Having a side job is not stealing from your employer, but can actually make you a better employee, said April Underwood, vice president of product at workplace collaboration company Slack.
One of the unique things about Silicon Valley is that there is a real culture around having a career that — at any given point — looks more like a portfolio, said Underwood.
"The men who have been leaders in our industry have been doing this for quite some time, so I think there's certainly something to it," she said.
When not steering Slack's product strategy in her "day job," Underwood invests in and advises startups through the investing group she co-founded called #Angels. She is also Board Director of home buying service Zillow and helps run Slack's $80 million startup fund.
"There is a little bit of a hidden expectation there that having a role like the one I have here is so all-encompassing that it takes literally every waking hour of the day," said Underwood. "It certainly warrants that, but there are many other great operators out there — male and female — that, beyond what they're doing in their operating role, are also investing, advising and taking board seats."
By building a strong team at Slack, elevating co-workers and "working smarter," Underwood has been able to pursue all these interests and have a personal life (she's also step-mom to a 19 year old).