Moonlighting Tips: What To Consider Before Taking A Second Job

by The Smarter Wallet on June 14, 2011

Moonlighting is something that many people are either doing now, or are wanting to do, in order to try and make ends meet. The past recession has been hard on us all, but there is no doubt that some have found it harder to cope with than others.

You can moonlight in one of two ways. You can get another job with another employer, working part time either during the weekends or in the evenings. Alternatively, you can start working on your own business, fitting it in whenever you possibly can, in order to get it off the ground. In the case of the second situation, the eventual aim is to build the business up enough so that you can leave your main employment and work on it full time.

Things To Consider Before You Start Moonlighting

But there are certain things that are well worth bearing in mind when it comes to moonlighting or working at a second job.

#1 Don’t forget your main job!
When moonlighting, there is always a risk that you will take your eye off the ball when it comes to your main job. This is a bad thing to do –- after all, your main focus should always be on your main source of income.

If you were to lose your moonlighting income, you would still be left with a full time job. But if you lost your full time job, you would see a big drop in income –- one that you may not be able to manage for very long. So keep the right amount of focus on your full time job to ensure nothing changes in that respect.

#2 Be dedicated to your full time job.
It might sound like we are repeating the point made above, but we’re not. In this case, we’re focusing on what you do while you are at work. We all know it is not enough to show up for the required number of hours. If you start falling asleep at your desk or if you simply stop putting in the effort you used to apply to your job, then your boss will very soon know that something is wrong. It could also put your job in jeopardy.

#3 Check your work policies before doing anything.
Depending on whom you work for, you could very well find that there is a policy in place regarding moonlighting. Some companies frown upon it but others allow it with some rules and limits.

You may need to use your common sense here; after all, it wouldn’t work to do a 9am to 5pm job and then work from 6pm until 3am at another job, giving you no time to sleep in between. It wouldn’t be long before you started getting health problems as a result.

But if your main job states that no moonlighting can be done, or you have to ask for permission before you take on another position elsewhere, then make sure you DO follow the rules. If you try to go under the radar and you are caught, it could have major consequences for you.

As you can see, moonlighting can be a good way to bring in some extra cash and can possibly lead you down a better track for the future. But make sure you know what you are getting into before you start; otherwise you might come up against some nasty surprises at some point later. Starting in the right way is always the best way to go.

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