Freelancing while employed full-time? Here’s how to earn some extra cash


Do you want to earn some extra cash? Do you have some spare time on your hands? Looking for a freelance gig after the clock strikes 5? Managing your freelance jobs while employed on a full-time basis can be challenging at times, but with clear deadlines, a structured timetable and knowing when to say no, that extra income will easily come your way. 

Making the choice between adopting a freelance approach to earning income versus sticking to a secure, stable and consistent full-time role is probably the biggest dilemma of the remote working world. But what if you could have both? 

Managing both a full-time job and freelance projects could prove to be an impossible task for some, but it’s also a great way to keep your cash flow high. Need a new computer? Are you saving up for a grand holiday? Bills and amenities tying up your income? Well, freelancing could be a great source of complementary income that gets you out of the month-to-month-living system. 

The full-timers’ guide to freelance work

Before you set out on any freelance adventures, it would be wise to double-check your contract and make sure you’re not getting yourself into any legal turbulence with your current full-time employer. Asking for permission might seem like a trivial thing to do in a world where life’s demands require disposable income, but it’s always the safest way to go about freelancing. 

The top tips in achieving the balance between full-time and freelance work can be categorised into different sectors. Here are some of the aspects you should always keep as your top priority:

The no-go zone

Yeah, we all get those quiet moments at the office, some of which drag on and make our working life a little bit boring, but attempting to carry out your freelance work while on the job is a big no-go! 

There’s a huge difference between taking a 5-minute break from your desk, stepping outside for some privacy to take a call, but it’s a whole other debate when you’re scurrying to finish a delayed project for an outsourced client on company time. 

Be smart, be genuine and be honest – there’s nothing worse than being caught in a lie.

The conflict of interest zone

It’s completely understandable why employers would discourage their employees from working on competing brands, for competing industries or even for taking on any extra work related to the same industry in which they are employed. But what if your freelance work is totally different from your full-time role?

Let’s say you’re a website developer working for an agency that takes on big corporate clients, you get your job done, you’re a good employee, hey, you even love your job, but you’re not as fulfilled as you should be. Finding a creative outlet, such as photography, pottery making, even content creation could be that spark of joy that lifts your spirits and even earns you some extra bucks! 

Find those nuggets of joy that give you the motivation to keep on striving for more!

The yes, sir zone

Do you find it hard to say no? Well, if you do, you’re going to have to learn how to manage your time as effectively as possible if you’re not keen on telling your clients to take their business elsewhere. Refusing freelance work is a catch 22. The fear of losing a client entirely always beckons the eager freelancer, but disappointing a client with shoddy work or a missed deadline could also ruin your reputation.

Plan out your day, your week, your month and take on only the projects that you are 1) truly interested in, 2) are worth the effort, 3) you know you can achieve accurately and to deadline. When a big in-flux of work (attached to a good payout) comes your way you may need to make sacrifices such as waking up earlier than usual, sacrificing a weekend or two or shuffling your social events to make sure you hit the mark.

Make sure that the time and energy you are sacrificing is worth the battle. Did someone say new car? Now that’s a freelance penny worth the effort! 

The step away from the laptop zone

You will need to ensure that you set aside some downtime in your day. No-screen time would be the ideal technique to adopt, but that could prove to be a difficult task for the growing freelancer. Setting clear working times, sleep times and outdoor times will help to keep your mental health, physical energy and positive attitude in check. 

You can easily manage this no-work time by setting up your phone to only accept calls from specific contacts from say 6PM-10AM – this will ensure that your freelance clients can contact you during work hours, without interrupting your ‘me time’ in the evening and giving you time to settle into your morning routine while at the office. Let your clients know of your availability, when it comes to freelancing work, most clients are rather flexible. 

It’s OK to be human sometimes, we all need some time to recharge.

Staring on the path of maintaining your full-time role and freelance projects could get messy, real quick, unless… you get hold of a time tracking tool that will not only organise your working hour, keep track of the time you’ve spent on each project and sort out your accounts and invoicing, it will also be your go-to scheduling system for any new projects in the pipeline. 

We’re talking about Timestead here of course. With Timestead, not only will you be more organised, you’ll save time, paper and energy in planning your week and making sure those invoices get paid on time! 

Does freelancing sound like your answer to that extra-cash zone? Download Timestead to visualise your goals, plan your schedule and get all your tasks done!


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