If I don't apply, I won't get it: my approach to interesting 'bits on the side'

I am happily and busily self-employed and not job-hunting, but I do like to supplement my day job with other interesting bits and pieces, typically on a voluntary basis.

Where I look

I keep an eye out on the UK’s “Public Appointments” website and, if something catches my eye, and I think I’m in with a better-than-50% chance of getting to the interview stage, I put in an application.

I also keep an eye out for boards or advisory council type roles, where I think I can add value to something important to me. That tends to be on social media (the fediverse for me, exclusively, now), or via word of mouth.

If I don’t get it, so what?!

One of the things I’ve realised over the past few years is that, probably because these are interesting add-ons to my actual job, and not something on which I depend financially (many offer no or limited money; in pretty much every case, much less than I’d make doing Actual Legal Work for that time), I don’t mind if I don’t get the role.

This is rather liberating, as it means I’m willing to give something a go, and not dwell on it if I don’t get it: if I don’t apply, I definitely won’t get it.

If it appeals and I’ve got even a slightly positive chance of getting through the first round sift, I apply.

Applications to date

Over the past few years, I’ve applied for a handful of positions - five, I think.

Actually, six, since I put my name in the hat for a Nominet position, and swiftly withdrew it following various conversations. I reckon that I dodged a bullet there.

What will 2024 hold?

I don’t know!

I’ve no irons currently in the fire, nor am I in a rush to put any in. Perhaps a quieter year would be no bad thing.

But then again, if something catches my eye, and I think I’ve a better-than-even chance of getting through the first stage, well…