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  • Writer's pictureAgnes Chikukwa Hove

Tips to Balancing Your Job and Side Hustle

A side hustle is a great idea if you want to monetise your hobby or are seeking extra income. Most people have come to the realisation that they need a little extra income to live the life they desire, and a side hustle is a great way to do that. However, before you make the decision to jump into a side gig, keep an eye out for a few dangers, especially when it comes to your day job.

Contrary to popular belief, you can actually embark on a side hustle without putting your main income source at risk. Here are a few tips and considerations that can potentially protect you, both jobs, and your employers’ interests.

1. Don’t compete with your employer

Before you even consider a side hustle, consider what type of work you’ll be doing and whether it could potentially conflict with your full-time job.

Most employers will take issue with your side hustle, especially if it puts you in competition with the business that employs you.

Your employer obviously does not want you to take the knowledge, skills, and company secrets you’re learning at your job and use it as competition.

In addition to the potential of raising legal issues, it will also lead to hurt feelings and will damage relationships that could otherwise be mutually beneficial. Remember the reputational damage it can cause.

2. Maintain strict boundaries between your job and side hustle

Keep the time you spend at work and time you spend on your side hustle separate. A side hustle is exactly what it’s called, a SIDE HUSTLE.

Do not spend any of your time at work on anything to do with your second job, even if it’s just answering emails or phone calls.

Don’t conduct any side hustle business with a work laptop, company cellphone, or software paid for by your employer.

3. Review, understand and comply with policies regarding side gigs

Before starting a side hustle, review your employment contract. Check for clauses that might affect your ability to have a side hustle, such as a non-compete, non-solicitation, or nondisclosure agreement. Be sure that you can work at both your primary job and your side hustle without violating any contracts.

4. Complement your day job

A great side hustle option could enhance the skills you use in your day job and potentially complement your day job — and even make you better at it.

For example, if you’re a lawyer, starting and monetising a blog that explores legal topics could generate side income for you and business for your employer.

If you’re a developer, a side gig could give you the chance to learn a new coding language, which could make you more valuable to your employer.

5. Know your limits

Taking on a side hustle while working full time is a balancing act, and it can be tricky to get right. Take steps to prevent side hustle burnout. Maintain a healthy work-life balance and learn to manage stress.

Some people’s hobbies can be converted a side hustle and allow them the opportunity to generate a little extra income. Things like photography, catering, baking, playing an instrument or even singing. It’s important to ensure that your side hustle doesn’t overwhelm you, and become too engaging.

By doing your due diligence, you can get more out of each of your jobs without the risk of losing either one.

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