Freelance on Your Own Time!
Very few of us ordinary working stiffs can get by on one income. Most of us augment our main 9-to 5-salary with freelance work of one kind or another, and most 9-to-5’s don’t mind as long as you freelance on your own time. But some people don’t. Duh, people! Let’s separate our priorities. You might want everyone in the entire world to view your newly constructed Web site because you’re proud of it, and employ word of mouth as just one of several marketing strategies you need for maximum visibility and exposure, but using the company’s e-mail to send around an elaborately crafted announcement to your coworkers is not a smart move. All it takes is one wrong forward to send a bad message to the wrong person.
Do you want your boss to get the impression that your outside-of-work activities are getting the majority of your attention and creative energy (even if it’s true)? Do you want your boss to think that perhaps you don’t have enough work to do? That maybe you should be allowed to freelance full time, sans benefits? Do you want to put yourself in a position where you feel compelled or are asked to explain about your side gigs? Do you think you could hold up under questioning?
It is perfectly natural to want to combine the important aspects of your life, but it is not always practical to do so. Full-time work and freelance work, however similar or strongly linked, are best kept separate. Rather than allow one to intrude on the other’s allotted development time, devote attention to each one separately, and avoid unnecessary and potentially risky entanglements and stress.
These days, advancing in your chosen career is part skill, part experience and part reputation. As far as your professional reputation goes, it should be as solid and as favorable as you can possible make it because you never know who knows who, and who might be talking about you. “What about Sally for the new project?” “No, she’s pretty busy with her freelance work. I’d hate to overload her.” Just that fast, there goes your chance to acquire some new skills and add to your cachet of project management experience, and you’ve lost your opportunity to show the powers that be how the top dog (you) pulls off the next big IT coup on-time and under-budget. To avoid all of the aforementioned scenarios is simple; just freelance on your own time.