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Balancing being self-employed with a full-time job.

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Whether it’s to fund a vacation, save for retirement or have a savings cushion, an increasing number of workers today are thinking about or starting a part-time business. Between 39 & 44% of workers earn income via self-employed side businesses, and 41 percent are using that part-time business to supplement full-time work with an employer.

It’s no easy task; however, the income (especially as you determine how to save that extra money) is worth it.

Think you’ve got what it takes to balance a full-time job with a part-time business? Here are some tips to consider.

  1. Make Sure Your Employer Allows It – The biggest hurdle to being self-employed while holding a full-time job is ensuring you’re allowed to do so. Check your employment contract and company handbook (if you have one) to see if your employer has policies against or guidelines for a second job. Many progressive companies increasingly allow you to work a side business, but they will still often protect themselves with non-disclosure agreements and non-compete clauses. The wisest move to protect yourself? Talk to someone in HR and also notify your boss.  Explain your proposed freelance business and the boundaries you will set in place to ensure optimal work performance.
  2. Set Boundaries to Keep Yourself Honest — and Safe – Running your own side business can be exciting, but if you have a full-time job, there are at least 40 waking hours each week that you cannot think about your other ‘job’. That means no work on your own company during your scheduled work hours. Your full-time job likely comprises a larger portion of your income, so it isn’t worth getting caught and potentially fired for working on your personal projects. It also means not taking your employer’s home office supplies, using company printers for your side business or conducting your side business on your company laptop, even after hours. Companies can monitor your internet activity and could easily discover if you are working on your side business using company property on company time. If you need of new staff, do not recruit your coworkers. Look anywhere and everywhere else — just not at work.
  3. Manage Your Time Wisely – Time management is important when working full-time and a part-time business — not just to hit deadlines but also to prioritize your health and sanity. Be realistic about what you can handle, creating and sticking to a schedule and using your smartphone to stay on top of emails and calendar reminders.  You may want to use multiple spreadsheets, calendar reminders and to-do lists to manage both full-time job duties and side business responsibilities. Keep in mind, your family, your friends and your health come first. If you are sacrificing family, not getting enough sleep, or under constant pressure, it’s time to reconsider if you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.
  4. Don’t Forget the Taxes – Usually, your full-time employer handles much of the tax burden administratively. However, when you are self-employed or a contractor, you have to manage taxes all on your own. The biggest change is that, in addition to the employee tax, you must now also pay the employer tax.  Understand the frequency of filing – usually, you must also pay estimated quarterly taxes on all self-employment income. Most importantly, talk to a tax accountant if you are unsure how to pay taxes on your side business income to avoid facing any penalties from the Canada Revenue Agency.  Balancing a full-time job with a side business is doable. It just takes dedication, organization and respect for your employer and your own time.

As you review your options to create a part-time business, Job Skills has a menu of resources, programs and information topics that focus on the current and changing world of work and self-employment.

If you haven’t connected with an Employment Consultant at Job Skills, NOW is the time to get that one-on-one support you can use as you move through the new way of working.  Call Job Skills toll-free at 1-866-592-6278 to connect to one of JS’s experts.

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