You made it. If you’re reading this, then you have the opportunity to witness the first question and answer episode for Traffic Talk.
This question is from a Reddit user who asks:
Is it possible to freelance while you have a full-time job?
To be straightforward and honest, yes, it is more than possible to freelance while you have a full-time job. I have personal experience with this because that’s my story. I’ve been freelancing while working a full-time job my entire 9 years of freelancing. There seems to be an explosion of online entrepreneur selling the dream of quitting your job and pursuing your passions full time. What they fail to tell you is that it took them years to get to that point.
Popular YouTube designer Ran Segall said he’s been freelancing for 10 years and 7 of those years he was working for a company.
Other Benefits of Freelancing with a Job
Even though I’ve always had a full-time day job, freelance is the way I was able to get the job I have now. When I applied, I could tell the company looked for me on Google because during the interview they asked me exclusively about my freelancing work. One of the main reasons why they wanted to hire me is because they wanted me to bring the same value I provide in my freelance business to the company.
Understand Expectations Set by Your Day Job
It’s important to first understand the layout of your day and understand your workload. There are some day jobs I’ve taken where work followed me home. In other instances, the job was physically draining. I would arrive at work in the morning at 8:00 am and work all the way until 9:00 pm that evening (13 hours). Whenever this would happen, I would be exhausted and being exhausted didn’t allow me to freelance because I was so tired from everything during the day.
The key is here is your day job cannot completely drain you of your motivation, completely drain you of your effort or completely drain you just of your natural energy, if so you need to find a day job with predictable and consistent hours.
Is Freelancing a Conflict of Interests?
Another element to watch out for is the aspect of a conflict of interest. Some companies have agreements that employees sign which state they will not actively work with a competitor or take business away from the company as long as they are an employee.
Let’s look at an example: let’s say that someone is a stockbroker, but they want to give financial advice to other people and provide stock brokerage for other people. This may be a conflict of interest in certain cases because maybe you’re trying to freelance and work with another firm or other investment portfolios that are managed indirectly by a competitor or you indirectly use tools from your day job to service clients.
An easy test to gauge whether or not if the area of freelance is a conflict of interest is providing services that are somewhat from the service offering of your day job.
When I worked at a web hosting company, but they did not offer any web design services. Even though clients would call asking for web design services the company never took advantage of this. I saw an opportunity since we didn’t offer the service and figured I could offer the service of web design since my company doesn’t provide it. This was not a conflict of interest because I never reached out any of our customers. Years later still freelancing and doing web design.