Shirin Khamisa, a Toronto-based career counsellor and principal of Careers by Design, sees both potential positives as well as negatives in disclosure.
“It could be a really small industry that you’re employed in,” she says. “If you’re going to hold down a second job, you may want to be upfront and honest with your boss rather than having him find out from someone else.”
If the moonlighting job is in a different industry, there are multiple factors to consider in deciding whether or not to disclose. “How would this news of having a part-time job impact your relationship with your current boss? Will it enhance or take away from your professional image?”
Sometimes a part-time commitment can actually benefit the full-time employer, says Ms. Khamisa. “You may be developing a bigger network or doing creative things that, when you come back to your primary job, help you to see new opportunities. You might be acquiring new skills which you are then bringing back, too.”
One key factor in deciding for or against disclosure might be the boss’s mindset, adds Ms. Khamisa. “If you’ve known your boss for a while, think about what his or her perception would be. Some personalities are able to multi-task, but other personalities don’t do so well with that.
“If you find that your boss is very focused and doesn’t have a lot of balls in the air at once, then even though you’re capable of handling both commitments, he may not perceive it that way. If that’s the case, you may wish to keep things on a need-to-know basis.” …