Can you freelance while working full-time?

Can you freelance while working full-time? In general the answer is yes you can. There is no law prohibiting you from doing freelance work while being employed in a full-time position. 

However, it does depend on your contract and you have to keep certain considerations in mind. If you are talking about the whether it is achievable to be working full time and freelancing we will dive into how people do this and get the right balance. So, without any further delay, let’s get started.

Can You Work as a Freelancer While Being Employed?

So you are currently have a fulltime job going and want to start freelancing on the side. Let’s touch upon the most important considerations such as contractual obligations and various elements related to taxation.

1. Contractual obligations

Most modern-day companies allow their employees to pursue freelance projects. However, there are exceptions to the rule. For example, sometimes contracts can state that you can’t do the same job in the same sector as a freelancer besides your regular job. 

Ultimately, it all boils down to your contract. For instance, if you are contractually obliged to not work as a freelancer, pursuing freelance work may lead to legal trouble. You may also be required by the contract to tell your employer about your interest in taking on freelance work. So, go through your contract carefully. 

If there’s nothing in the contract holding you back, go right ahead and begin your journey as a freelancer.

2. The taxation aspect

Both your full-time salary and freelance income are considered taxable income. However, there are differences. When you get your monthly salary from your employer in your full-time position, you get it after all necessary tax deductions are made. 

However, in terms of paying taxes on your freelance income, you are responsible for working out how much tax you owe to the government.

Can you balance working full time and freelancing?

Again, the answer to this question is yes, although it fully depends on your situation. There are many people in todays society that combine their corporate gig with freelancing as a side-hustle. 

However it does require more organisational and time-management skills. Read on to know how you can achieve the perfect balance for working in both full-time and freelancing activities.

1. Structure your time upfront

It goes without saying – if you’re working as a full-timer and a freelancer simultaneously can be overwhelming, so you’ve got to to be smart in terms of your time. The most valuable of course is that you still have time on your hands for your family, social live and other hobbies.

In general the most important advice is that you should keep prioritising your full-time work, because that’s the job that’s giving you your livelihood. Many full-timers who have started to work as freelancers separate their full-time and freelance working days. For instance, if the working days at their full-time jobs are from Monday – Friday, they work as freelancers on the weekends. Or if they have a standard day off during the week that will be spent on their own company.

It is important to think about this planning and have it separated since and be transparent about it. Context switching between work can take up a lot of headspace and it can be overwhelming to be contactable at both jobs at the same time. 

2. Try to get some clients to give you regular freelance work

From a financial standpoint, there’s no doubt about it – freelancing can result in a decent amount of money on the side every month. However, it does come with certain challenges and especially when your freelance time is limited. 

One of these challenges is not having consistent work coming in from just a few clients. First of all finding new clients takes up a lot of time and effort. Secondly, a new client each time means that different things will be expected from you. It takes time to get to know each others needs and methods.

A better approach would be to make a good impression on a few clients so they keep giving you a constant stream of work. Of course, this is easier said than done. You may have to wait a long time for this do turn into a reality. However, it’s important to have patience and to keep giving clients your best work.

3. Work with clients from another time zone

A tip many people don’t think of to maximise your freelancing efforts is to look for clients based in a different time zone. For instance, if you’re based in the USA and have a full-time there, you may explore freelancing possibilities in Asia.

Doing this can have several benefits. For starters, even if you have a lot of freelance work, it won’t interfere with your full-time job responsibilities. It can also enable you to double or even triple your income. However, doing this can also result in a lot of stress and might not be suitable for you if you have a family. Ultimately, the choice is yours as to how you want to juggle your freelance and full-time work.

Compare your rate with
500+ freelancers for free!

Join the movement, share your rate and get free access to our database.