Working on a Side Hustle along FT Job to Buff Skillset and Resume

I want to move up in my workplace. I work in a secure FT Govt job but it is a bit of a dead-end role (super niche). I know you have to declare all forms of secondary income as it needs to be approved by management but I was unsure if a side-hustle in its fledgling stage would count. I would only be working on it during my time-off and it has not conflict of interest with my current work.

I want to do this so I can improve my skill-set and have something more relevant on my resume so I can move up and apply for other jobs.

How would you guys approach it?


  • you have to declare any other income?…

    • Umm…not declare income. I meant you have to get permission to moonlight in secondary jobs for fatigue reasons.

      Wasn't sure if working on a part time hustle (10 hours per week) is the same as working PT in a proper company.

      • yeah i knew what you meant, ive just never heard of having to declare that before.

      • +3

        It isn't for fatigue reasons, it is for conflict of interest. I worked with someone at DHS who was a medical receptionist part time and she wasn't allowed to work in PBS because of a possible conflict of interest

        • +1

          Except for when it is.
          I had to sign one and it specifically mentioned fatigue and gave examples of jobs such as food delivery drivers.

        • Nah it's definitely for fatigue reasons. I work in a safety critical role on a rotating shift roster. They ask you to fill out a form and then calculate fatigue scores based on that.

      • +1

        10 hours per week is less time than some people spend working out, playing video games, or watching TV. Taking fatigue and conflict of interest into account (as others have suggested), I think it's great that you look to build your skills with a side-hustle. Perhaps call it a hobby if they ask?

  • Is there actual conflict of interest and importantly is there "possible perceived" conflict of interest, even if there isn't one, could there be a perception that there is?

    Otherwise if there isn't I imagine they would be pretty relaxed? Especially if you don't work somewhere that deals with personal information?

    • Nah no possible conflict of interest at all. I'm not privy to sensitive data. It's for fatigue reasons.

  • Suppose you are an Air Traffic Controller and fatigue would impact…

    You could either be up front and positive about the side gig and say "well it is a just a hobby" the hours don't impact plus it allows you to maintain other skill sets and thinking processes.

    Where do they draw the line though?

    What if you run a Garage Sale or have an eBay presence, is that 2nd income?

    Are you looking at something more substantial for CV/notches (Buenas) lol like being a co-founder of a company or Angel/Venture Capital

  • +5

    If you're in a government role, its pretty specific in your contract that you have to advise them of any other employment you are undertaking.

    Having worked for the gov previously, Ive seen staff terminated for not doing so even though there was no conflict of interest. Better to be safe than sorry.

    • ^this! If it's federal government then required to advise of everything including volunteering. There is really no question to ponder here.

    • Thanks. Yeah, I think it is probably better if I declare it since I don't want to jeopardize my main source of income on a potentially unprofitable venture.

  • -2

    Get paid in cash, done.

  • Learn to code and/or TA. They have a lot of upside, won't conflict with your day job and can WFH.

  • +2

    I know you have to declare all forms of secondary income as it needs to be approved by management but I was unsure if a side-hustle in its fledgling stage would count.

    I think you know the answer.

    • Agree, with this, especially govt as they are not supposed to operate with shades of grey and they'll throw the book at you, more so than private sector job (IMO).

      You should check with your manager or HR… if they bliss it should be OK, good for you and you don't need to worry, if not you know what to do…

  • +1

    Work out. Get fit. Start an OnlyFans.

    • Can't fix an ugly face with exercise mate.

      • +1

        Who is looking at the face on OnlyFans?

  • I work in govt. I'd do it and not say anything if you're doing it in your spare time and there are no conflicts of interest, etc.

    • Problem is, I want to eventually put it on my resume so that I can apply for other jobs in the same department. My current job is a bit of a dead-end and I need to work on and learn new skills which this job will not be able to give me.

  • Does it say "secondary income" or "secondary employment" in your contract (or any such binding documents)? Are those terms specifically defined?

    Secondary income could be taken to include bank interest, investment return, investment property return, etc, whereas secondary employment could be limited to where you are employed (ie excluding situation where you're self employed like driving an uber or starting your own business). There is also a fine line between hobby and business activities (eg is an amateur painter selling the occasional painting covered?)

    Your best bet might be to talk to HR or your union about your specific situation and what you'd like to do.

    • Secondary employment. I want to start my own side business (no conflict of interest) so that I can learn new skills and put it on my resume. My current job is very limited in its scope and has no room for creativity. I want to start applying for other jobs in the organisation and am hoping that this will show that I am a bit proactive and keen to learn new skills.

      I'll talk to HR and see what they say. Thanks.

  • Jobs that require you to do certain things in your spare free time need to be paid more because of their control over your free time. Suppose instead of networking and resting, I would like to learn a new skill to avoid getting outdated in a fast paced changes in the industry then I would have to account for that risk and demand more. It's not that nowadays there is much of such a thing as a permanent job for life.