The right full-time job can help your side business
Individuals trying to start a side business may often think that their 9-5 job doesn’t matter as long as the hours and money are right.
However – a complacent attitude toward your full-time job may end up hurting your chances of side business success. It’s important to evaluate the pros and cons of where you’re spending 40+ hours a week and to assess what other full-time jobs could be out there.
Clarify your goals
One way to determine if your current full-time job is optimal is to clarify your long-term goals and decide exactly how your 9-5 fits in. If all your job is providing is stable income with decent hours but doesn’t do much to expand you professionally, then there probably is a better job out there.
I only realized that my last job wasn’t for me when I took a look at my own goals involving developing a side-business. When I realized that the job didn’t really help me get closer to my goals I started thinking that it may actually be robbing me of opportunities.
Not all jobs are the same
Around the time that I was pondering the relative suckiness of my job, my buddy Cory brought to my attention a job opportunity that had popped up at his work. I decided to interview and was pleasantly surprised that it seemed like a pretty cool place to work.
However, I was really on the fence immediately after the interview. My primary problem with it was that it was much smaller company than my existing one and was less financially stable. There were some benefits, though.
Small company opportunities
The fact it was a small company meant it could help my side gig in ways that a large company couldn’t. The following are some things that I found attractive and that I recommend that you look for when interviewing with a small company:
- Look for a place where the CEO is a founder. Typically company founders bring a completely different viewpoint than professional CEO types. Actually creating a business from nothing and building it up to a point where they can afford to hire people is an accomplishment unto itself. Founding a company takes a different skill set than managing an existing operation.
- Look for a place where the CEO is someone who mingles with the worker bees and is the type of person who you could potentially talk to about business experiences.
- Assess how tapped into the local business community various individuals at the company are. Being involved in a company that could increase your long-term professional connections throughout the industry is a big deal.
- Ask how much you can interact with sales, marketing and support on even an informal basis. Occasionally talking with people in these departments can get you valuable get tips on interacting with customers.
After I recognized that the job fit into my long-term plans and wasn’t just a paycheck, taking the job became a no-brainer.
Some important points part-time entrepreneurs should consider about the full-time job:
- Clarify your long-term goals and determine how your current position contributes to those goals.
- Don’t fall into the trap thinking that all positions are the same (e.g. all full-time jobs suck because it’s always just a bunch of corporate schmucks telling us worker bees what to do)
- Even if your current job pays well and doesn’t interfere with your side gig, there could be better jobs out there . Look for places that give you the opportunity that expose you to customer facing positions like sales and support, give you an opportunity to get an inside look at business decisions and give you an opportunity to interact with people outside the company.