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If your passion for work is inescapable, committing to working on the side while working full-time may feel like the perfect in-between. After all, skills are sellable, making them an invaluable commodity which can be used to increase cash flow. It’s one of the ways prospective Contractors and Freelancers can test the waters before making the leap into self-employment.

We’ve rounded up 5 tips you should seriously consider when working on the side while employed:

1. Take your skills to the next level

Committing your time to working on the side, while working full time can really take your stress levels through the roof, unless you establish a clear end-result. Whether this is a financial target, gaining specific experience or just ticking off another box, your commitment should be worthwhile.

By taking your skills to another level and upgrading your service offering, it’s a measure that’s worth the hassle. If your committing 4 hours every evening then it only makes sense to counterbalance the commitment by receiving the highest level of return possible.

If this suits your style of working, e-learning courses and ‘virtual colleges’ can be accessed at any given time from the comfort of your own home. This learning method can be cost effective and advance your skills in an accommodating way.

2. Time to Sell

This is the step that will most probably convert you into an opportunist. It’s not a bad attitude to have if it means that you can sell your skills by identifying opportunities around you.

The first step is the most traditional and timeless of all; word of mouth. Offline marketing tactics which are often forgotten, such as business cards and face-to-face networking, both can usually help generate word of mouth.

If you’re credible and well-known within your sector, it may be worth introducing referral fees for every successful client that signs up to your services, from a recommendation. This strategy, if successful, could generate a steady flow of customers.

3. Financially Prep

If your full-time job falls below the personal tax allowance, £11,000, the tax rate for your second job will typically be set at 20%. If your second job takes your income to over £32,000, you will be required to pay more tax as this touches the higher tax bracket.

Other business structures such as operating through a limited company can be explored. We advise you to seek professional advice before making your decision, to ensure that you’re picking the most tax efficient option.

4. Competitor Analysis

Produce a ten-person hit-list of your key competitors.

Check out what they do and what you can do better. This is an effective way to identify the latest trends, the latest competition and the latest service offering. It will set a model that you can work against, helping you stand out.

5. Time Efficiency

Use time tracking tools to work as efficiently as possible, after all, your time is money.

As you’ll be working sporadically on projects, you’ll have to record every minute that you spend on a client to ensure that you are paid accordingly. Read Four Essential Time Tracking Tools for Freelancers to pick the best tool for you.

Working on the side, alongside your full-time job can help decide if Contracting or Freelancing is your cup of tea. By hanging onto your full side job, whilst making the decision to go into contracting, you will be able to retain the security and benefits extended with a full-time job.

If the scales are tipped towards taking up Contracting/Freelancing, it may be worth reading up on our Free Contractors Advice Guide.

At Gorilla Accounting, we offer our all-inclusive accountancy for just £85 plus vat per month. If you have any questions, get in touch with a member of our New Business Team by calling 0330 024 0406 or email