Don’t Get Fired: How to Manage Your Side Hustle and Your Day Job

Don’t Get Fired: How to Manage Your Side Hustle and Your Day Job

It seems like everyone has a side hustle these days- whether out of necessity, to help build wealth, or just to fulfill a passion. What we don’t all have is enough time in the day to work on our side hustles, so it’s very tempting to squeeze it in during the downtime at our day jobs. Whether you’ve already got a side gig, or you’re thinking of starting something new, here are some things to consider:

Know Your Company’s Rules. First, some employers prohibit their employees from having any side gigs, so it’s worth confirming whether your company has a similar policy (and maybe consider whether you want to work for such a company). Secondly, many employers prohibit employees from engaging in business that competes with theirs, for obvious reasons. Review your employment documents to ensure you’re in the clear for your side gig.

Protect Your Intellectual Property. If you’re working on your side gig at work, you run the risk of your day job claiming it’s work made for hire, which makes them the owners of this work you’ve created, not you. Minimize the likelihood of this happening by not side hustling at work. Don’t update your website on your work computer; or use your company cell for side gig purposes; or use the copy machine at work to print your manuscript- to name a few. 

Don’t Mix + Mingle. In addition to not using your company’s resources for your side hustle, you should also create some distance. If you absolutely have to get some side work done during the day, bring your laptop to your day job, but leave the premises to use it. Head to a local coffee shop or a nice park you can sit in to work- you’ll get some fresh air and possibly some inspo away from your cubicle.

The goal is to keep your day job for as long as you need to, so following these guidelines should help to keep you on the straight and narrow while you continue to build your side gig.

This post originally appeared in the Boston Young Professional Guide.

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