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Small Business Tips \ JUN 12th 2012

Tips for Freelancing around your Day Job

It’s not rare these days for people to hold a steady day job and do freelance as a side gig. Naturally, people sometimes feel they need an extra income, but it’s not always a financial need that brings people to this choice. Many do it because their profession allows them to and because of the benefits involved.

Tips for Freelancing around your Day Job

Image Source: Shutterstock

The Advantages of Combining

One very clear benefit is that keeping a day job gives you the kind of security that freelancing usually doesn’t. Every freelancer knows and dreads those “dry” spells when you’re just praying for the market to turn. A day job relieves you from that anxiety. On top of that, social benefits are covered by your employer.

At the same time, doing a little freelance work on the side is a great way to beat the mundane work routine. It keeps you on the edge, constantly looking for new options and always in the need to prove and improve yourself for new clients. Not to mention that it’s a great way to create new connections and get your name out there.


Young Guy Juggling

Image source: Shutterstock

How to Play It Right

Freelancing and full-timing simultaneously can be great and highly productive, but it might also be disastrous if you don’t do it smart. Here are few things that you should pay attention to:

  • Know Your Limits: You should set goals that are realistic. Ask yourself how much time and effort can you really invest in a side project without harming your day job or your life, and stick to it. Taking more responsibilities than you can handle will be bad for you, your employer, your clients and your loved ones.
  • Avoid Conflict of Interest: What you do with your free time is, quite literally, no one’s business but your own, but it is still best to look into your work contract before you take any side gigs and understand your limitations.
  • Have One Day Off: Yes, two days would be better, but a freelancer with a full-time job rarely gets to experience that. However, it is critical that you plan your time in a way that leaves you one day in the week completely work-free. It will help you maintain this arrangement in the long run.
  • Learn the Tax Rules: Make sure you know what are the best practices for holding two jobs before you start freelancing.
  • Discuss Freelance Gigs Thoroughly: Before taking on a new project, make sure you and the client agree on all the details – deadline, follow up duties, availability, milestones, payment form, and what not! Knowing in advance makes you more efficient and can also help you prioritize or reject new offers. Don’t leave any question unanswered!
  • Put Together a Killer Online Portfolio: Your portfolio is your professional face. An impressive and creative online portfolio is an absolute must for freelancers, especially if you’re working full-time somewhere and have done little work under your own name. Choose your best works, review and improve if necessary, and prepare introductory texts, as well as a professional CV. You can use Wix’ templates to easily create your professional portfolio as well as an online CV.
  • Go Get Them: It’s a tough market out there. At earlier stages, it will be hard to get gigs without putting some effort in it. You need to familiarize yourself with directories and job boards that relate to your profession; open accounts and start making offers; learn how to use social networks professionally; get in touch with other professionals that you can partner up with. If it seems like it’s taking too much of your time, keep in mind that this is an integral part of freelancing.


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