“Don’t quit your day job” used to be a subtle insult, but it’s now a fact of modern life. Survey data suggests that 44% of Americans have a side hustle or gig in addition to their full-time job. If you’re wondering whether your primary employer needs to know about your side hustle, know what to consider and how to best share the information.
Knowing Whether to Tell
U.S. law allows you to work more than one job at a time without telling your employer. However, not every company allows you to work multiple jobs, so there’s a lot of mixed advice about disclosing your work life. Whether or not you tell your employer depends on various factors, so there’s no correct answer.
Every company has different rules and policies around holding other jobs. Some don’t allow you to work outside the company at all, others require you to disclose any other job, and some don’t require you to disclose it at all. Check the employee handbook to be sure.
Potential conflict of interest
Depending on what you’re doing, some side gigs could be a direct competitor to your work. If your side gig could have you handling industry- or company-sensitive information, working with the same clients or a competing company, or using company time or equipment, you need to check with your Human Resources department. Violating a non-compete agreement can get you fired and give your employer grounds to sue you.
Relationship with your boss
If you have a good relationship with your boss, you may be in the clear to discuss your side hustle with them; in fact, some professionals believe that telling your boss can improve your professional relationship. However, if you and your boss don’t get along, withholding the information might be a better choice so that they can’t use it against you.
Risk of “getting caught”
Even if you don’t disclose your side hustle to your boss, your cover could be blown by a social media post, living in a small community, or a well-meaning coworker who spoke a little too loudly. This can damage your relationship with your boss, even if you’re not violating company policy or a non-compete agreement. If there’s no good reason not to tell your boss, it’s often better to be up-front about it.
Talking to Your Boss
There’s no one correct way to tell your boss that you have another job, but there are a few things you can do to make the conversation a little easier.
Discuss it soon
The longer you put off telling your boss; the less charitable they’re likely to be. It’s better to have the conversation and get it over with than to delay it.
Emphasize your commitment to work
Your boss’ biggest concern is that your side hustle will detract from your full-time job, so you want to clarify that that isn’t the case. Tell them you’re committed to working with the company, and don’t be afraid to outline a plan to manage your schedule for your day job and your side hustle.
Use it to the company’s advantage
Your employer might be more open to your side hustle if it can benefit the company, so consider framing your gig that way. Can your social media skills improve the company’s feed? Can your freelance work bring clients to the company later? Get creative.
Get Career Advice and More with JobsFuel
Some people fancy full-time work, while others prefer satisfying side gigs. Whatever you desire, JobsFuel has the resources to help you advance your career. With tips for job-seekers and ample opportunities to find work, you can feel confident taking the next step in your career.