Should You Keep Your Side Hustle a Secret?


Side hustles have become enormously popular, with research showing that over a third of surveyed Brits run one. While pursuing interests and passions outside your 9-5 is common, one big question on every side hustler’s minds is whether you should you tell your boss.

Below, we’ve collected opinions and advice on just that…

  • Margaret Buj – Interview Coach
  • David Ciccarelli – Chief Executive Officer at
  • Meera Watts – Founder of Siddhi Yoga
  • Lucy Jeffrey – Founder and CEO at Bare Kind
  • Lamar Romero – Chief Executive Dragon at Dragon Spirits Marketing and Promotion
  • Lyle Solomon Principal Attorney at Oak View Law Group
  • Vivienne Neale – Digital Marketing Lecturer at Cornwall Business School, Falmouth University
  • Maciek Kubiak – Head of People at PhotoAiD
  • Ralph Labarta – Chief Technology Officer of Engage PEO


For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.




Margaret Buj




Business: Interview Coach



“Firstly, you just have to check your employment contract – some of them require that you disclose business activity outside of your day job. I have a friend who is a coach but her day job is in recruitment at Facebook and she isn’t allowed to have private coaching clients due to her work contract. Conversely, I’ve worked for tech companies which didn’t care that I have a part time interview coaching business and YouTube channel since I was always 100% committed to my job and I was doing my own thing outside of the office time.”

“There isn’t one right answer here, because every company culture is different – some are open to people doing their own thing, some are not. It also depends how friendly you are with your boss and co-workers.”

“On one hand, nobody can fault you for being a go-getter on your own time. On the other hand, they might worry if you’re still going to be able to get your work done for them. When I started my own interview coaching business almost 16 years ago, I did mention it to my boss and colleagues and they were supportive, but that might not always be the case. It’s probably wiser to do some ground work on the business first and only start telling people once you’ve started making some money.”

“Whatever you decide, you have to make sure you’re fully committed to your day job while you’re there. Don’t take calls and don’t do marketing for your own business while you’re on the job. You wouldn’t want your employees to work on their side business while you’re paying them! If you are doing a good job and getting your job done, then your employer won’t have any room to complain.”


David Ciccarelli





“Absolutely not. If you have desires to start a side hustle, you likely have ambitions for it to become your full time gig. With that end in mind, it’s inevitable that others will find out, so it’s best to communicate to others early and often. By doing so, they’ll become your first fans, your supporters and perhaps even your first customers too.”


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Meera Watts




Company: Siddhi Yoga



“It depends on the employer to employer. Some employers are okay with their employees working in some other companies. This might be because they know that the employee is already up in the game. But some employers might not be okay with it. Having a side hustle can cause distractions from work. And hence, they might tell you to quit or fire you if you don’t give the results on time.”

“According to me, telling your friends or family is a different thing if you’re sharing your life with them. You know no bad vibes will come from their way and they’ll be happy only. But in your full-time organisation, you’re just an employee. And keeping your personal life private and what are you doing outside the office is your personal thing. You do not need to share all this. It’s better that you keep your side hustle and your full-time job private.”

“When you keep it private, you have better peace of mind. Also, even if you’re delaying in bringing your results, your organisation will not question you regarding your side hustle. When you think that you’re happy in your side hustle and it is completing your needs, that’s when you can let everyone know. This way, if any question arises, you can easily leave your job and work on your new side hustle without disturbing your career or finance.”


Lucy Jeffrey




Company: Bare Kind



“I believe to start with it can be beneficial to keep your side-hustle a secret. Sometimes people can have all the right intentions, but if you discuss your idea with them and they are either super supportive or super negative, it might give you the wrong impression.”

“Some people may just love you so much that they are not honest with you about your ideas (in a nice way!). And others may have their own fears about the risks of starting a business, and you don’t want that to deter you from starting. I think it’s good to get some traction, test the waters, and then speak about it more publicly. It’s hard for someone to say ‘I’m not sure about that’ once you’ve already started!”

“But after that, I find the more people you talk to about it the better. It depends on your workplace, but my colleagues were all super supportive and when it came to eventually quitting my job to run the company, it didn’t come as a shock and everyone was very happy for me.”



Lamar Romero




Company: Dragon Spirits Marketing and Promotion



“My personal philosophy is that truth should always be expressed because dirty little secrets are a detriment to living a good life.”

“As an employer, I would not appreciate if an employee had a side hustle and didn’t tell me about it. Rather I’d want to know about the side hustle, and devise a plan with my employee to maximise a great working experience with our company and the side hustle.”

