flickr: Marcus Vegas
Actually, you do not have the right to moonlight, Workforce reports. Employers can expect that their workers show up “present, prompt and prepared,” and if the second job is interfering with that, the employee could lose her day job.
Of course, the companies hiring moonlighters love ’em, says Workforce, as moonlighters are often cheaper and more flexible than hiring another full-time employee. And with it getting harder for everyone to make ends meet, moonlighting is becoming an attractive-looking option for many.
Here’s how to do it without getting in trouble.
- Check your company’s policies. This is not a case where it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission, unless you like the idea of being fired. Some companies are “generally amenable to moonlighting” as long as it doesn’t interfere with their employees’ day jobs.
- Consider if your second job will make your first look bad. Workforce cites an example of women working with churches, private schools, and in healthcare who had second jobs as strippers. A little unrealistic, maybe, but if you’re working PR for an environmental advocacy group, you may not want to sign a coal company as a freelance client.
- Are you required to be on-call (or Blackberryable) all the time? In that case, can you afford to pick up a second job at all?
- Obviously, if you’ve signed a noncompete agreement, don’t take a second job with a competitor. It’s a myth, Workforce reports, that if an employee with a noncompete is fired, the noncompete is terminated too. Many remain enforceable.
That said, if you’re a blogger who’s taken up babysitting, you’re probably OK.