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Over the last year or so, I have had a side gig that has been awesome at every step of the way. I love the work I am doing for them, I enjoy it more that I do my full time gig. Recently, They have been ramping up what they need done.

I have been thinking a lot lately that this is the kind of work I want to fill my day with. I am consistently guilty that I am not giving my current full time job my whole heart. I was planning to have a better exit strategy in place (budget, business plan, etc) and quit around May. But, emotions got the best of me and I put in my notice here a few days ago. Sometimes you gotta leap, and the timing with the additional work from the side gig just fit. I hope.

I have not yet told the side gig that I am preparing to work on their stuff full time. I don't want to put them in an awkward situation. You know, like telling a girl you've been interested in that you left your current girlfriend for her. I don't want the side gig to think that I am now relying on them for income. But I also want them to know that I am committing to moving their project forward full speed instead of part speed.

For reference, I am a mechanical engineer by training (MSME). I am employed as a systems engineer at a medical device company.

The side work is programming. I built a data management system for this company*. They want more features and also a work order management system.

  • If you know where to point me to learn the vocabulary for what I actually built them (for referenceing ti to future clients), I would be grateful. The system gathers data from field-deployed units, organizes it, saves it to a relational database, pushes SMS and email notifications given alarm conditions, and provides a web portal for monitoring the current state of the field, and generates monthly reports for a given month on demand.
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Since the door to the full-time gig is closed.. forget that aspect. It's done, no turning back.

As for how to relay the additional open hours to the side job... I'd simply let then know my availability has increased and I'd be interested in assisting further if possible.

Something along the lines of....

Hi X,

I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know due to personal circumstances, I'm now available [additional hours, 5 days a week, 6 hours daily] if needed. I loved working on XXXXXX, and would enjoy the opportunity to assist in any way I can.

You don't want to really state anything more than "I'm available more." This avoids putting them on the spot and any implication that they are responsible for your income.

You could even go so far as to elude to a new business venture and imply that you're in demand more......

Hi X,

Thank you again for the opportunity to assist with XXXXXX. Due to demand, I've decided to dedicate more time to these types of projects and have began freelancing full time. This means my schedule has opened up a great deal. I'm anticipating faster turnaround due to this. While I already have many existing commitments, I've enjoyed the projects from XXXXX and would always welcome any project which you feel suits my skills.

This lets them know you are now reliant on freelance income, but also eludes to other commitments. It's a subtle "I'm in demand." note which can be helpful.

Just my 2¢.

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Well I definitely advise you to TELL them about your plans. It's not like with girls. It's business. You have to tell them your plans and how you like their job so that they can see if they have work for you full time.

What if they plan to freeze the project in 1 month? you have to know that.

What if they don't like your work and plan to fire you? You have to know that.

What if your current boss plans to give you raise? you have to know that as well.

So if I were you I would first check with the side job if they have work for me full time and for how many months/years. Then I would tell my current boss that I am leaving it.

Whatever you do on your current job, we say "do not close the door with your a*s". It means that you should stay in good relations with your current boss.

Good luck

  • Thanks for the reply. I have been thinking about this a bunch lately, and it was time to call it. Have to pursue those passions, fiscal responsibility be damned. I know that's probably far from the best mindset, but it's what it is. I already put my notice into the job, sorry for not clarifying. – Brian Leach Jan 20 '15 at 17:35

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