Moonlighting!

January 17, 2017 | Isaac Han

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Thinking about ‘moonlighting’? Not the old ‘illegal-alcohol-producing-and-selling’, but working more than one job simultaneously. Is your current job not paying enough? It’s completely understandable if you decide you need more jobs. Making a living in the Big TO is a challenge, and, like many of us, a single part-time job is often not enough to pay all the bills. So, you are left with some options: either move to another city, find a better full-time job or work two or three part-time jobs.

Before you jump headlong into moonlighting, like everything else, you should consider both sides of the coin. So, what are the pros and cons, you ask? Let’s consider some of them:

  1. More money will give you that much more spending power, and, of course, some sense of financial security. You might enjoy seeing your bank account growing.
  2. You will have more opportunities to explore what is out there for you to do. Who knows? You may even discover a new ability/talent you didn’t know you had. You may even apply a skill acquired from one source to the other. Exciting, huh?
  3. You get to meet new people and, as a result, broaden your horizons.
  4. The downside is that you will have less spare time for yourself. This will, at times, get in the way of spending time with your friends, shopping, doing hobbies, etc. You may be simply too tired to do anything but work.
  5. When you work two or more jobs, the fatigue will eventually catch up with you. When this happens, you may find yourself spread too thin and not be able to perform well in either job.
  6. More seriously, you may, even if unintended, end up working for two competing companies. This may be a conflict of interest. Sounds scary? You bet.
  7. Not all employers are keen and/or positive about the prospect of having their employees moonlight. It all boils down to employee fatigue, and, eventually, productivity, not to mention the liability, should anything happen because you are injured due to fatigue.

So, what to do? How do you successfully manage multiple jobs and satisfy both your bosses and yourself, and avoid all the legal and ethical problems? Currently, the policies or the rules governing the practice vary widely. There are employers who welcome and encourage their employees to moonlight as long as their job performances are not hampered. And, then, there are other employers who frown upon their employees who hold multiple jobs outside of their companies.

Most seem to agree on several points:

  1. Talk to each other – have an honest, open discussion with your boss/employee, so that there is a clear understanding between the two parties regarding the issues at hand.
  2. If you are planning to moonlight, make certain not to overload yourself.
  3. Make certain that you are not violating any code of ethics. There are many grey areas that leave lots of rooms for varied interpretation. If you are not sure of which interpretation to take, go back to the suggestion no. 1 above, and talk it out.

Intrigued? Read on!

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