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Get a Side Job: Moonlighting Boosts Your Career Skills

Get a Side Job: Moonlighting Boosts Your Career Skills
Credit: Kondor83/Shutterstock

For many employees, the workday doesn't end when they're done with their 9 to 5. A new study from CareerBuilder revealed that nearly 30 percent of employees are working side jobs.

Whether it's because they want to make some extra money or pursue another field, moonlighting is common, especially among younger workers. Specifically, 44 percent of workers ages 25 to 34, and 39 percent of those ages 18 to 24, have side jobs. That compares to 29 percent of workers ages 35 to 44, 22 percent of workers ages 45 to 54, and 19 percent of workers ages 55 and older.

The study found that professionals at all income levels are working side jobs. Nearly 20 percent of employees who earn more than $75,000 per year, and 12 percent of those making more than $100,000 per year, are working a job outside their full-time position. In comparison, 34 percent of workers who make less than $50,000 per year, and 34 percent of those who earn less than $35,000 per year, also have side jobs.

Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder, said having a side job not only provides employees with a little extra money but also makes them more attractive to potential future employers. [See Related Story: Interviewing for a Job? 4 Ways to Stand Out from the Crowd]

"When you're applying to jobs, especially when you're at the start of your career, other applicants could have more experience in your particular field," Haefner said in a statement. "If you bring more skill sets to the table and have a unique perspective on how things can be done, you're sure to stand out from the crowd and be seen as a valuable potential hire."

The research found that employees working in the leisure and hospitality, retail, and transportation industries are the most likely to moonlight. Some of the most common side jobs include the following:

  1. Survey taker
  2. Child care worker
  3. Consultant
  4. Freelance writer
  5. House sitter
  6. Blogger
  7. Bartender
  8. Photographer/videographer
  9. Website designer
  10. Tutor

Most workers don't plan to turn their side job into a full-time gig: More than 70 percent of those with a side job said they have no intention of making it their full-time position. In addition, many workers surveyed said they are more passionate about their day jobs than their side jobs.

The study was based on surveys of more than 3,200 workers in the private sector across a variety of industries and company sizes.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.