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Blogging And Working As A Temporary Contract Employee Go Well Together

Published 4/21/08 (Modified 3/8/11)
By MoneyBlueBook

These days I've been working from home and enjoying time off from my full time contract legal gig. On some level I miss the daily human interactions and the regular social associations offered by traditional lines of work, but I don't miss the early morning mandatory work schedules or the need to kiss a supervisor's butt cheeks for the sake of getting on his or her good graces for promotion purposes or to ensure a steady stream of future work opportunities. The inevitable downside of working as someone else's employee has always been that you are funneling your own efforts and personal abilities to help someone else grow their business and make them wealthier. In exchange for your services, you are usually offered a set salary or in my case, an unpredictable but very decent wage rate, as well as the occasional health benefit package and transportation related fringe benefits. However, the fact remains that as long as you continue to work for someone else, you never truly own the fruits of your own labor - and I think it's important to own your own fruits.

Over the last few years, I've learned to incorporate blogging and online websites such as my personal finance and frugality blog and a few other attorney based blogs (I prefer not to reveal them here) into my tentative business goal of one day truly working for myself and ending the cycle of exchanging hours for money. While my online sites are certainly growing rapidly and exceeding my own expectations, since none of my non-traditional income streams have yet to fully develop and mature, I still have to rely on traditional employment means to support myself. Thus as much as I'd like to, I still cannot abandon my day job entirely. However, that doesn't mean I must walk the age-old career oriented path that most people resort to following. With my college and law school degree already in hand, rather than working the law firm path, I've chosen to tap into my entrepreneurial spirit and work temporary positions to fund the growth of my home based businesses.

Unless Your Day Time Job Is Working As A Full Time Computer Guy Or Computer Gal, Finding Extra Time To Work On Your Online Side Ventures Is Difficult

While some personal finance and online commentators seem able to juggle their personal full time jobs with their blogging business duties, I've found that certain jobs are particularly difficult to juggle, particularly if you are walking the career oriented path. In my case, working as a full time practicing attorney would leave little time left for business blogging projects on the side. The hourly and work pressures (of office hours and take home assignments) would simply be too demanding. It's certainly not a coincidence that the vast majority of online bloggers, and particularly personal finance bloggers tend to be predominantly computer network administrators, software engineers, or computer programmers - individuals with continuous access to computers and ample blogging time throughout the day while on the job. Unfortunately, most employees of other professions don't have this same flexibility and luxury of ready-access to the computer that the computer techies have. That's why for those individuals working in the legal, education, or even health care field, working full time jobs on a contractual, short term basis may be the only manageable way to generate livable income, but still have the vacant time to develop a side business that stands a chance to grow into a viable income replacement project one day.

Working A Temp Job Makes Devoting Time To Developing Home Based Businesses Possible

Since working as a full time temp worker in the contract attorney field, I've noticed that the working lifestyle, the flexible hours, and the non-stressful schedule of the temping profession absolutely compliments and suits individuals like me who want the ample time after work to devote to side projects. The fact of the matter is that blogging and working as a contract employee on a temporary, non permanent basis actually go quite well together. Trying to build several online and real life businesses takes substantial amounts of extra curricular time - the type of extra time outside of one's job that those not in the computer field are usually unable to set aside. At the same time, it is not that I want to end up temping for the rest of my life, but I see it as a currently necessary and convenient way to support myself temporarily while building up the core of my side businesses while I am still relatively young in the grand scheme of things.

For those looking to build passive income streams through creating an online website business or running a self employment operation, you may want to give short term and long term temping some serious consideration. I know many would argue that that there is no future in performing temporary work, but personally, I see the same bleakness in permanent jobs that purport to offer job stability, and professional growth prospects. I have seen too many of my friends and acquaintances get badly burned in their professional careers and family life due to complete and over-reliance on their employer's good graces and whims.

Plus, with self employment and having your own home business, there are a wealth of self employment tax deductions and tax deferred investment options at your disposal - not available to full time employees working for someone else. A few of them include the option to deduct the home office part of your home rental used in the regular course of your trade or business, as well as the ability to capitalize and reduce your taxable income of the portion pertaining to business assets, such as the cost of a business laptop notebook computer. I will discuss the wide variety of self employment tax deductions and financial benefits in a future post.

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5 Responses to “Blogging And Working As A Temporary Contract Employee Go Well Together” 

  1. Evan says:

    @MBB,

    I have posted comments before, and truly like your site (I have taken a similar route choosing to bypass traditional legal work...I am the Director of Financial Planning at a Wealth Managment firm, heading up advanced techniques and estate planning). I think you have a few years on me (College '03 J.D. 06),but I have to respectfully disagree.

    Granted you need some knowledge of what you are doing on the computer, but I think starting an online business/forum/blog is a great way to get extra income without giving up a career. While neither of my sites are "live" I continue to work on them at night when the fiance is watching HORRIBLE television. Maybe it is different when you have kids running around, but designing a site or writing blog posts is the same thing as watching TV - people choose what to do with their free time.

    Please take a look at what I have done in this spare time: (link) and (link)

    YourWayYourDay is my second attempt, realcash is my first attempt - since learning how to use Kompozer I have to completely redo RealCash.

    But like everything on your site - its choices you make...watch TV or have a shot at making more money in your spare time.

    SORRY FOR THE LONG POST!

  2. Raymond says:

    Hey Evan,

    Well there's just something about the daily content nature of blogs that takes up substantially more time than stand alone sites. I think it's generally a lot easier to juggle a stand alone website with a full time "real" career than it is with a blog.

  3. Mrs. Micah says:

    While I'm not a contract employee...I guess...I like the flexibility afforded by having two part-time jobs (both under 20 hours) and freelancing on the side. Lets me do more with the blog without feeling quite as nervous about the next meal.

  4. Raymond says:

    Hey Mrs Micah,

    Working 2 part time jobs is definitely like working a full time temp position. It offers more flexibility and somewhat less commitment - helping to free up time for other home business matters. I hope your freelancing is going well (etsy stuff right?)

  5. Deborah says:

    Thanks for submitting this article to the Rhythm of Write blog carnival on 5/1/08. Excellent insight and perspective :)

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