Do You Have A Gig On The Side? Join The Club!

Tina works in Accounts Payables during her day job, but three nights a week, she has a side gig singing jazz at local clubs. Bob is as straight-laced as they come in the warehouse, but is in high demand in his side gig as one of the most popular DJs in town. Anna teaches the low-functioning autism classroom in middle school by day, but “relaxes” every night in her side gig as an online editor for popular gardening web site. Notice a pattern?

These business pros are just three examples of people who have second jobs on the side of their full-time work. And, if you have one as well, you’re not alone.

In fact, Forbes estimates that by 2020, 40% of Americans will be part of the “gig economy” … choosing to have side jobs and the flexibility that comes with freelancing. Reasons vary, but in my own experience, I know just as many professionals with a second source of income as I do people with only one primary job.

Forbes cites three influencing factors for needing a side gig, and I humbly add a fourth of my own:

  1. Increased costs and uncertainty of health care coverage for employees
  2. Employee’s need for greater flexibility and security (a remnant of the recent recession)
  3. Technology creating new job opportunities and greater flexibility
  4. Opportunity for creative outlets, or to try new career avenues

Today’s employee is often forced to find more work because of crushing student load debt … lower pay brought on by companies still spooked by the recession … or the sad realization that jobs are no longer secure and that company loyalty is fleeting. Workers today are plugging holes and protecting themselves. And, employers are scooping up all that flexible talent.

If you’re one of the growing number of workers with a side gig, or you’re just considering the possibility, juggling jobs is hard. A second job let’s you stick your toe into a new field that has intrigued you in the past.  And, of course, it means you’ll earn more. But it comes with added pressure, more schedule challenges and less free time.

Most of the people I know with side gigs have chosen work that is completely unlike their primary occupation. Someone who sits at a desk all day is a freelance outdoor photographer in evenings and weekends. Or, if your job is more active like our teacher above, sitting quietly at a computer might be ideal.

It’s also important to consider that some employers have guidelines for second jobs. Know what those rules are so you don’t get caught trying to sneak a second job under the radar, suggests themuse.com.

Whether you freelance, work hourly or have a commission-based arrangement, many Americans are quickly filling their free time with work. Finding balance and making your main job the priority can be challenging. Understand the time and activities you’ll need to squeeze to make it all work.

 

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