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Parse.ly Does “The Side Hustle”

Belinda Allyn
Photo of Belinda Allyn by Billy Bustamante

A side hustle is your true passion outside of the office – a chance to delve into fashion, travel, or whatever it is you care about the most without quitting your day job. Having a side hustle allows you to enjoy your work more fully; it improves your skills both in and out of the office, and helps you to maintain a diverse skill set.

How many students in this year’s graduating class are looking towards a career in finance, but have a true passion for rock climbing? How many brilliant young software developers are spending their free time refurbishing cabins up in the Catskills?

People have always taken on careers that are only tangentially related to their core interests and passions. So, many pursue what is popularly called “The Side Hustle.” Take a look at some of the most interesting side hustles of Parse.ly employees.

Taking the Hustle to Broadway

As a side hustler, myself, I love many of the cool perks that come from actively pursuing my outside interests! I have a background in the professional theater industry here in New York City. I spent five years performing all over the world, pounding the pavement at auditions, and saving every nickel and dime to catch the most recent Broadway show. My passion lies in Broadway, musical theater, and the artists that build that industry.

After making the career switch into business development here at Parse.ly, I made a commitment to myself that I would stay involved in the arts no matter what happened. And that commitment evolved into producing my very first concert here in New York. Held at the Metropolitan Room, the concert was made up of Broadway performers and featured a press release from Playbill.com!

Photo of Richard Riaz Yoder and Lauralyn McClelland by Billy Bustamante

Photo of Richard Riaz Yoder and Lauralyn McClelland by Billy Bustamante

In looking back on this success, what was most exciting was how the work impacted what I do at Parse.ly. I was able to fully immerse myself in my day-to-day projects because I was being fulfilled outside of the office while pursuing my passion for the arts. Learning how to create “buzz” around the concert helped me to gain perspective on my clients, many of whom create content every day that they want to promote and circulate in new and exciting ways.

A Side Hustle That’s All Fun and Games

Then there is my colleague, Emmett Butler. Emmett is one of the brilliant minds behind Parse.ly. By day he can be found building our newest most exciting features, and by night he builds video games with collaborators like Nina Freeman. And he’s good. This year he won the Nuovo Award for experimental games at the 2016 Independent Games Festival for his most recent project Cibele. (Yes, he’s THAT good.)

Cibele

I asked Emmett what he hoped to gain from building video games on the side, and he replied: “I work on games because they provide opportunities to learn new technical skills while shipping something that people actually get to use and enjoy. My main goals are to enrich myself with engineering knowledge and help contribute something interesting to the broader games community.” Emmett continues to refine his skills — both for work and play.

You can find Emmett on Twitter at: @sensitiveemmett.

Bringing Down the House

Parse.ly's Jonathan Ortega; Mayor of Newark, Ras Baraka; and Vincent Buongiorno, real estate investor

Parse.ly’s Jonathan Ortega; Mayor of Newark, Ras Baraka; and Vincent Buongiorno, real estate investor

Meet Jonathan Ortega. Ortega’s side hustle is real estate investments. In his free time, Ortega takes distressed multi-family homes and renovates them so that he can then lease the units. Ortega is best at “getting the deal done,” and I can’t help but wonder if his expertise can be linked to his work as an account executive at Parse.ly. By day, he makes deals with online media properties to figure out what content is driving visitors to their website, and why. By night, his deals relate to real estate. Day or night, his job takes persistence, insight, and perspective.

Do you have a Side Hustle?

At Parse.ly, I’m proud to say that the majority of my team members have the latitude to devote time and energy to their unique side hustles. And better, these side hustles contribute in both tangible (and intangible) ways to the work they perform at the company.

Parse.ly team on beach

Parse.ly’s team of “side hustlers” enjoying some R&R

Does the idea of a side hustle interest you, too? Does your work on a day-to-day basis inspire you in ways that you have yet to explore outside the office? From one side hustler to another, I encourage you to ask yourself:

  • What are my true passions?
  • Where can I find opportunities to further explore these passions?
  • Is it worth taking one weekend a month to pursue those opportunities?

You owe it to yourself to go after what you love and to find opportunities to pursue it. The risk is low, the rewards are high, and the options are endless!