My boss was aware that I had my own company; it was my company who he made my checks out to twice a month when I worked as of-counsel for a real estate developer in New York (it was as an independent contractor). The job had all the markings of a typical full time job. I came into an office every day from 9:30am to 6:00 pm, I had an hour for lunch, and how and when I completed my tasks were dictated by someone else.
It was initially understood that, though I would spend the majority of my time in the office handling all of his matters, should there be any down time, I would be free to work on matters involving my other clients. Though we seemed to have this “understanding” that I would be working on other projects, his demanding of my time and attention became reminiscent of a jealous lover. It was as if whenever I was busy working for another client, some emergency would all of a sudden come up and I would have to immediately give my attention to him.
Additionally, he even expressed that he felt as if I were giving more attention to my other work than I was to his. This was the furthest thing from the truth, because his work comprised approximately 80 percent of my workload.
As I went on to work at other firms, and even interview for positions that were not related to the legal field, there was always one question that would come up: “So, how long will it take for you to wrap up your other matters and close the doors to your practice before coming on board with us?” I completely understand why a law firm would ask me that. Most law firms and even the legal industry shun attorneys who work at a firm and also utilize firm time and resources to handle outside matters. I get that.
However, I was always baffled when that question would come up for a position that was not legally related or when the position was not full time. At the time, most of my clients had their own 9 to 5 jobs as well, so any work I did for them, including our correspondence, took place either during lunch hours or after work hours to accommodate their schedules. I felt that whatever I did during my time and not during business hours was my business.
I do not believe in putting all of my eggs in one basket. If there are ways to collect from more than one source of income, I am seeking those opportunities. However, I have come to realize that not every working environment is conducive to those who have a desire to earn from many different sources, even though there are several benefits for employers to embrace the “outside endeavors” that their employees may be involved in.
These benefits employers have with employees who have side hustles include:
1) Acceptance, Transparency and Trust: