Hire Learning: Young Entrepreneur Talks Career Fulfillment, Intrapreneurship, & Power of the Side Hustle

'Innerviewer' Jullien Gordon gives the scoop for young professional success

Jullien Gordon, career coach and entrepreneur (Image: Gordon)

We have good news for you. You can have a cool career and make a good living. No need to choose between loving your job and paying your mortgage. The following profile, part of the BlackEnterprise.com Cool Jobs series, offers a peek into the nuts and bolts, perks and salaries behind enjoyable careers.

Jullien “The Innerviewer” Gordon has turned millennial career advancement into a movement. This Stanford-trained, young boss has written five books on the subject and has coached teams, organizations and professionals on how to reach their peak potential, both professionally and personally. As a founding partner at New Higher (formerly The Department of Motivated Vehicles), Gordon also helps Fortune 100 companies to improve engagement, motivation, and retention of high performers, and, via his speaking engagements and training sessions, he’s helped more than 10,000 professionals discover their career purpose and professional passions and monetize them.

BlackEnterprise.com caught up with the enterprising young power player on his advice about turning passion into profit, incorporating intrapreneurship into the workday and empowering yourself through a side hustle.

BlackEnterprise.com: You’ve been a major proponent of young professionals turning passion into profit. What motivated this?

Jullien Gordon: We spend a majority of our lives dealing with our careers. Our personal and professional lives are integrated. I find that the greatest gap for a lot of people and where they feel dissatisfied is the gap between who they are and what they do. I call that the greatest depression. So I seek to help people align those two things to find fulfillment and success.

What are some quick starting steps young professionals can take to find fulfillment in aligning who they are with what they do?

First, become clear on what your personal-professional brand is. Create a superhero name, so to speak, that goes beyond your job title and really captures who you are and your strengths in the organization. You might be ‘The Deal Closer,’ ‘the Devil’s Advocate’ or ‘the Numbers Guy (or Girl.)’ You want to start to build on that so people will begin to relate to you based on the value you bring to an organization, not just your title.

Second, get clear on how your manager defines success for you and what the metrics are for that. Create a professional dashboard, and use that to guide conversations you’re having with your boss. You can create a one-page scoreboard, updated with your progress, along the metrics of which your manager measures your success.

You encourage intrapreneurship and side hustles. Your new venture, SideHustla.com, allows visitors to subscribe to informational newsletters, access online workbooks, and get help on becoming clear on professional passions and business models. Why this is important for today’s career women and men?

When employees consider themselves working with a company vs. for a company, it changes the way they approach their career. They can see themselves as a brand adding value.

My commitment is to empower people to use their passions and talents to make extra income. …We’re given two choices: Become an entrepreneur or be an employee. A side hustle is the road in between. It’s a new road a lot of people are taking. You can be more patient and reduce risk.

What advice do you have for young professionals to balance career pursuits with intrapreunerial and/or entrepreneurial pursuits?

Be clear about what you want and why. Is it just as hobby or are you positioning yourself to become a full-time entrepreneur? For some, a side hustle is just for extra money. For others, it’s something they want to build their life around and make it a main hustle.

Be sure you have a financial runway. Prep for those months of building up your business or side hustle. It’s like giving birth to a child. Keep your cost of living extremely low, and make the necessary sacrifices, both financially and with your time. Prioritize.

Always know what problem you’re going to solve with your side hustle so that you get paid  what you want, to have the lifestyle you want. The bigger the problem, the more value there is. That short-term sacrifice can equal long-term rewards and benefits down the line.

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