Should You Let Your Job Know you have a Side Hustle?

This topic is always taboo. You may have a job, a good job, a career job that you’re looking to retire from, but for some reason, it is not fulfilling to you. It’s not the thing that you love. Maybe you loved it when you started and now you don’t love it as much. Maybe you hit a glass ceiling with your finances or what have you in this job. And then you decide to start a side hustle. One of the biggest things you can deal with for however long until you decide to either leave the job or stop the side hustle, is, should I let the company I work for know that I have a side hustle?

Ooh, everybody is scared of that! You can feel the chill in the air, especially if you are talking to somebody who has a government or state job, maybe they’re a teacher or a high-level executive. And that should be enough, not necessarily for the teachers, but for a lot of those jobs, it should be enough. At least that’s what people say. Your paycheck should cover everything you need and more, but as I said in the beginning, it might not even be about the money. You might be exploring your passion, but is it the right thing for you to do, to let them know about it?

Here’s my opinion. I would say it’s none of their business, but being realistic, that’s not how everything plays out. The truth of the matter is sometimes side hustles can grow to be a little bit stronger and bigger and more important than just that thing on the side. And when that’s the case, it can affect your productivity and your job. When you’re in that position, you might have to tell somebody because they’re probably going to want to know why your productivity has slipped. They’re probably going to want to know why you’re taking days off work or why you’re the first one to leave work when before you used to be the last person to leave. These are the things that people can easily notice. However, if you are on the other side of the spectrum and what you do has no effect on your regular job and your day-to-day no matter how successful it is, I think that you should keep it to yourself.

It’s a great thing to separate church and state, to separate your job from what you do outside of your job. I think it helps with your sanity. At the job, you may be the low man on the totem pole but having a side hustle gives you an opportunity to have that CEO feel. That could work for you mentally, as well as financially if everything is going well. I think that the best approach is to let the circumstances dictate themselves. I think it’s your God-given right to do whatever you feel like you need to do to make yourself happy or make extra money.

However, as an integrity piece, if it’s affecting your productivity on the job, you have a choice to make. You can leave or if you don’t leave, you’re going to have to let somebody know so you can be held accountable. If it’s not affecting your job and not affecting your productivity and you’re able to properly separate the two, I think you should definitely keep it to yourself. Let me know your thoughts on this topic and I’ll see you back next week where I’ll be right in your business corner.



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J Haleem Washington

Jamar “J Haleem” Washington is an author, business coach, corporate trainer & education success, advocate.