Moonlighting refers to the practice of working a second job outside regular business hours. Therefore, an employee may work a regular 9-to-5 job as a primary source of income but work nights at a different job to earn extra money. Employees who work for private businesses may be subject to any policies the company has in place regarding moonlighting. Certain organizations may not want employees to work additional jobs, while others will not care. Employees for public organisations may need to check with any agency regulations or federal laws concerning having two jobs. One example would be the fact that employees of federal government agencies are prohibited from receiving two sources of income that both come from the federal government.
Money. That’s still the most significant reason people take on extra work. And with gas prices and health insurance premiums on the rise and many incomes frozen, additional income can be a lifeline.
Security. “Many professionals today are looking at second jobs as a fallback because they feel, correctly, that their main job is not completely safe,” according to John McKee, president and founder of BusinessSuccessCoach.net and author of “Career Wisdom”.
Freedom. Experts say that a second job or career can bring psychological benefits, such as the feeling of not being shackled to one company.
New skills. If you’re thinking about switching careers but can’t take the plunge, taking a part-time job could be a way to test the waters or boost your entrepreneurial skills, McKee said.
Time. Do you want to spend 10 or 20 hours a week on another job, not to mention the commute hassle and the disappointment of significant others who'd rather see more of you, not less?
Conflict of interest. Consulting for a direct (or even indirect) competitor can put you in a dicey situation, according to J. Daniel Marr, managing director of the New Hampshire law firm Hamblett and Kerrigan. "This is a big issue in software and industries where you use what you learned from your primary employer," says Marr. "Employers insist they have rights to your intellectual property."
Performance slippage. Many employers look askance at moonlighters because they fear they'll burn out. However, some companies may demand your full-time attention, even off-hours.
Employer irritation. Even if the company allows moonlighting, supervisors might not like the idea. "Some will say angrily, 'We're paying this guy X dollar a year, and it's still not enough?'" Marr says.
Tips for making it work:-
If you are considering a second job, the experts add these three tips:
Pick an unrelated field. You’ll reduce the risk of burnout and conflict of interest. A nurse who builds Web sites on the side, a marketing professional who teaches music or an insurance adjuster who moonlights as a landscape architect would be safer bets.
Check with HR. Many companies have moonlighting policies. But even if they don’t, it’s wise to see if a second job might be a conflict, especially if you’re considering a professional part-time job or one related to your full-time job, Marr says.
Consider why you’re doing it. “Supplementing income is fine, but it’s best if a second job is part of an overall career plan,” McKee says. “Otherwise, you risk scattering your resources.”
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