Consulting as a side job

Side jobs are increasingly popular as a means to pay down debt, top up retirement plans, pay for trips, put kids through college and achieve other financial goals. Many people choose consulting as a side job because they can set their consulting fees at $75 or $150 or even $300 an hour. If you compare this to making $8 or even $25 an hour at a part-time job, it’s easy to see why so many people pick up consulting and contract work.

If you’re thinking about consulting as a side job, don’t let it interfere with your existing day job. Your employer will not be impressed if you’re running off to meetings, taking phone calls, sending emails and doing research during your work time. In fact, it’s sufficient reason to fire you. (And, if you live in a state with "at will" employment, your employer doesn’t even need a reason.) I was recently watching a TV show on house flipping where one member of the house flipping team had to quit his day job because his boss was angry at him for constantly using a cell phone to take business calls during work hours.

If you’re wondering how to do consulting as a side job, figure out a plan for managing work. Over the years, I’ve seen part-time consultants try:

  • returning calls at lunch and during coffee breaks
  • making cell phone calls from the privacy of their cars
  • sending emails from a wireless connection at a coffee shop across the street from work
  • only accepting work they can do after hours
  • meeting with clients during lunch time

Consulting makes a great side job. But take care with your existing job! If you’re just consulting to bring in a few hundred or thousand dollars a month, you don’t want to lose your main source of income.

Check out my book on Side Jobs:

 Side Jobs - Second Jobs, Side Gigs & Part-time Businesses Ebook

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