But you’re also missing out on a few perks that make life just a little easier if you quit your job as an employee and strike out on your own. Think higher taxes, more expensive healthcare, and other financial hangups that happen to the self-employed (like having a hard time securing a loan because you don’t have three years of regular pay stubs to show you can reasonably repay money borrowed).
While some situations (and people) argue that it’s worth the trade-off, the reality is working for yourself is tough. It’s even harder if you’re not married or have no partner to help you handle expenses when your income can fluctuate from month to month.
But there is another way. Why not have the best of both worlds and run a side business while you keep your day job?
Why You Should Keep Your Day Job — Even When You’re Making a Side Income
You don’t have to choose to be an employee or someone who is self-employed. Technically, you can be both.
This allows you take advantage of all the benefits of each of these situations — on top of offering you a little extra. You should keep your day job even if you have a business on the side for several reasons:
- You’ll maintain your company benefits. Life is a little easier when an employer is essentially putting free money into your retirement account via a company match on your 401(k). Or subsidizing your health insurance so you only have to pay a $20 co-pay when you go to the doctor (rather than hundreds of dollars).
- You have a regular, reliable paycheck. While this isn’t necessarily a “safer” option than relying on income from your own business — you could be fired for any reason — it does provide benefits in other ways. As mentioned above, having pay stubs to show lenders when you need a loan or want to apply for a mortgage makes the process easier. It also makes budgeting and financially planning ahead much simpler.
- You can make your own decisions and feel fulfilled via your own projects. You can enjoy the traditional sense of security that comes from working from someone else while still feeling fulfilled doing meaningful work on your own.
- You have the option to take more risks in your business. If you business is your main source of income, it can be difficult to take big risks. But without taking risks, we can’t have reward. Working for someone else provides you with another, completely separate income that can help out should a risk you took in your own work not provide the ROI you expected.
- You’ll have more money. This one is obvious, but it has to be said. Working a day job and running some sort of business or gigs on the side will provide you with more money. This means you can reach financial goals faster, have an easier time managing bills and expenses, and invest more into your business since you have some “extra” income to use.
Overcoming the Challenges of Juggling Your Work
Of course, it’s not easy to manage a full-time job with your own business ventures. Doing both takes up a lot of time and energy. It can be difficult to feel like you’re constantly working or tied to some sort of responsibility.
But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to make this work. Consider these tips for overcoming some of the challenges that you’ll face if you want to best of both worlds:
- Become a master at time management. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Learn to manage your time wisely and efficiently in order to squeeze the most out of every minute. Eliminate distractions, create to-do lists to keep you on track, and create a working environment — both at home and at the office — that allows you to focus.
- Make sure you side hustle or part-time gig is something you love. If you’re focusing on bringing in more money via work that you actually like, you’ll probably have a much easier time devoting your free time to your side hustle after your full-time job is done for the day. Think of it as a fun hobby that you’ve been smart enough to monetize rather than more work that has to get done.
- Outsource what you can. Learn to let go. Hire a VA to handle basic tasks, or have a part-time independent contractor join your team. Not sure what to outsource? Make a list of the things you hate doing that are fairly basic and easy to hand off to someone else. Remember, this doesn’t have to be business- or work-related: you can have someone else do your landscaping at your home, clean your house, or prepare meals for you from time to time.
Would you make the extra effort to maintain a day job and a side business to take advantage of the best of both worlds? Or would you choose one or the other?