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3 Reasons to Take a Side Gig — and 3 Reasons Not To


Taking on a part-time job — on top of your regular, full-time job — isn’t a decision to be made lightly. Best case scenario, it can provide you with money or experience you wouldn’t otherwise get; worst case scenario, it can exhaust you to the point where you’re doing neither job well.

A recent post on the Daily Muse gave me some food for thought about the issue of whether or not to take a side gig. If you’re trying to make up your mind whether or not to take on extra work, these pros and cons might help you decide.

3 Reasons to Take on a Side Gig:

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1. Money. The biggest and most persuasive issue is money. If you want to boost your income in a hurry, getting a part-time job is probably the fastest way to do it. You’re unlikely to get a promotion that will carry the same weight, financially.

2. Breaking into a new industry. If you’re thinking about changing careers, but need more experience or time to decide before making the jump, working on a freelance basis can give you a solid foundation. It’s also fairly low-commitment: Most of the time, you can find extra work on a contract basis, which means that you’re not necessarily locked in for the foreseeable future.

3. Connections. Working at a side gig can help you develop relationships outside of your full-time job.

3 Reasons Not to Take on a Side Gig:

1. Tax complications. Of course, you know you don’t get to keep every penny of that extra cash. But if you’re working as a freelancer, you will have to be prepared to save up your tax money as you go. Plus, there’s extra paperwork, and possibly quarterly taxes as well. Make sure you’ll get enough out of your extra job to justify these hassles.

2. Time. There are only so many hours in the day, and for many of us, they’re mostly allocated to our full-time employer. You’ll want to be certain that you actually have enough time to do both jobs well — and get a little time for yourself, too.

3. Dealing with your employer. It’s best if you’re upfront with your boss about your desire to work outside your full-time job before you accept the gig. Although some people do moonlight on the sly, it’s better for your stress levels and the future of your employment if you can be frank.

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear from you! Do you work at more than one job? How have you managed? Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter, using the hashtag #MakeItHappen.

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(Photo Credit: 401(k) 2013/Flickr)

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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