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Freelancing while working as an employee?
show user profile  CAD Monkey
Hi Guys,

I'm afraid I haven't been on here for a while, but hopefully you guys will give me some advise:

I work in exhibition design, and although the pay isn't bad it isn't great either. I have changed jobs a few times ( I've been with my current place for around 6 months) and I have always made the money side of things work just about okay, but I've previously had to freelance on the side (evenings and weekends) with my employers' prior permission. My current job is not a great wage, but I had to take the job due to a disastrous position I took before and had to get out.

The problem I've got at the moment is that I can't support my family on what I'm earning and I don't know what to do. My other half has applied for several part-time jobs (she's a full-time mum), but despite having been a retail manager in the past she's been knocked back for a couple of supermarket jobs stacking shelves. As it stands, I really need to get some freelance work coming in. I can't go for P/T work in a pub or supermarket because I'd lose so much in tax it wouldn't be worth it. The thing is I would usually speak to my MD, but the directors at my firm aren't the most discreet and I don't want my failure being broadcast all over the company. I also suspect that they would take a massively dim view, and I'm scared that just bringing the subject up could put a nail in my coffin. I've checked my contract and it doesn't say anything about not doing any other work, or even about anything to do with conflict of interest stuff, but it does have several unrelated areas where it says to refer to employee handbook. I have asked around and none of my colleagues have ever seen one :(

I'm at a loss as to what to do. We really can't carry on as we are, and I have cut every expense possible - We are even having to get help from family to buy clothes for the kids :(( The thing is, FL work in my industry is pretty well-paid (when people actually pay you) and I'm pretty sure I could get FL work quite quick. But the industry is very small and although I have enough integrity not to do anything that was a conflict of interest I'm not sure how I would prove that if they found out. I also don't want to risk the job I have for what would only be around £5-600 per month.

I'm really sorry if a lot of this was rambling, but any help would be greatly appreciated :)


CAD Monkey Today is a gift, and tomorrow is not a promise, so love life!

read 664 times
8/25/2014 7:05:32 PM (last edit: 8/25/2014 7:09:00 PM)
show user profile  Dr. Jim
I am not sure how it works in your country.

Here though (USA) long as you are not involved in a conflict of interest with your full time are free to do whatever you wish with your free time.

If I am employed full time by Company X as a motion graphic artist....then it would not be good for me to do motion graphic work on the side as a freelancer that would COMPETE with them. I could do motion design work that in no way competes with them (internet remote jobs..etc)....but nothing even close to work that could be a conflict of interest.

I could also go and get a 2nd job...or do freelance car washing or dog walking as well.

They do not own your free time unless you sign something or such that says you will not freelance.
read 656 times
8/25/2014 7:26:00 PM (last edit: 8/25/2014 7:26:00 PM)
show user profile  STRAT
In the Uk here i've always freelanced in my spare time to top up my full time wages

In a couple of jobs i've informed my boss and he's always been happy, in other jobs they frown on it, but heck, i keep things private and secret so i've yet to hit any issues. My current employer is cool about things if there's no conflict of interest.

Conflict of issues usually means i dont take any potential earnings or man hours from my full time employer. I dont think employers can law against such things, even if it is in the company rules and they dislike it.

I'll never do freelance for a potential company client or a company opposition, and i'll never work in office hours.

But as mentioned, i'll always keep my own business to myself whatever.


read 647 times
8/25/2014 9:00:29 PM (last edit: 8/25/2014 9:00:29 PM)
show user profile  Mr_Stabby
I'd say sign up for a few of the bigger freelance sites, build your client base a little and then quit you job. Best thing I ever did (except i didn't have a job in the first place), more than enough work to fill up every waking hour I have and the pay is pretty bitching too. Granted, 99% of the time I work as a coder rather than anything to do with arts but I see all kinds of offers on these sites, from growing bananas to stalking people.

read 645 times
8/25/2014 9:05:49 PM (last edit: 8/25/2014 9:05:49 PM)
show user profile  CAD Monkey
Cheers Guys,

Thanks Strat - I guess that's what I'm worried about. If I take exhibition design work on the chances are that you could say they will be a competitor. The only thing is that my employer only really targets certain markets or industries within exhibitions ie: catering type companies and pharmaceutical companies. I would guess that as long as I try to stay out of that area I should be okay.

Apart from the fact I've put this question on the internet, I guess my only other thing could be that as it's never been a problem before I could say I naturally assumed it would be okay here under the same conditions.

Thanks again.

CAD Monkey

Today is a gift, and tomorrow is not a promise, so love life!

read 643 times
8/25/2014 9:09:00 PM (last edit: 8/25/2014 9:09:00 PM)
show user profile  CAD Monkey
Cheers Stabby,

That's sort of close to what I want to achieve long-term. I've just got to get basics covered like looking after my family first.

CAD Monkey

Today is a gift, and tomorrow is not a promise, so love life!

read 642 times
8/25/2014 9:11:21 PM (last edit: 8/25/2014 9:11:21 PM)
show user profile  Error404
yea, I don't think there's any legal reason they could find fault with you working freelance on the side. I don't think it would be a problem unless you are taking clients away from your day job, and so long as you aren't using any resources (physical or digital) from your office and it's not compromising your performance at work.

Here in LA, it's generally ok to work freelance on the side. And I know lots of folks that do. I only do it every now and then, but mostly because when I get home I don't want to work. -

read 641 times
8/25/2014 9:20:41 PM (last edit: 8/25/2014 9:24:37 PM)
show user profile  npcph
Just create a LLC called cad monkey designs and just teach your wife the basics of max and if anyone every says anything just say she is the one doing the work. As long as she has something to do with your the company, i can't imagine they can say anything about your role in the company. And just be discrete about your after hours work.

read 628 times
8/25/2014 10:15:57 PM (last edit: 8/25/2014 10:15:57 PM)
show user profile  CAD Monkey
Cheers guys,

That makes me feel a bit better!

Cad monkey

Today is a gift, and tomorrow is not a promise, so love life!

read 580 times
8/26/2014 9:50:58 PM (last edit: 8/26/2014 9:50:58 PM)
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