and story will inspire you to stay focused, so you can excel in your career and creative side hustle. Stay tuned on Wednesdays for more content like this!
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