March 24, 2019

Does your employer know about your side hustle?

For all of you have a double life (or multiple lives)... How do you manage running a business besides a normal job? Is it a good idea to tell your employer? Any legal liability to be aware of?

Thanks, everyone!

  1. 3

    EDIT for clarity: The contracting invoice was for a moonlighting gig. I had just come back from a business trip and meant to send the flight expense to my employer.

    Yassine --

    I sent my boss my contracting invoice instead of my flight expense. Oops, my bad.

    My position was something like this:

    • I do it off hours and it doesn't affect my work

    • It isn't in the same industry (NDA, non-compete)

    • I have three mouths to feed and nothing is inexpensive anymore

    • The outside work keeps me sharp and I bring what learn to my day job.

    As far as my actual side-project/wish-it-were-an-income-providing-side-hustle, most of my coworkers have them. I have a feeling that it shows drive and creativity as long as it doesn't compete with your current roles and responsibilities. And it must not impact that work.

    I am old enough to remember a time in the software dev industry where recruiting blog articles were saying: "don't hire an engineer who isn't doing something on the side" under the assumption that the side-hustlers were driven. I think that era is over. I believe it died along with the MBA student's pitch to engineers: "we will offer you 1% of our startup in 'sweat equity' if you build our project...it's the next Facebook." I digress.

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      Hey @ted_at_stacksimpleio how did your boss take it?

      1. 1

        He completely understands and is fine with it.

  2. 3

    Personally, no. But if anybody asked me a direct question, I'd have no problem talking about it. My employer doesn't know about any of my hobbies. It's not hidden; it's just not known.

    It's a pretty broad question, and most of the answer is, "It depends where you work." I've worked for some rather insecure jerks in the past; something like a side-hustle would have sent them into orbit. Today, I'm a little luckier (I think).

    Is a side-hustle different from freelance work? Are either of those different from a second job at 7-11?

    As for the legality, again; it depends on where you work and what you do. Are you working on personal business during company time? Are you building a direct competitor to your employer? Are you siphoning leads and contacts out of the company database? Well... your employer might take issue with that.

    Are you coding a crappy little tip calculator in your spare time that has nothing to do with your day job? Probably a different story.

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      I am joining a big tech company that is publically trading so competing with them is not the issue.

      I have heard they don't like it when you are not fully focused on the job'... I hope they are not assuming I will be working weekends for them.

      I have been open about my side projets/hobbies during interviews, and I think they liked it. But I think they didn't understand fully that I want to make them big profitable businesses on the side.

      I will keep quite for now I think.

  3. 2

    Depends what kind of company and position. Most of companies would be fine with it (in my experience). I never lie about it and even put it in my own CV.

  4. 1

    I don’t talk about it in detail, but they know that I earn online with my projects

  5. 1

    My employer knew about my side business before they even hired me. And I specifically asked to not sign certain legal documents because of that (which they allowed).

    But my situation is a bit unique because my dad is one of the most influential engineers there. I had known the company for years before they hired me.

  6. 1

    My client doesn't but my direct manager (lead back-end dev) does and I think (and hope) that he's okay with it.

  7. 1

    I don't know where you live but I guess you are not a slave. You can do whatever you want after work time is over.

    Now if you have a good relationship with your boss, sure why not share it with him/her.

    1. 1

      I agree @Cosme12... I was more thinking of non competes and NDAs agreements and if happened before where those were a problem...