Why you shouldn’t tell your boss about your side hustle

Why you shouldn't tell your boss about your side hustle

Why you shouldn’t tell your boss about your side hustle

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Do you have a side hustle on the go? Everyone should, but that doesn’t mean you need to tell your boss about it.

Everyone should have a side hustle. That doesn’t mean you need to tell your current boss about your side hustle. In fact, there are a lot of times that you should keep your work outside of the office a secret.

Make sure you don’t do your work on your side hustle when you’re at your job. This includes on your lunch break. If you’re going to work on your lunch break, do it outside of the office, even outside of the lunchroom. You have no idea who is watching and what they will say!

But why can’t you tell your boss about your side hustle? Here’s why to keep it to yourself.

Some contracts state no moonlighting

Bosses are very weird about what you do outside of your regular working day. They can have “no moonlighting” clauses in their contracts, and this can include working on your own business outside of working hours.

No, a boss shouldn’t have a say in what you do outside of your working day. Nor should they be allowed to dictate if you earn extra money if you need it, especially if they’re not paying a living wage. However, some companies believe that they own you when you work for them.

I get that in some cases they don’t want you working on something that competes with their business. They don’t want you working for a competitor, or they don’t want you setting up your own business that could take their clients. However, if your side hustle* is in a completely different niche, why should it matter to them?

So, the best option is to not talk to your boss about what you do outside of work. Keep it professional and watch out for those “no moonlighting” clauses.

Bosses think they own your work

There are times that contracts will put in a clause that anything you do while employed by them becomes their property. If you’re not doing it in work hours or on work property, then it shouldn’t, but check out the wording of your contract.

Bosses can think that they own your work, especially if you’re working on something that could benefit them in the future. So, they can end up claiming ownership and causing problems for you with your side hustle. In situations where employers overstep their bounds and infringe upon your rights, it’s essential to take action. If you’re facing challenges related to your side hustle or any other employment issue, find an Oregon employment lawyer to protect your employment rights and ensure fair treatment in the workplace.

It’s best just to keep the side hustle to yourself. That way your boss can’t do anything. I’d even set up a penname for your work if you have it in your contract that your work belongs to them.

Your boss could be too interested in your side hustle

If you disclose your side hustle to your workplace, you run the risk of your boss getting too interested in it. They want to know all the details, even if it doesn’t connect to your day job at all.

If you don’t mind talking about it and you want to share, then go for it. For example, you may work in a restaurant as a server and you write novels in your spare time. This is a common way to balance work and life, and your boss may end up being supportive of this.

However, there are some bosses that are concerned your side hustle* will get in the way of your work. If you’re not available for overtime, they can blame your side hustle rather than just the fact that you don’t want to do the overtime, and this can cause problems in the workplace.

MORE: Do you have a boss or a client?

Your boss could be looking for a reason to fire you

With the way the world is going, there are a lot of businesses that are looking to lay people off. You don’t want to give your boss any reason to choose you as someone to go, and that includes not having a backup with your side hustle. Yes, your hustle is there just in case.

Even if there are no layoffs coming, you may just have a bad boss. They’re looking for anything to use against you, and your other work could do that. They can see it as a conflict of interest, or they can view you as not being loyal enough to the company. This leads to them making a decision that affects you detrimentally.

What they don’t know doesn’t hurt them. And it won’t hurt you, either.

What about what your contract says about a side hustle?

I’ve had contracts in the past that have said I need to talk to my boss before taking on another job or doing work on a project for myself outside of the working day. I’ve ever really understood why a boss should get a say on what I do outside of my working hours for them, especially if I have a general 9-5.

So, then it comes down to whether there is a chance that you’ll get caught. When I’ve worked in workplaces with this rule, I’ve just not talked about things that I do outside of work. I didn’t let two jobs conflict with each other. I would keep social media locked down so my boss couldn’t find out, and usually not even talked about work on my own personal social medias. I’ve set up accounts for my work under the pennames or the business names.

This limits the risk to me. I’ve also usually worked in a completely different area of work, so when I was software testing at one place, I was working part-time on a weekend as a lifeguard. There was no way the two places would clash in terms of clients, so the conflict of interest wasn’t even an argument.

But this will depend on you. If it is in your contract to run it by HR, then you may want to do it. Personally, I just think bosses can stay in their lane. But then, that’s why I’m self-employed now!

MORE: How to work on your business when you have an unsupportive spouse

Will you tell your boss about your side hustle? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Alexandria Ingham is a professional writer. She predominately ghost-writes in various niches, including fitness, finance and technology Everything is fully researched and well-written. Under her own name, she writes in the technology, business, history and weight loss niches

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