Side job

Side step or quantum leap?

There could hardly be a more fitting title for what is often a controversial topic: is it legitimate these days to have a second job in addition to a secure main job? We’re not talking about voluntary work or a second job because your main job doesn’t pay the bills. But rather, as in my case, becoming self-employed as a sideline, being active as a one-woman entrepreneur or even establishing yourself on a larger scale?

Why should employers allow their employees to take a “side step”?

@Julia Collard und @Sven Schnitzler explored this question by asking Twitter users their opinions on the topic. In addition to a fascinating thread, their research also inspired this blog post, which addresses different perspectives and emphasises the many advantages and opportunities of such a professional constellation.

My part-time self-employment means first and foremost that I have the opportunity to implement my own ideas and concepts with people and companies who are willing to change, to try out new things and to keep learning. Personal development is really important to me, but my employer and I are not always aligned on the direction my development should take, which is of course completely legitimate. After all, in my main job I must fulfill clear expectations, tasks and my job profile, and my aspirations often change faster than I could find a new job. My self-employment enables me to explore and develop different interests and passions. And especially now, in a time of crisis, it’s necessary to focus on the most important issues and tasks, to prioritise and to find solutions quickly.


So, how does my employer benefit from my side job? I am convinced that I instinctively apply my external learnings to my main job and I openly share what I have learnt with colleagues. And my personal development and broader skill set costs the company neither time nor money. I’ve also noticed that I am much happier in my job and more committed, because I have more freedom and devote time to my other passions. Furthermore, I am learning entrepreneurship by myself – a talent that is always sought after in the corporate world, but difficult to train when you’re not responsible for your own budget.

Am I more stressed as a result? Work a lot more? Have an unhealthier lifestyle? On the contrary! The increase in freedom and my personal development motivate and energise me! And by reducing my working hours in my main job, I have more time for my side job. Even though I have many ideas and develop many concepts in my free time, e.g. when doing sports, I still have time for my marriage and my family, for myself, for sport, friends, fun and entertainment, and yes, wellness and holidays. A little less than before – but anyone who knows me is aware that I have always been an incorrigible workaholic. The price for this is consistent and disciplined time management. There are clients and topics that I don’t take on because I can only be available one day a week. But in return, I am highly motivated and committed – in both jobs!

For me, this constellation is a quantum leap – despite only being a side step on paper, and it strengthens the great relationship with my employer and my main job, gives me energy and brings me joy. However, it’s crucial to deal with such situations openly, to ask superiors for support and to be open – this ensures that you don’t simply take a side step, but that you instead inhabit a small professional parallel island from which both sides benefit.

Thanks to @Julia and @Sven for the exciting discussion and the impetus to address this topic again and in-depth here via LinkedIn!

What’s your opinion on this topic? Have you perhaps chosen a similar constellation? And do you share my belief that this is a truly sustainable model for the future?

#NewWork #SelfEmployment #SideJob