The Pros and Cons of Starting a Side Job Whilst in Full-Time Employment

However much you’ve dreamed of quitting your 9-5 job and starting your own business, it’s a big step to commit yourself. What if your new idea is a non-starter or simply not as profitable as you’d imagined? With the unemployment rate high and basic costs like food and utilities rising faster than wages, you probably can’t afford to take an all-or-nothing gamble right now.

If you’ve got a hot idea but slightly cold feet, consider starting it as a side job while keeping your full-time job. Although it’s bound to take you longer to realise your ambitions, you can still succeed as long as you carve out sufficient time to make your plan work. However, there are pros and cons to consider before you launch into your new workaholic lifestyle. Let’s take a look at both.

The Pros

1. More money. With costs rising all the time, every extra penny is gratefully received these days. Although it may take time to build up earnings on your side venture, anything you bring in is a bonus. If you’ve got credit card debts or loans out, you can use your extra earnings to pay them off first and save yourself a bundle in interest charges. In addition, you’ll have less time for eating out or going to the pub as you’ll be spending more of your spare time working on your side-job – that may not sound like a good thing now but you’ll soon notice the cash savings you make.

2. Test the water. You’ve got a great business idea or have always dreamed of an entirely different career – but what if it turns out to be a big mistake and you miss your old job? By testing out a new idea or a new line of work without sacrificing your old life, you can make an informed decision later about whether to commit yourself full-time or shelve your plans indefinitely. Give your side venture sufficient time – at least six months – before jumping in feet first, especially if your idea is novel or you’re unsure about its reception.

3. Build your cash flow. Businesses need sufficient cash reserves to manage operating expenses and grow successfully. Unless you’ve got a rich aunt or recently won the lottery, chances are you’ll need to build up a money pot before you can take your new venture to the next level. Starting your business small as a side venture will allow you to build up capital reserves in advance of a full-scale launch. With cash to hand when you’re finally ready to break out, you won’t need to rely too heavily on costly start-up loans or third party investors.

4. Enjoy the challenge. We all need new goals in life for both career and self-development. While it’s nice to have a cushy job that pays the bills, getting stuck in a rut can lead to career stagnation and personal dissatisfaction. Having a new challenge – especially one where you’re working exclusively for yourself – can be reinvigorating and life-affirming. Unlike your 9-5 job, no one will be forcing you to spend your evenings and weekends working – your side job will succeed or fail on your effort and merits alone. By working hard and pushing your limits, you’ll learn just what you’re capable of.

The Cons

1. You’ll have two jobs. If you already spend too much time at your desk wishing you were down the pub or hanging out with friends, that feeling will get a lot worse when you take on a side job. Until you can afford to quit your full-time job, you’re going to have double the workload – or at least as much extra work as you need to make your new enterprise a success. Running your own business may be more stimulating and rewarding than your regular office job but it’s still hard work and you’re going to have to put your nose to the grindstone if you want to make a success of it.

2. Your relationships may suffer. If a lot of your current spare time is spent attending to family matters and attention-seeking children, you’ll need to be realistic about how much time you can afford to take away from those duties in order to pursue a side business. Good friends should understand if you need to take a temporary leave of absence from socialising but don’t neglect important relationships entirely or you may burn bridges and hurt the ones you love.

3. It could jeopardise your full-time job. Even though you’ll have a second job to worry about, you won’t be able to slack off at your old position. No boss is likely to have much sympathy for an employee dividing their time if their work suffers as a result – so you’ll need to look lively even if you feel like the walking dead. Depending on the type of side business you’re running, you may be tempted to answer emails or calls to your mobile during your regular working hours. However, this could land you in hot water and even lead to dismissal if you’re seen to be abusing your position – so make sure you know the rules of your current employer regarding ‘moonlighting’. This is especially important if you’re developing a competing product or service as your side job – you could even get sued if your work contract has a ‘non-compete’ clause.

4. Stress. You’re going to be juggling more work and more commitments with your side job and you’ll probably get less sleep as a result. You’ll also have less free time to hang out with friends and family and blow off steam. Stress can be seriously debilitating in terms of personal health and also reduce your ability to perform tasks effectively. While many self-driven entrepreneurs thrive on channeling a certain amount of stress into their work, you should decide how much stress you’re willing and able to take on board. Everyone handles stress differently so you’ve got to strike the right balance between battle and burnout.

Starting up a brand new business while holding down a full-time job is not for the faint-hearted or the lazy-boned. However, if you’re self-motivated and hungry for success, you’ll have every chance of turning your business sideline into a brand new career.
If you are somebody who’s currently running their own business whether it’s big or small, or wanting to set up a business and would need help with the finances, contact Flow Online Accounting for an online accounting help.

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