How professionals turned their passions into rewarding sideline activities. Bengaluru News

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BENGALURU: The pandemic hiatus caused many to spend their hours more creative by dusting off old skills or delving deeper into active interests. A number of Bengaluru professionals, including tech geeks, turned their passions into rewarding sideline jobs while fulfilling the demands of their full-time careers and families.
Sideline jobs and freelance appearances are on the rise as more and more people look for a new stream of daily motivation, purpose, or additional income amid self-reflection and insecurity.
Sneha Chakrabarty works for a global communications company. A few months ago she started creating art out of resin and promoting it on the Instagram handle @ 299_artstreet. “I came across acrylic casting earlier this year, and a few months ago I discovered the art of resin. After studying for weeks on my own and practicing on a small budget, I opened up to assignments within my closed circle, ”she says.
More than money, the joy of learning something new drives Sneha. “I’m curious about different styles and techniques that make me want to try everything. I’ve done mandalas, illustrations, murals, digital art, caricatures, and decoupage, ”she says. “I was inspired by the wonderful works of art of the artists who made artists, and I was excited to see how creatively I can use the medium to turn my ideas into concrete products.”
The project also helped Sneha cope with the pandemic: “This year was anything but normal. Learning a new art form has helped me relieve my brain, fight anxiety, and relax. ”
Working full time and developing a side business takes energy and planning. “It’s not easy. I’ve always wanted a side career in the arts, but I’ve never been able to bother with it as it is a challenge to raise capital. Working remotely has saved me travel expenses and invested that allowance in buying quality art . Professional and personal commitments and a side business aren’t the most convenient combination. The key for me is preparation and a strict to-do list. I have a supportive husband who takes care of the house most days, “she says.
Smriti Raj is Senior Engineer (Experience Design) at Brillio, a consulting and solutions company for digital technology. Her side business – @thebakechemistry on Instagram – seeks to “dutifully sweeten everyone’s life”. “I’ve always loved to bake. I started doing this as a child and learned things from my mother. The motivation of family and friends as well as the embargo helped me turn my hobby into a passion and a business model, ”she says.
She bakes for roommates at the weekend, and her themed cakes are very popular. “It’s difficult to meet multiple commitments. When I have orders, I bake in the evening after finishing my office work. I plan things right, ”says Smriti. To run a business, even a small one, you have to absorb shocks. “Procurement issues and a messy delivery were some of my tough moments. But customer appreciation makes you forget such problems, ”she says.
Neha Shetty’s side business gave her a new direction in life. The 26-year-old was working as a copywriter for an advertising agency in March when her illustrations and stickers attracted attention. She also took on commissioned projects via Instagram (@ that.zany.martian). The response was so great – she received requests from an international audience – that she quit her job in September to pursue a full career as an artist.
She is still trying to process the early popularity of her work, especially because she has no formal training in art. She studied history, economics and political science. “I’ve drawn since I was a kid, but I didn’t see it as a calling. After people got interested in my art and asked for goods, I thought about what I wanted as a purpose. Do I want to work in a place where one is interchangeable, or do I want to do something I love? ” She says. “The side business was a channel for me to show my talent and I realized that it can also support me financially.”
Neha plans to expand its product range and ship it internationally. “There is a market for it, so why not? I recently attended a workshop to understand what leads to turning your side business into a full time gig. I see a lot of women artists who get involved, ”she says.
Shalaka Kulkarni takes care of global communication and employer branding at Brillio. She started painting last year and during the lockdown decided to start a sideline. “I paint and promote my work on social channels. I painted for 31 days as part of the Inktober Challenge and raised Rs 1 lakh for an initiative to feed poor children, ”she says.
Shalaka, who works on custom orders, believes strategy is key. “For 31 days in October, I planned my office calls and kept an Excel sheet of perspectives on what to draw using the prompts,” she says. Shalaka believes women need to work out an independent identity. “It kindles a feeling of confidence to change the game,” she adds.
Tulsi Khemka, a partner at ARTH & Associates, started a lot before it became a trend. She co-founded SpiceSafari, which curates hundreds of spices from around the country and supplies them to a diverse clientele including overseas markets. She’s not the one slowing down but has learned over the past few months how to set up a website that she hopes will help her business.
“Yes, it is a lot of work – looking after your main career, running the house and running a side business. But it’s very fulfilling; That motivates you all the time, ”she says.
During a difficult year, SpiceSafari assured Tulsi that she had something to fall back on. “Financially, it makes a good contribution. It’s also emotionally calming; to know that there is a company that can survive the pandemic. Online ordering has increased as people are now cooking more at home, ”she says.
According to Nisary Mahesh, founder of HerMoneyTalks, a platform advocating the financial empowerment of women, many people are currently looking for part-time opportunities, be it a small business that can be from home or freelance. It’s not just professionals looking for options, a Plan B. Even entrepreneurs in industries that have suffered from the disruption of Covid-19 are looking for part-time appearances.
“We ran workshops to advise people who want to start, especially women who want to become homepreneurs. Some of the most common questions are: how do I find time for the activity, what is the initial investment, how will I evaluate the product, and how will I find time to sell the product, ”says Nisary. “Making a capital investment is a challenge for many women. You can find side projects conveniently. ”
Anu Seth, co-founder of Pay It Forward, an organization that is creating financial awareness among women, says that side jobs as an alternative source of income can help overcome financial insecurities. “The financial burden on women can be higher due to a higher burden of home care, childcare and a higher rate of job losses. In these situations, alternative sources of income can serve as a safety net, ”says Anu, who is also a financial wellness coach. “Sideline activities contribute to personal growth and entrepreneurial creativity, while also reducing the financial burden. And when it can be done in the comfort of your home, it’s a win-win situation. ”
How to start a side project
Tulsi Khemka, partner at ARTH & Associates and co-founder of SpiceSafari, shares some tips for women looking to start a side business.
* If you have an idea for a viable product or service, go for it. Don’t try to be a perfectionist. Your product or brand goes through iterations. It’s a process.
* You may feel that you are not giving enough time to your family. Don’t feel guilty when you’re busy. You are trying to create something that will keep you motivated in the long term.
* Do not overstuff; Plan according to your needs.
* The amount of capital needed to start the side business depends on the type of your product or service. Start small and invest more later.
* Time management is key. You have deadlines for both your main job and secondary employment.