Raise your profile and boost your desirability to employers by ensuring that you always have some side projects on the go
It’s all too easy to focus on the day job but if you want a competitive edge in the jobs market, then a strong portfolio of side projects can really help you stand out. “The people with more value are the people with more skills, more crossover and more collaboration,” explains James Huckle. Basically, if you have a lot of skills across the board under your belt then you’re a lot more useful – and you can command a bigger salary as a result.
Of course, it depends on the side project. Your fledgling webcomic might have some social traction but it probably isn’t going to give you much leverage in your pay negotiations. Rather, think about something like speaking at conferences – whether it’s a big-ticket event or a local meetup. If you can do conference talks or even a bit of teaching, this demonstrates that you know your stuff and you have the confidence and communication skills to share your knowledge – a quality that’s irresistible to employers.