What do you look for when you are planning to give an interview in a company for a job? A handsome salary, the reputation of the company and of course privilege of two-day weekends in a week: Saturday and Sunday. All these desires are fine, but there is something important beyond these facilities for your bright career.

The most important privilege is ‘learning opportunity’. If the company where you are planning to give interview provides ‘learning opportunity’ then go for it even if you have to compromise with salary and two-day weekends.

Once I was reading the book “Jugaad Innovation: A Frugal and Flexible Approach to Innovation for the 21st Century” written by Navi Radjou. What fascinates me about this book is that the book has many examples where successful companies grant some office hours to their employees for projects or tasks that are totally separate from core business tasks. This facility to employees led many innovations because employees get time to unleash their actual potential and skills.

For instance, the book says Google has a model of 70/20/10 for employees. Its employees are given 70 per cent of their official time on core business tasks. 20 per cent on related projects and 10 per cent on the projects that are totally unrelated to business projects. In the 10 per cent, official time employees are working on some personal projects and use their inner potential to innovate something.

This time model of the Google company led to remarkable innovations such as Google Maps and Google Mails. It is believed that such innovations were invented while employees were spending time outside their day-to-day activities (i.e.10% of the official time)- where they were able to unleash their outside-the-box thinking.

When employees are working on core business tasks, it is impossible for employees to bring in own creativity because employees have to work with some restrictions to produce output as per the business and needs. On the other hand, if employees are working freely on their own projects the employees are able to apply their inner potential and skills.

We all know that there are only a few companies such as Google that provide some of their office hours for personal or unrelated to the business to their employees. Moreover, not everyone gets the opportunity to work in such great companies.

In this case, we need to dedicate some extra time after office on personal projects. Because, if we do not work on personal projects the chances of using inner potential and skills to innovate something will be very low. Which will ultimately lead to ordinary and unsatisfied professional life.

Let me share with you an example of how personal projects can lead to an innovation. Harsh Agrawal who is known as one of the famous dogital marketing bloggers in India. However, his journey did not start as a digital marketing blogger.

He graduated from engineering in 2008 from Sharda University and got placement in Accenture. While he was waiting to start work he joined a call centre in Gurgaon.

He was passionate about computing and technology since he was in college. So while working in a call centre he started his blog. Now he works as a full-time blogger and earns more than he could earn as an employee somewhere. His blog name is ShoutMeLoud.com.

That is how personal projects lead to remarkable innovation and success. Harsh did not know his blog will give him so much success at the initial stage. However, he saw people are liking his blog posts and he was also started earning through it that is when he made a business model for his blog.

It is obvious that you have to work on some personal projects for remarkable innovation and professional success. Now, either find out companies that provide you with some office hours for personal projects or find some extra hours (1-2 hours) after office for the same.

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door,” says Milton Berle.