Should You Get a Side Job?

Starting a side hustle can be a great way to make some extra cash. But before you get going, here are few important points to keep in mind.

When the word was first used, “moonlighting” referred to additional work that was done by the light of the moon, often in secret and sometimes illegally. While we’re certainly not suggesting that you take up late-night bank robbing, moonlighting can be quite a good way of making some extra cash. But before you start investing time and energy in finding a second job, here are some important things to keep in mind.

Why do you want to take on extra work?

If you’re feeling completely exhausted and overwhelmed in your current job, you might want to take a step back before taking on another one. Balancing two jobs can be intense. Do you have the time and the mental and emotional energy for a whole new set of responsibilities? You might be better off searching for a new full-time job instead, or managing your finances more carefully to alleviate some of your current money pressures.

How much flexibility do you need?

Are you expected you to be in the office from nine to five (at least) every single day? If so, signing up to be an Uber driver or a dog walker isn’t likely to suit your schedule – at least not during the week. Think carefully about what you can commit to before you take on new work. Would you prefer it to be flexible and remote? Or can you make yourself available to being somewhere else for a few hours every day or every week?

What are you passionate about?

You might find that some of your hobbies could be turned into income-generating ventures. Take your yoga practice to the next level (and add some pennies to your pocket) by qualifying to teach it, set up a blog or YouTube channel that draws in advertisers, or put your party skills to work by planning events over the weekends.

Do you need to tell your current employer?

Check your contract with your current employer very carefully. You might find that it’s fine to take on additional work as long as it doesn’t interfere with your current commitments, or provided that it’s a different line of work. If your contract doesn’t mention this at all, it’s your choice whether you tell your employer or not. Whatever you decide, it’s best to stick to the rules. Putting your current job in jeopardy by breaking your contract might put you in an even stickier financial position than the one you’re in already.

Remember that while moonlighting can be lucrative, it can also take up more of the time you set aside for yourself and your loved ones. Life is about balance, and while it is great to earn extra money, the stress caused by stretching yourself beyond your capacity for long periods of time can be damaging to your health and your relationships. Take the time to find a side job that’s right for you.


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