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Should I take on part-time work on the side?

July 3, 2008

A couple weeks ago, a former coworker of mine told me about his new business he was starting, and he invited me to consider being a part of it.

I got a chance to see a Webex presentation of the current status of the project. It was pretty interesting, not just the technical aspects, but he also went through some of the business aspects. I don’t know much about corporate finances or start-ups, but they hoped to raise $200,000 and thought that would last over a year. This means that the salaries probably are low and more in the form of stock options.

I’m really torn. On one hand, it sounds exciting, and Kevin would be a great guy to work for. Plus, extra money (yay!), more experience, a little extra security in a somewhat scary time at my employer (my cube neighbor was laid off and I get to overhear his struggles. Yuck.) It sounds like a pretty good deal. Also, one awesome perk of this assignment–free Macbook Air. Or maybe it was just a regular mac, I’m not sure. I mean, it is nothing to fall over about, but it is a neat perk.

I recall Krystal asking her readers, “Would you take on a second job?” and I (along with many) answered with a resounding NO. But I had in mind mindless jobs not related to my field, not some consultant work on the side. This is entirely different.

I’m going to speak with T about this and see if he can help me decide. We have similar educational backgrounds, so he really is my most trusted source of information on good steps for my career. My parents just don’t have the background to give sound advice, and neither do my friends.

I think I’ll send Kevin an email and sort of let him decide. I’ll tell him the situation–I’m really excited about it, I’d love to work for him, but I’m nervous about over committing myself. I can only promise 10 hours a week, but say that I could probably offer more in these initial months before school starts. I’m not sure if that is worth it to him, and I’m not sure how much he really could use my help. I know he thinks I’m a good worker, that I can take on challenges and get things done. But he also is in contact with many other people who might have more time and experience. So, if it is not worth it to him, the decision is made. I do really want to do it, but I don’t want to commit to more than 10 hours a week.

If it is… then we will talk money and I am leaning towards doing it. He said the employees will be set up as consultants…. That is a whole new thing to learn about. But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Tara permalink
    July 3, 2008 3:05 pm

    I don’t know what field you’re in, but you might need to be careful if this job is in same field as your current job. I know that my old employer had a requirement that we not take outside projects in our own field. Did you have to sign a contract when you started and, if so, do you still have it to check? Or is there some sort of HR document you could consult?

  2. July 3, 2008 3:16 pm

    It is in my field in a very broad sense of the word.

    From what I have checked into, there are rules against conflicts of interest, working for suppliers, becoming a supplier and that sort of thing. I don’t think I signed any restrictive “non-compete” forms, but I’ll look into it further if things progress.

  3. July 3, 2008 5:20 pm

    I see a lot of pros- good guy to work for, a little extra security (who knows- it could be big!), more experience in your field…

    Does this guy understand that you can’t put a ton of hours into this? I think there’s a reason he wants you on board.

    So I know this comes from the little detail I know, but I say TAKE IT! 🙂

  4. July 6, 2008 6:21 am

    The sooner you can get involved in business ownership rather than working for someone else’s business (i.e. a job) the sooner you’ll likely reap great rewards and financial independence. The downside…not every venture is a success.

    I’m struggling with this same thing right now, although I don’t have an offer on the table like you do.

    If you believe in the venture, I’d try to be more involved in it than just a start up employee. I’d try to be a partner/owner from the get go. This will likely require some monetary investment on your part. You’ll have a greater desire to see the venture succeed and your rewards will be far in excess of those you’d receive as an initial employee.

    Weigh the options, but I’d be inclined to go for it!

    I’m Minding My Own Business, are you minding yours?

  5. July 6, 2008 10:49 pm

    Jeff’s right…

    I guess it just depends on what you’re looking for. If there is real potential in this – and from what you’re saying it sounds like that is the case – and you’re looking to be financially independent at some point, this may be a good option.

    I’m in that spot right now. I have a great job working for somebody, but I would like to be in a much better spot financially in the future at some point. Especially when I’m in a spot where I determine what happens, not my employer.

    Anyway… I’ve give more than my two cents! 🙂

  6. July 7, 2008 12:13 am

    working a normal 8 hr job takes alot of your time. Mabye working party time can help you achieve your dream

  7. July 7, 2008 7:40 am

    I think as long as this part-time gigg, understands that it is part-time it sounds like a cool opportunity.

    It’s always hard to make these kind of decisions, but this job may be worth it in the experience you will get. Even just learning how a start-up works has to be really interesting. Good luck with your decision.

  8. July 7, 2008 10:37 am

    I would totally do it for a free Macbook.

  9. tom permalink
    July 7, 2008 12:06 pm

    I would go for it! Sounds like a great opportunity. You will only be investing your time, so there isn’t much to loose. Who knows, the company could make it big, and you’ll reap the rewards. If it fails, you walk away with a free Macbook, some extra dough and some extra experience!

    Could also be a great thing to put on your resume even if it fails (you’ll still learn a lot!).


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