I Have a Side Hustle. Should I Tell My Boss? Why Should They Care?

First Job Compact 940

By Randy Wooden

Moonlighting has given way to a new term – side hustle.  Throw in gig economy, and it’s a new world out there. But does your boss need to know what you do in your spare time to earn extra income?  Some companies require you to tell them if you’re earning money outside of your employment with them. They have three primary reasons for wanting to know.

  1. They want to be sure you’re not creating a conflict of interest. In my role with Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina (Winson Salem), I lead our Professional Center, assisting professionals with their job search.  It would be a conflict of interest for me to have a side hustle where I provide similar individualized services for an hourly fee. It would also be inappropriate for me to go to work for a direct competitor.
  2. They don’t want other work to negatively impact your ability to perform your current job. For example, if my job requires me to be on call or perhaps work an irregular schedule, but my side gig requires me to be on site, my full-time employer would have issues with that. You can’t be in two places at once. If your side hustle work means you show up tired or late, your full-time employer won’t be happy.
  3. Your side hustle could reflect negatively on your primary employer. Companies guard their brand to avoid controversy and awkward publicity.

Even if your employer doesn’t require you to disclose your side hustle, I’d encourage you to level with them. Any potential fallout is likely much less than if they happen to discover it later, especially if they find  one or more of their concerns above apply.

Whether it’s out of necessity to make ends meet or simply as a way to earn a little spending money, many people have multiple income sources.

Let’s consider some potential side hustles. There’s always the part-time hourly job in the service industry; retail, restaurants, and others come to mind. Scheduling work hours could be a challenge and mayconflict with your full-time job.

The internet has given rise to a multitude of jobs you can perform whenever you wish. Whether it’s being a driver, renting out a room, doing tasks, providing care or perhaps selling items online, you choose how much time you wish to devote to it. You could also choose to work an hourly job part-time from home. This could alleviate trying to be in two places at once – the issue you might encounter if trying to work in customer service, for instance.

Lots of people work a side hustle, and many employers realize this.  Regardless of your reason for taking on a second job, keep in mind why employers would want to be informed. Good luck!

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