December 15, 2017
Policies on moonlighting will vary from company to company, so it is important you understand what is and isn’t allowed before you start looking for moonlighting projects. While moonlighting often refers to taking on a second job outside of your full-time position, it is also possible to moonlight on a project within the company that you’re already employed at. This has a unique set of benefits and can help you become a more well-rounded employee as you work to climb the corporate ladder.
When moonlighting within your current organization, you will want to get involved in a project in a department outside of your home department. This will allow you to see how the organization operates from a completely different perspective. A project in a different department will expose you to how they operate, the different constraints they face, and their priorities. This knowledge will prepare you to better interact with this department in your future career and give you an edge over the competition.
This is also a great way to show your manager you are driven and always looking to learn. When working towards career advancement, your manager or supervisor is often your greatest advocate, so you want to show them that you are dedicated to your professional development and will put in the work necessary.
Working with a different department within your company can also be a great help in escaping the groupthink that often plagues teams. You are probably surrounded by coworkers with similar perspectives because they have the same experience as you. By engaging with different teams from other departments, you can get away from the echo chamber and listen to fresh ideas. These new ideas will be things you can bring back to your department and use to improve both yourself and your team. It will also be experience you can show to your superiors as you work to move up in your career.
Career advancement will not happen overnight; you need to put in the work to show why you deserve a new role. Kate, a hiring expert from ADP, says “Expectations for a promotion depend on the company and role, but can range from 18 months to 3 years — remember that many times, you need to do extra work or seek out additional assignments to grasp additional insight into an industry, job, or client.”1
If you are serious about wanting to advance your career, you need to ensure you are standing out in a positive light. There will always be lots of people competing for similar opportunities, so setting yourself apart through moonlighting can help ensure senior leadership takes notice of you. By pairing that with outstanding work, you can work your way into your dream job.