How to start freelancing with a full-time job
Conquer Your Fear Of Freelance With A Full-Time Job in 5 Smart Steps
When thinking about how to start freelancing with a full-time job, these are the things to take note of.
If you are thinking about doing freelance with a full-time job, you’re not alone. According to the statistics in the 2021 Freelance Economic Impact Report, 1 out of 4 works full time while freelancing and 1 out of 5 freelancers are full-time students. Working two jobs can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding. Being able to do both at the same time is a great way to get more financial security and upskill yourself.
Is it legal to work freelance with a full-time job?
Before deciding on working freelance while having a full-time job, you need to know first whether it is a violation of your employment contract. While the consensus is that it would not be wrong to do so, it the best to check your work agreement before starting as some companies may think of it as a conflict of interest. The last thing they want is for their employee to be having side gigs with their competitors, or worse, stealing their clients.
Do I need to declare my income from freelancing and side gigs?
It usually depends on how much income you generated from your side hustle and differs from country to country. In the UK, you can earn up to £1,000 tax-free from your side income without needing to declare it. This is called the Trading Allowance. For freelancers in India, under section 44AB of the ITR law, they do not need to pay taxes if the income from the side gig is under Rs2.5lakhs. In the US, if you make more than $400 from your side gig, then you are required to declare it with the IRS.
Common pitfalls while freelancing with a full-time job
Unable to balance between these two roles is a common pitfall for people in this situation; one job usually will come before the other. It is important to gauge the workload you can handle from both sides to get the best of both worlds. Check out these freelance project management tools to help you stay on track.
How much income that you generate from your side income will be required to be declared for taxes in your country? Is it stated in your work employment contract that you are prohibited to work on the side while having a full-time job with the company? To avoid issues down the road, check up on this.
While the possibility of generating more income does have its attraction, you should consider the repercussions of running both worlds. Do not bite more than you can chew and do consider that by the end of the day, life is more than just working around the clock. A healthier you will be more productive and excel better in your tasks.
What you can do to make freelance with a full-time job work for you
Despite the common fears above, there are ways to make the best of both worlds and still succeed in both your day job and your side gig. Here are some tips you can do to alleviate your fears and ease your journey of freelancing while having a full-time job.
Communicate with your employer
Doing freelance work without acknowledging may cause suspicions in the future if found to be done outside of work through other sources (accidental or otherwise) and not from your own mouth. This is concerning for employers in case their employees may be divulging company secrets to competitors under the pretence of doing side gigs.
Discuss with your employer on the legalities of the matter and ensure that you can assure them your primary work would not be affected. Who knows, if your freelancing gigs are not related to your full-time job (for example, you work full-time as a clerk, and want to do side-gigs as a greeting cards writer), not only your employer would be okay with it, they might end up being your clients too.
Schedule your time
Block out your times in the calendar for doing freelancing, perhaps an hour a day or during weekends. When you get any projects, determine the time taken for completing the tasks and allocate them to the time you block, including some buffer time to cover in case of emergencies during the earlier time blocked. Don’t forget to include time offs from both works for you to recharge.
While this is not a foolproof step as sometimes you may need to achieve your primary work target outside your usual hours, this can help in making both jobs manageable and less chaotic. Try not to fit in the time jam-packed, and stretch it as optimum as you can while also not frustrating your clients.
In the midst of it, it is easy to get them overlapped. So establish boundaries from the start. For example, when you are at your primary workplace, do not touch anything related to your freelance gigs and vice versa. Differ between your main employer and side clients, especially in terms of prioritisation. Whether you want to keep it as a side hustle, or you want to slowly transition from your primary job to freelancing, decide on which path you intend to go wisely. To help establish boundaries, understand further through reading Is Freelance The Same As Self-Employed?
Self-assess your capabilities
“Can” and “Able” are different. You can do freelance with a full-time job, however in terms of workload, skills, and capabilities (mentally and physically), are you able to do it? So assess yourself, before starting, and concurrently when you are doing it. This is also important before you take on more jobs or determine the sustainability for both sides and to also see which path you can grow further.
Take care of yourself
Neither would matter if you drive yourself to the ground like a dead horse. Do it for better life quality, not to drive it out. The best way would be is to do side gigs from hobbies or subjects that you are passionate about, so it would balance out when you feel demotivated at work and keep your spirits up. If your main job requires physical exertion, then find side gigs that are more relaxing. Ensure you have time for your loved ones and support system, and the side hustle you are doing is kind to your conscience. If you are sick or have any illness, do not strain yourself.
In conclusion, doing freelance with a full-time job is not something to fear as long as you put in mind the possible challenges and plan accordingly. Doing it right, freelancing can be a safety net and a fun way to get side income. For the benefits of doing it, you can read more about it at How to Make Side Income From Home?
Before you go
Now that you know how to start freelancing with a full-time job, why You should also read How to Price Yourself as a Freelancer to better understand how to build and manage a successful career. Check out this guide on How To Get Paid as a Freelancer and the Easiest Freelance Jobs to get started.
Freelance marketplace: Revolancer