Will My New Side Hustle Take Away from My 9-5 Job?

Posted by Shaun Morgan in Side HustleOctober 29, 2021(Last Updated July 25, 2022)5 min read
Key Takeaways
  • In the world of side hustles, gigs, moonlighting, second jobs, and online income, you, and your employer may be wondering if these other activities are taking away from your 9-5 job.
  • Side hustles are all very different. One way they differ is on a range of “portability.”
  • You have the option to make conscious choices about how much time and energy you want to devote to your side hustle or your 9-5 job.
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In the world of side hustles, gigs, moonlighting, second jobs, and online income, you and your employer maybe wondering if these other activities are taking away from your 9-5 job. As a result, you may ask yourself, "Can I be committed to a job if I'm working elsewhere?" which is a valid question to ask yourself.


What about growing your side hustle? If one gig grows, doesn’t that mean the other job must shrink?   The answer is no; it doesn’t have to be that way. You can work full time and have a successful side business without you or your boss feeling like it is taking away from your 9-5. However, if done poorly, you could potentially ruin both.


It is important to make conscious choices about how much time and energy you want to devote to your side hustle or your 9-5 job. A great way to determine whether your new side hustle could take away from your 9-5 job is by asking yourself these five key questions.


1. Can you/are you choosing to work on your side hustle during your 9-5? 


Side hustles are all very different. One way they differ is on a range of “portability.” A very portable side hustle is one that you can do anywhere (assuming you have internet access). These side hustles include blogging, freelance writing, design, coding, and voice-over recording (yeah, I know, it’s random). 


Image Credit: LightField Studios / Shutterstock


Since they are portable side hustles, meaning you can do them from virtually anywhere, you could technically do them while at work. However, working a side job while at your regular job could interfere with your job performance. 


On the other hand, not so portable side hustles can only be done from a specific location or during a certain block of time in your schedule. These include working at a restaurant, driving for Uber/Lyft, building a seasonal sales business, or coaching clients. So, where does your side hustle fall within that range? 


If it is more portable, one must be careful not to allow it to distract and neglect you from your regular job. If working on your side hustle while at your regular job is not an option, another alternative would be to invest time when you are off.


2. Is it a time-consuming side hustle? 


This may seem like a "duh-question," but someone has to ask it. If your side hustle only requires an hour here and there, it more than likely does not pose a threat to your time at your regular job. But if your side hustle is basically a part-time job, it can be tempting to use your time while at work to complete other assignments or tasks. 


Some more acceptable times to work on non-work related projects could be, during lunch, on your breaks, while you’re waiting for a coworker to do a critical component of your job before a meeting starts, or similar situations all might be great times to get your hustle going if you can work in small chunks at a time. 


This is especially important if you need to put in a lot of hours to make your side hustle work. It's a must to remember that you have to strike the right work/side-hustle balance.


Recommended Read: 5 Reasons Your Side Hustle Is Paying Off


3. Are you looking to scale your side hustle? Do you want to replace your 9-5? 


It seems as though everyone in the side hustle world is talking about “scaling” their side hustle. To scale a business or a side hustle means to grow it into a full-time business. Before you start to think about scaling, ask  yourself, "Do I  want to replace my  9-5 with my  side hustle?" If the answer is yes, there will be a point when your side hustle has to start taking away from your 9-5 job. 


If your goal is to eventually have your side hustle as your full-time business, scaling a side hustle is a great endeavor. But remember that once you’re in business for yourself, your integrity is your currency, so don’t sell your integrity short at your 9-5 to grow your side hustle sooner. 


One way to scale down your 9-5 hours and scale up your side hustle hours is to ask your employer if you can work fewer hours as your side hustle grows. The worst they can say is no, so why not?


If you are working from home, there are several ways that you can maximize your time, money, and energy.


4. Is it taking up your mind share at work?


One of the most common ways a side hustle can take away from your 9-5 is by consuming you mentally.  For example, if you’re supposed to be thinking about last quarter’s sales goal, and instead your mind is focused on how to market your personal product, that is subtly taking away from your work-related duties. This being the most common, it is also the hardest to overcome, especially if you want to keep your personal business and professional work separate. 


Image Credit: Gyorgy Barna / Shutterstock


An idea for keeping your mind focused on the task at hand is to take notes on what you are doing at that moment. If something pops into your brain for your side hustle while taking notes for your 9-5, quickly write down the idea and refocus. This will allow you to split your mind evenly, whether at work or while working on your side hustle.


5. Is it increasing your stress and decreasing your productivity? 


Another common way that a side hustle can take away from your 9-5 is by increasing your stress. In fact, a survey by the American Institute of Stress says that “Individual stress inhibits productivity.” In other words, if your stress levels are so high trying to balance your 9-5 job and your side hustle that your productivity decreases, then you are taking away from your 9-5 job. 


This isn’t an impossible hurdle to overcome. The easiest solution would be to dial back your side hustle. However, that isn’t always ideal. Instead, consider mindfulness activities to reduce stress or create a system that takes the work of your side hustle off of your shoulders. 


It isn’t helpful emotionally or mentally if both have you stressed out.


If you answered yes to any of these five questions, then it is likely that your side hustle will become time-consuming and start taking away from your 9-5 job. However, in many cases, you can still fulfill your duties and balance that with a side hustle. 


When you signed your contract of employment, you made a promise to fulfill the duties of your job. Therefore, if you are fulfilling your duties at work and working on your side hustle, that is a good barometer of whether it is taking away from your 9-5 job. 


As a side hustle grows, it is more likely to become time-consuming and take away from your 9-5. So, how much do you want your side hustle to grow? That decision is up to you.


What are your thoughts on working a side hustle while having a 9-5 job? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.


Main Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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