I’m surprised the term moonlighting is still used as it appeared to be an archaic term when I was coming out of school in the early 1990’s. From brief research, its earliest meaning refers to a legendary protest resulting in nighttime illicit activity.
There was always the debate whether one should take an opportunity to do work on the side, outside of their normal day job, to either supplement their income, develop additional relationships or to take on an interesting type of work that may not be happening in their office. I have had a friend do work for me on the side for years, which means he is moonlighting. I’ll leave it to him to answer my questions below, but I’m glad to have his help and he’s working under my supervision.
I don’t have an absolute position on it, other than I would clearly caution someone before deciding. These are questions I would consider.
- Do I have the experience to do this project?
- Am I responsible for this work or am I working for someone else?
- Do I really have the time to commit to this project and give it the attention it deserves?
- Am I bringing liability to the office where I currently work?
- Does my current boss permit or approve of this additional work outside the office?
- Do I care if my boss knows?
- Do I need the money instead of the time?
- What advantage will the result of this project bring me?
- Am I doing this work because I am unhappy at my day job?
In my early post college days, I recall family members and a few friends asking me to help them on projects. They paid me little, if anything, I did the work and we moved on. I don’t know if they thought they were really helping me out or if they thought they could get design work done at extremely reduced rate. My experience level paled in comparison to now, but I believe they got a good deal. Looking back, I don’t think the additional money made any difference in my life or budget, and the work was not more interesting than the work that I did during the day, nor did it lead to anything more interesting or lucrative. That was my basic experience; I turned down opportunities later in my career.
It’s hard to condone or condemn the practice solely on my own experience, but I caution young professionals from taking on this kind of work, especially until they gain more experience. They don’t know what they don’t know. If one is compelled to work outside of their office, I would enter a competition or create a project that they could use to market themselves. Unless one is miserable at work, they might consider bringing that project to the firm so their employer sees them contributing to the overall life of the firm. Maybe you can be a rainmaker.
Otherwise, be careful. There are more interesting things to do under the moon than work round-the-clock.
Read below and see if my friends have a different point of view. #Architalks
Jeff Echols – Architect Of The Internet (@Jeff_Echols)
The Ironic Blasphemy of Moonlighting and what Architects are Missing Out On
Lora Teagarden – L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
Moon(lighting) changes with the seasons
Jeremiah Russell, AIA – ROGUE Architecture (@rogue_architect)
hustle and grind: #architalks
Michael Riscica AIA – Young Architect (@YoungArchitxPDX)
Moonlighting for Young Architects
Stephen Ramos – BUILDINGS ARE COOL (@BuildingsRCool)
Architects do it All Night Long
Brian Paletz – The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
Starlight, moonlight – tick tock
Jeffrey Pelletier – Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
Is Moonlighting Worth It? Probably Not, But We All Try.
Kyu Young Kim – J&K Atelier (@sokokyu)
Dancing in the Moonlight
Keith Palma – Architect’s Trace (@cogitatedesign)
Jim Mehaffey – Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey)
Moonlighting: or Why I Kept My Dayjob.
Mark Stephens – Mark Stephens Architects (@architectmark)
Architalks 28 Moonlighting
Gabriela Baierle-Atwood – Gabriela Baierle-Atwood (@gabrielabaierle)
Ilaria Marani – Creative Aptitude (@creaptitude)
There is no moolighting. It’s a jungle!
Jane Vorbrodt – Kuno Architecture (@janevorbrodt)
Bob Borson – Life of An Architect (@bobborson)
Should Architects Moonlight?