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I currently have a couple of websites. One website is directly related to my field and one website is adjacent to my field (with some emphasis on entrepreneurship). I've been posting video content on YouTube as well. The content I post on those websites clearly demonstrate that I have a deep understanding of certain topics related to positions I'm searching for currently.

I have those websites on my LinkedIn profile so that people who consume my content can easily find me for additional questions and communications.

Intuitively, it would seem to me that demonstrating my understanding of topics related to my field should actually help me in a job search. However, I've been seeing advice lately saying that some recruiters and hiring managers would actually penalize me and not consider me for positions if they found out I have side gigs. Apparently, some recruiters and hiring managers would see that as me diverting time away from the job they want me to do, not displaying adequate loyalty to them, being less manageable because I'm potentially getting extra money from elsewhere, etc. Would that be true in my case?

Is this a big enough concern to never mention the content I've been posting on my resume? And is this a big enough concern to not mention my content on my LinkedIn profile as well?

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  • "side gigs" = hobby? Jun 28, 2021 at 13:08
  • Gregory, one could define "side gigs" as a "hobby." Others may define it more as a way to make some side income outside of one's job.
    – Strategist
    Jun 28, 2021 at 13:13
  • I'm guessing you don't make significant side income from it? Jun 28, 2021 at 13:16
  • Gregory, I just started recently.
    – Strategist
    Jun 28, 2021 at 13:19
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    @Strategist, Yes, some companies could penalize you for that, but in my opinion, the upside is far superior to that potential downside. In life, you can't satisfy everybody. So don't even try. Keep on doing what you're doing. As long as your sites are professional, I think they'd be a net benefit to you. Jun 29, 2021 at 2:03

4 Answers 4

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IMHO, the answer may depend on the details of your websites as in 2 different cases below:

  1. Your websites mainly showcase your skills and experiences:

    If you only create your websites to mainly showcase your past experiences and skills, then most recruiters and hiring managers will find the info helpful in evaluating your skills for the opening positions. This may be a positive sign to potential employers.

    In this case, you may be viewed as more talented, inventive, resourceful, creative, and innovative to hiring managers.

  2. Your websites show that you currently have many clients and projects:

    However, if your websites show that many clients are constantly asking for new projects, and you are working very hard to meet the demand of the clients, then the hiring managers may wonder if you can effectively work 40 hours per week for them.

    For example, some software engineers already have the main (day) jobs, and still work as very busy freelancers. If their freelance profiles show that they currently have many clients with on-going projects and if the hiring managers can view these profiles, then the hiring managers may wonder if these engineers still can dedicate 40 hours per week for the new jobs.

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They key part of the question is the website has an emphasis on entrepreneurship.

Apparently, some recruiters and hiring managers would see that as me diverting time away from the job they want me to do, not displaying adequate loyalty to them, being less manageable because I'm potentially getting extra money from elsewhere, etc. Would that be true in my case?

More likely you'll be coming into work tired, taking lots of leave, even unpaid leave, and possibly leaving the company if/when things go well. If things don't go well with your side job, there is increased risk you'll leave work early or come late, or even potentially steal intellectual property, or even money.

It's real touch and go. Some companies are going to want that 9-5 person that is going to come in and do the job without fuss, others are going to want that person that's at the cutting edge, who may even outgrow their role and may leave, but while they are there, they will do excellent work.

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  • The assumptions you're stating are definitely severe and unfettered. Things like coming to work tired, taking lots of unpaid leave, leaving work early and arriving late, stealing money, etc. seems pretty wild to me. Recruiters and hiring managers who are immediately jumping to those conclusions might have some problems with their thinking. Would simply posting business-related content on sites like Medium.com every week trigger those assumptions as well? But, I do understand that a decent percentage of them can think that way so it's important to keep that under consideration.
    – Strategist
    Jun 28, 2021 at 16:37
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I do the same. I work for Open Source by profession, and I program for myself. I publish this on GitHub under a public license to be used by the world. For me, nobody has hit me for it. I have a ¾ job (30 hours/week), and I do the latter in my free time, using my own PC, no company equipment. It doesn't overlap too deeply with my job, so I don't reveal any secrets that I am obliged to keep. It's more like I summarize things (in the form of program code) that are obstacles every day for programmers. You can find the answers on the internet, too, but you have to customize it yourself, so it would be easier to use as a Maven library item. So far, I haven't had a bad experience with it, nor a good one.

Maybe it plays a role that I have separate profiles for both of them. Yes, I use two GitHub accounts, one for work and one for personal. I'm from Germany, and here we separate everything very precisely. I have a work telephone number (under which I can only be reached during working hours) and a private telephone number (which I do not answer during working hours, even if I work from home). I have a work e-mail address and a private one. Also the working hours: at work, I work for my employer, and in my free time, I do what I want to, and you will see in my private programming repositories that there is no timestamp that I have ever done something during working hours. I think that this way it works for me.

(Of course, what would be impossible, would be to do something too closely related to the subject of work, so that executives would think of competition. But I think this is obvious.)

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Unfortunately the very simple answer is YES.

First issue,

  1. Anything, at all, you post anywhere, at all, on the internet will come up one day professionally. End of story. Every speck on the internet will come up.

Second issue,

  1. Unfortunately yes, anything other than core work is just seen as a distraction, by most folks who will hire you.
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  • This answer is definitely unfortunate, but I did not downvote it because there are probably recruiters and hiring managers (hopefully, not that many, but I'm not sure) that actually believe this—even in cases where a candidate is posting constructive content for people in their career field.
    – Strategist
    Jun 28, 2021 at 19:14
  • Regarding point (2), I would say 60% are in that category. Note that ideas like "constructive!" are just opinions. Hirers want workers, not distractions. Regarding downvotes on this site - irrelevant.
    – Fattie
    Jun 28, 2021 at 20:52
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    @Fattie I have only ever encountered the opposite. Companies who encourages and desires workers who do this in their free time as well and has personal projects. This usually means that the worker reads up on new technologies and trains them in their own time, which is a very desirable trait for a company. I'm not saying no companies are like you describe, but I feel like it's very few and certainly not close to "60%" Jun 29, 2021 at 7:32
  • I think the devil's in the details, @SanderSkovgaardHansen. "Reading and studying" is one thing. But to be blunt / concise, people who waste time on time-wastey, immaturish, blogs, are seen in a negative light.
    – Fattie
    Jun 29, 2021 at 12:39
  • Sander Skovgaard Hansen, I'd definitely be interested in seeing the demographics of recruiters and hiring managers who are completely against job candidates posting ANY content at all in their fields. It seems like some of the people in this thread are either trolling or they're attributing extreme cases to behavior that's largely considered benign in this decade. I've seen CEOs, executives, directors write posts on LinkedIn, write books, have their own podcasts, have their own websites, etc. and their reputations were actually enhanced in their industry.
    – Strategist
    Jun 29, 2021 at 14:08

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