Balancing Freelancing and Full-Time Work: 5 Essential Steps


Everything that changes takes time to clear away misconceptions, and this is also true of the changes that take place in the world of work. More and more workers are demanding – and more and more companies are offering – flexibility at work in the new digital environment. The development of the “gig economy” is transforming the world of work as new models of productive work are taking shape worldwide as a result of the technological revolution and the constant movement of populations.

The form of a traditional worker who works strictly eight hours (09:00-17:00), usually in an office and with specific responsibilities without disturbing the hierarchy, is steadily losing ground to the freelancers and self-employed who operate with longer flexibility at work, those who “flirt” with telecommuting, produce work in co-working spaces or share the work of a full-time project (job-sharing) while remaining active and offering their talent to market progress. Due to the skills gap, the market is trying to find ways to tap into all existing talent and help executives who for various reasons cannot work in a “traditional” work model remain active in the labor market.

Many people want to start a freelance career for many different reasons. Freelancing allows you to be your own boss, expand your repertoire, and earn extra income. However, it can also be an uncertain career, with no guaranteed salary or benefits, making some people hesitant to pursue full-time self-employment and give up their established careers.   Many people choose to start freelancing while maintaining their full-time job to ensure that they continue to earn a salary and won’t be short on monthly income when they find freelance clients and build a reputation.

Learning to balance self-employment and a full-time job is challenging but certainly doable. In this article, I’ll help you learn some tips and tricks for balancing self-employment while maintaining a traditional career and making both jobs work for you.


You may be tempted to believe that your employer will never know about your side hustle, which is neither realistic nor wise. With social media, Google searches, and just knowing people in the same industry, it’s more likely that someone at your company will stumble across what you do outside of work. And even if independent work is technically allowed by your company, in most cases you should still let your boss know.

Some people think it’s easier to keep your new work a secret during this debate. It is better to address challenges head-on than to wait for them to appear.  It is helpful to review your contract before contacting your supervisor about anything.  Avoid conflicts of interest, and if you do manage contacts, emphasize that even if you try something new, it won’t affect the company’s performance.  Working in direct competition with the company or on projects that could put the company in a bad light may be prohibited by contract terms.

So, call a meeting to pitch the idea, making it clear that you won’t let it interfere with the work you’re paid to do. Try that:

“I’m looking to better cover some of my expenses and am considering taking on some freelance projects. I want to make sure you’re okay with this. Of course, I’ll be doing all of this in my free time so my work here won’t be affected at all.

100 % at work

Regardless of your enthusiasm and the anticipation of your boss embracing the world of freelancing, it’s crucial to maintain the same level of commitment to your job, if not elevate it further, all while utilizing a free pay stub generator. Ensure your punctuality at meetings, adhere to deadlines diligently, foster the sharing of innovative ideas and boundless enthusiasm, and consistently meet the expectations set for you.

Moreover, always bear in mind that this commitment entails more than just showing up to work promptly and prepared (rather than burning the midnight oil on that side project). It also involves refraining from discussing your freelance endeavors with colleagues during break times, and especially not during working hours.

Inform your boss of your freelance work

This will usually dispel any suspicions of a conflict of interest. For example, if you’re considering becoming a freelance writer and working as a customer service representative, you’re probably on the safe side. Or, if you plan to do freelance work just like your regular job, your company may allow it as long as you work for different clients and agree not to approach those clients that the company had first. Either way, being honest about the type of work you do (and don’t do) will help allay your boss’s fears.

Of course, you don’t need to (and probably shouldn’t) go into detail about the client, project scope, or what you do. But you may need to (because of your contract) tell your boss what your freelance work will cover.

The word “NO”

One of the hardest parts of freelancing is having to turn down potential clients or projects.  It’s even harder when you’re still working full-time and have little time to freelance. However, it’s important to be realistic about what you can achieve.  It’s better to tell a potential client that you’re done instead of taking on a project that keeps getting delayed or doesn’t get done well due to time constraints.


There may come a day when you realize it’s time to say goodbye to your full-time or freelance job. If you have enough freelance business that you can freelance full-time, you may want to give up your traditional career. You can find time for freelancing by getting up early, staying up late (but not all night, right?!), using your weekends, or trading in your vacation for time spent on your own projects. You’ll be there fully mentally and physically.

Likewise, if being self-employed only interferes with your time with friends and family, it may not be the best solution right now. Know your limits and understand that there’s no shame in returning to one profession instead of balancing two jobs.

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