Do I Need to Tell My Boss I Got a Second Job?

Reassure your boss that your full-time job comes first.
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While many people see second jobs as a financial necessity, employers don't always share that point of view. If you take outside employment without disclosing it to your boss, she could fire you or at the very least, she may feel that you tried to hide something from her. If you're upfront about your side gig, however, she'll likely appreciate your full disclosure and you'll have the opportunity to address any objections she has regarding your ability to juggle both jobs.

Determine Your Company's Policy

    Some companies prohibit outside jobs, and employees who violate that policy are subject to disciplinary action such as a reprimand, suspension, demotion or termination. Other companies may allow moonlighting, provided you ask permission. Even if company policy doesn't address outside employment, your boss may expect you to discuss it with her first. When in doubt, set up a meeting with your boss to let her know you're considering taking on a part-time job. Let her know you don't want to jeopardize your position and want to respect the company's policies.

Understand Your Company's Worries

    Even if you're positive your part-time gig won't conflict with your primary job, your company may have concerns. Perhaps the job performance of previous employees suffered after they took on part-time work. Or maybe the company fears employees will take on outside employment inconsistent with the company's image or values. Some jobs could even be a conflict of interest, such as working for a competitor. Before you accept a second job, determine if your company allows it. If the company doesn't have a policy against it, try to anticipate your company's objections so you can address them.

Address Your Employer's Concerns

    Even if your company doesn't require you to disclose a second job, discussing it with your boss can put to rest any fears about your ability to manage both roles. Tell her your new job won't interfere with your duties and that you'll put your primary job first, including being available for overtime. Describe in detail how you'll stay productive and effective at your full-time job, discussing your strategies for time management, multitasking and organization. If you consistently meet deadlines ahead of schedule, remind your boss of that to illustrate your skill in managing and planning your obligations.

Explain Your Position

    Let your boss know that you take your job seriously and that you have important reasons for taking a second gig. If you're taking a second job because you need the money, tell your boss you're hoping to make extra income to pay for unexpected expenses or to fund something important, such as a down payment on your new house. She may view your moonlighting with more sympathy if she knows it's for a good cause. If your second job is a hobby that's turned into an income-generating activity, describe the experience you'll gain from this new pursuit and how it will help you be a more productive employee.

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