“This is currently happening in my own company, Dragon Spirits Marketing. Our VP of Sales has a very active life outside of the company, teaching country dance lessons and making mini lessons for Tik-Tok (which are starting to go viral for him) . I applaud his efforts and encourage it because ultimately the more fame he has, the easier it is for him to make sales, and everyone benefits.”


Lyle Solomon




Company: Oak View Law Group



“After taking care of your primary job, you may have ample time and enough zeal to do some work which can be your side hustle or secondary income. You can earn that additional money to prosper or fulfill your financial needs.”

“Now it is a point that many works need to be disclosed, like selling a product online, web writing, or promoting your Youtube videos.”

“While some professions generate a lot of money and need no promotion, for example, if you have excelled in driving, you can make cab driving your side hustle. You can keep this profession secret as you want to highlight your primary profession (manager of a firm) as your identity.”

“We all know that we can develop our identity through a profession; people can understand what we do.”

“So this is situational, but I believe it is best to keep things low-key at first. This forces you to prioritise business development over social status. It is always preferable to hustle quietly.”

“I’d say it’s largely dependent on whether or not your new venture crosses any competition lines. If you’re a competing company, it’s probably best to keep it quiet.”

“Make sure there is no competition between your business and your day job or primary job. If there is no competition, you can reveal your side hustle to people to promote your business.”

“The more people who know what you’re up to and support you, the better. Plus, you can make connections that will be useful in ways you haven’t considered.”

“Last but not least, when you work for someone else, do your absolute best to improve that business or perform the tasks you’re given to the best of your ability.”

“Make sure you don’t make a mess with your employer. Before proceeding, read the fine print in your job contract and the company handbook to ensure you’re legally protected in starting a side hustle.”

“Read the contract thoroughly to ensure no potential conflicts of interest or specific policies, such as a non-compete clause.”

“Look for sections that discuss how long the non-compete clause will be in effect, what type of work you are prohibited from doing , and whether or not the non-compete is only regional.”


For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.




Vivienne Neale




Business: Digital Marketing Lecturer at Cornwall Business School, Falmouth University



“I can understand that employers want to know that employees are concentrating wholly on their roles. But bearing in mind how legacy 9-5 work patterns have been transformed – especially with the uptake of mobile connections and technology, one might be tempted to say, if all expectations and processes have been discharged with no compromise then why not explore the side hustle; it can actually being some benefits into large, less agile organisational structures.”

“Anyway, if companies encourage team members to pursue lives outside work that are fulfilling, then that makes them happier team members, doesn’t it? I am a firm believer that those who are constantly learning, and experiencing are more likely to be innovative and these rich perspectives gained from having diverse experiences can only be for the good….”


Maciek Kubiak




Company: PhotoAiD



“Generally, it’s better not to keep it a secret. The reason is simple – you may need more space and flexibility from your regular work after starting a side hustle. However, it’s not working in all cases. There are situations when you do not have the best relationship with your current employer, and telling them about the second job could even worsen them. You have to decide what will be best in your case on your own. The thing that may help you with the final decision is asking yourself whether you know about your workmates’ side hustles – if not then it may be the warning sign. Believe me, there’s no office without side hustlers!”


Ralph Labarta


KKphotography | Headshots | Boudoir| Glamor| Fashion. Check us out at Or Call US At (813)362-8750 KKphotography.


Company: Engage PEO



“A side hustle implies a primary focus on the main source of income with the hustle providing either a potential new career path or supplemental income. A critical consideration is to protect your position with your primary employer.”

“One should review the employee handbook and any relevant employment agreements. Although they may not specifically prohibit side hustle activities, there are often clauses that restrict competitive activities, use of company resources, appropriation of intellectual property, and non-work activities during normal work hours. In the work-from-home era, companies have more specific policies governing work-day activities and increased monitoring, which may make a side hustle effort more difficult.”

“Employees should consider the company culture. Knowledge of your side hustle may unofficially be considered counter to the company’s objectives, limiting career advancement and compensation increases, even if the company may seem to be encouraging.”

“To navigate a side hustle, while considering your employer’s concerns, follow these basic rules:”

  • Never use company resources to conduct side hustle business. This includes technology, email, phones, licenses, subscriptions, any reimbursed expense, etc.
  • Conduct your side hustle business quietly. For example, using a pseudonym if writing a blog, operate under an LLC, avoid discussing your side hustle with co-workers, etc.
  • Avoid side hustles in competitive or related industries to your primary job.
  • Prioritize your primary job responsibilities over your side hustle.

“A side hustle may be incompatible with your primary job. To avoid a conflict that may be detrimental to both, it may be advisable to disclose your side hustle to your current employer or to a prospective employer that may be more accommodating. Your goals should be to explore avenues to fulfill your career, financial or personal objectives without sacrificing your integrity or limiting your options should your side hustle not work out.”


For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.