Each one of us has one or more core functional areas. These are our areas of specialization. These are the areas where we all want to grow professionally. However, this section is often not the only domain to which we restrict ourselves. Either just due to keen attraction or inquisitiveness we develop expertise in one or more other areas. Over time, we gain an interest in these fields. out of a parallel liking that develops into a hobby or a mere subsequent or analogous alley to remain engaged, active and even earning us also has certain side projects. These side projects are different, definite and independent skill set domains where we function alongside with our main core skill set areas.
The key aim of this discussion is to understand the importance and significance of these side projects, how to keep your interest alive, and how to talk about it.
Significant events where we can mention our side projects
You might wonder what are the ideal places and the occasions where you can make a mention of all the side projects. So it can be said that your interview for jobs or employment is one of the best places where you can make a mention of your side projects. We often go to an employment interview thinking of the core responsibilities and the job profile for which we have been called precisely. Many of such aspiring candidates feel that on such occasions it is most prudent to talk of the core skill sets that will be relevant to the job profile. After all, it is to find out about these aspects that a candidate is being called to an interview! This is one of the biggest misconceptions that we can harbour. In fact, mentioning all about your side projects in such job interviews is probably one of the smartest things to do. Through your side projects, a lot can be understood about your profile, your strengths, extra areas of expertise and the various other uses that the company can make of you. Hence, while facing a job interview never forget to mention all about your side projects!
How to begin and the way to proceed
However, when you start talking all about your side projects be sure to begin in the right way, progress in a definite manner and give the whole discussion a fruitful conclusion. This is one of the best ways you can present the whole thing in a manner that will bring you the desired advantages. So, to begin with, talk about the nature of the problem or the task in hand. In the second stage, explain the approach which you took, to initiate the task. In the third stage talk about the various challenges which you had to face in the way. In the fourth stage discuss the end results and the final outcome that you attained at the end of the project. In the final stage, you must discuss all the different and the new and novel methods and ways that you will attain if you got a chance to do the project all over again.
The key issues
This is the very first stage, where you need to explain why you took up your side project at all? In this section, you must talk about the key issues that you realized or observed and decided to solve those issues. Then, you must explain what you can do and what changes your project can make.
Your approach to the issues
In this section, you must talk about your initial reaction and the way you responded to the whole idea of the project. This is the part where you need to talk about the aspects and the elements of the project that really got your the attention and excited you, and what was the exact way you approached the whole project. It could have been through days of brainstorming, planning, and sketching the possible ways you will follow to solve the key issues. You may be researching on the key issues, reviewing the available literature, or doing field works. You can discuss these matters in details.
The Challenges faced
This is one of the segments that will actually reveal how much you know about the whole project and exactly how much you have actually learned from the project. If the project is still on, just explain how is your experience? The kind of challenges that you faced and the ways you did tackle them tells a lot about you as a person, as a leader, or a team member. Interviewers would definitely get interested in your side projects because they will get a complete idea about you as a professional person.
The End Results
In this section speak about the successful outcome of the project and the end benefits that you have been able to attain at the end of the project. If the project is still on, talk about your experience till now and what you are planning next. Any project is considered to be successful if it is able to bring even a minuscule change or advantage to even a small section of the world. Hence, speak about the benefits that your project has brought to any number of people or will bring in the near future.
Future changes and improvement suggested
At this stage, you reveal what amount of improvisations and improvements that you have been able to bring through your side projects. So in this part speak about the changes you expect or that has already taken place. This is the section that actually speaks of your ability to think differently and your concern for the society or certain section of people.
It is often observed that the experience and the knowledge that a person attains out of their side projects is what that brings them success and accolades in their professional careers. After all, these side projects are accomplished or undertaken out of sheer love or interest.