Moonlighting has become a hot topic these days. Many organizations are treating it as unethical and according to them, this practice should be terminated.

However, is it really unethical? Should employees really be forced to put an end to their side hustles? Does moonlighting make a person a bad employee? Should organizations ask their employees to not divulge in any part-time businesses? 

Below is my take on this topic.

Professionals who are moonlighting are far more focused on improving their skills and earning more money than their colleagues who don’t do it. The fact that these professionals successfully deliver additional projects and that there are customers in the market who are ready to pay them for their work shows that these professionals are hard-working. It shows that they are people with a growth mindset and are indeed a great asset to an organization. 

They are willing to put in more hours ( around 60 to 80 hours a week and sometimes even more), so much so that sometimes they end up working for more hours than some of their senior management executives and the top performers of their organization. 

In most cases, people who have to resort to moonlighting do so because they are looking for a way to make some extra money. Their monthly salary does not cover their monthly expenses. And as a result, they need to put in more hours, take up additional projects, and then use the money that they get from these extra projects to meet their financial needs. 

I think organizations should nurture these talents instead of putting their employees in a spot where they will have to look out for avenues outside the organization to earn more money or gain new skills.

These professionals are looking for an extra income and an additional set of skills. Their organizations should try to help them in this endeavor rather than prompting them to look for these elsewhere.

With their organizations’ help, these employees can think of moonlighting within the organization instead of moonlighting outside of the organization. 

Now, the question is, how can an organization set up internal moonlighting for their employees? I hope this blog can deliver a fitting answer to this question. 

Below is a 6-step process that I have designed that can help an organization arrange for internal moonlighting for its employees. 

The 6-step process for internal moonlighting: 

Internal moonlighting

In the very first step, every department in the organization tries to identify the roles/projects which can be outsourced to freelancers or are currently outsourced to freelancers. Once these roles and projects are identified, the departments will list down the skills, competencies, experience required, and online/offline courses that need to be taken in order to apply for these roles.

Step 2:

The departments in the second step will identify the mentors / SPOC for these projects.

Step 3:

After the above-mentioned steps, the departments will post these projects on the company’s internal recruiting portal.

Step 4:

Employees who are interested in internal moonlighting projects will apply for these roles through the internal job portals.

Step 5:

Employees get selected for moonlighting projects through a proper screening and interview process.

Step 6:

Employees will need to sign up for the time they will be dedicating to these additional projects and roles. Moreover, they will need to also accept the pay for these internal moonlighting projects. The respective employee’s manager should agree to the terms and conditions accepted by the employee before the employee gets selected for the internal moonlighting projects. 

A good HCM solution can help you set up this entire process digitally for your organization

Below is a short list of department-wise projects that can be outsourced as moonlighting projects to employees to improve their skills and to earn an additional Income 

Below is a short list of department-wise projects that can be outsourced as moonlighting projects to employees to improve their skills and to earn an additional Income: 


#1 Marketing:

1. Content writing

2. Video shooting

3. Editing

4. Graphic designing

5. Assisting in creating Marketing collateral

6. Event management

7. Digital marketing campaigns

8. Identifying marketing vendors

9. Automation in the marketing process


#2 Sales:

1. Sales research

2. Competition research

3. Curating of Sales Database

4. Automation in the Sales process

5. Identifying new leads

6. Preparing sales collaterals


#3 HR:

1. HR communication

2. Coaching

3. Training

4. Facilitation

5. Learning Content creation

6. HR Automation

7. Employees’ engagement activities


#4 Finance:

1. Creating Finance Dashboards

2. Researching

3. Identifying investment opportunities


#5 Operations:

1. Identifying areas of Automation


#6 Product Development:

1. Experimenting with launching new products and services for that specific industry

2. Market research

3. Taking up additional projects over and above current projects


With all said and done, I also need to add that this is not a straightforward process. There are a lot of Grey areas in this arrangement which might get sorted only once this starts getting implemented.

But I definitely think this idea is worth giving a shot at.

Some of the large startups like Apple, SAP, and many other big names were started by moonlighting employees, and later on, many large companies went on to acquire or invest in them. Instead of terminating the moonlighting employees, large companies should tap into the talent of their moonlighting employees and encourage them to come up with their own start-ups within their organization.

These were my 2 cents on the topic of moonlighting. I would love to know your input on the 6-step process that I have come up with. If you have any suggestions or questions, do let me know, I would love to interact with you.

Thanks for reading!



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