Stop asking me about my side hustle
And let me tell you about my day job.
I’ve noticed something, mingling with fellow NYC young professionals. Everyone is obsessed with the side hustle.
“What’s your side hustle?” even a required question when you apply for coworking at The Wing, a real whos-who of the young professionals space in NYC. When I applied a year ago, I put that I weave tapestries, which is true, but it’s less of a side hustle than an anxiety mitigation tactic.
I suspect that The Wing politely ignored my application in favor of those influential ladies with a plethora of Millennial Pink in their Instagram grids.
I don’t mean that to be derogatory — you do you, influential ladies on Instagram! I follow many of you and sometimes buy clothes based on your recommendations!
My Instagram, however, is decidedly less polished and I feel awkward, not breezy, when someone takes my picture in public. Your ‘gram skills are many levels more advanced than mine, influencers, and that’s A-OK.
But I digress.
Why doesn’t anyone want to talk about their day jobs?
I’ve attended networking events, intending to meet marketers from other brands… and nobody wanted to talk about what they do on a day-to-day basis.
They’re all about their side hustles. Apps they’re building with the help of a developer, online courses they’re launching, lifestyle blogs they’re spinning up. Projects, in other words, that will probably never gain traction.
When I talk to a Squarespace product manager or a marketing director at Ann Taylor, I want to hear about those experiences. What’s working for them right now. Projects they’re excited about in-house. Past frustrations they’ve learned from. Without violating an NDA or anti-disparagement clause, of course.
I get that you’re fired up about your early stage startup… but I want to hear about real traction, not your experiments. Lessons, not guesses. Proven strategy, not “growth hacks.”
Am I alone in that? Is it just because I come from startup land and want to vomit when someone won’t shut up about so-and-so who just raised a series A?
NYC is full of brilliant minds in prestigious roles. It’s part of why I live here — to surround myself with those minds and be a part of that community of business badasses.
So…. badass business people — can we talk about our day jobs sometimes?