Outta work? Build your dream.

One of the biggest obstacles standing between you and your dream is your day job. At least, if you’re still on that old timey, work-life balance tip, that is.

Work-life parallel players have the obvious advantage of having what they do to pay the bills deliver more than just a paycheck to pay those bills. They’re gaining relevant experience, making connections, and dovetailing work and life into a single, hyperthreaded path to their goals.

I think the ultimate work-life parallel situation is one where what you do for a living feels like life itself. Better yet, one where life itself is diversified into multiple sources of income, so you’re protected in the event any one of them flames out on you.

You know, like you lose your job.

They say, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”—but they also tell us it’s somehow bad to have more than one job. Um, isn’t having one job—a single source of income—putting all your eggs in one basket?

I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s take two steps back.

Imagine a clean, easy-math split between work and life—50/50. That’s work-life balance.

You spend half your time working (on someone else’s goals) and the other half on your own. 50/50.

If you’re work-life parallel, maybe half of what you do for a living also helps you advance your own goals alongside the paycheck. You’re still giving 100% at work—but imagine half of what you do at work is effectively training and/or networking for what you want to do with your life beyond the paycheck.

Now you’re looking at more than 50% of your time benefitting your goals. If you lose the work part of it (your job), you’re already ahead of the game and can quickly ramp up your efforts elsewhere.

Added bonus: Your efforts off the clock are likely useful assets in your new job hunt, too. You can tap your network for more relevant job leads and reference your side hustle on those interviews. Not only do you show you’re a proactive problem solver, you also stand out from other applicants as someone who actually does the work for fun.

That’s crazy powerful.

If you’re still work-life balance, that’s cool. Most people are these days.

Still, if you should find yourself out of work, you should make the most of every minute you don’t have to be on someone else’s clock. Yeah, you’ve got to polish the resie, press the suit, and hit the bricks—but there’s a LOT of downtime in between.

That’s YOUR time.

I know it’s scary. Bills gotta be paid. Belts gotta be tightened.

I worked in tech when the dot-com bubble burst. I got laid off more times between 2001 and 2005 than most people I know have had jobs in their entire careers—and I’ve been all over the place, career-wise, chasing my work-life parallel dream.

The point is this. It doesn’t matter if you’re work-life balance or work-life parallel. If you outta work, you are working for yourself. You gotta hustle. You gotta grind. You gotta be sharp as a tack and get after it—whatever it is.

ESPECIALLY IF IT’S YOUR THING.

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