Shouldn't I take serious jobs

Secondary job: what is allowed? + 20 serious part-time jobs

Many people have a part-time job in addition to their main job - either for lack of money or simply for a little change or a small boost to the holiday budget. A part-time job can serve for further training, the realization of a lifelong dream (for example, “turning a hobby into a job”) or simply the financial aspect. But are you even allowed to have a sideline? If so, under what conditions? And which part-time jobs would be available for it?

1. Definition: Secondary job - what is it actually?
2. What is allowed and what is not allowed in a secondary job?
3. What happens if you fail to report a part-time job?
4. Can the employer arbitrarily prohibit secondary employment?
5. Is secondary employment tax-free?
6. Which serious part-time job is available?
7. Conclusion: extra income - yes or no?

Definition: Secondary job - what is it actually?

If you are in a dependent employment relationship, a secondary job refers to any further employment with or without remuneration that you do in addition to this employment contract. As a rule, the problem with secondary employment is that it has to be approved by the main employer. The part-time job itself can also be employed as an employee, but it is also possible to be self-employed, for example by registering a business. In special cases, a secondary job also arises as a second employment relationship with the actual main employer.

Any income from secondary employment must be properly taxed in addition to the main income. This remuneration is colloquially referred to as additional income or additional income. However, voluntary or unpaid activities are also rated as part-time jobs. These are therefore subject to the same legal regulations as the paid secondary employment - in whatever form.

What is allowed and what is not allowed in a secondary job?

In principle, secondary jobs are allowed and you do not have to report them to the employer. However, since many have a problem with their worker's part-time job, they often add a clause to their employment contract. In this way, the employer wants to prevent, for example, the employee from working on the side for the competition or from self-employment to the point of burnout syndrome - although this would be prohibited anyway, as you will find out below. It is well known that two are better than one!

Reading tip: Preventing burnout - 10 effective tips for active prevention

If there is a corresponding clause in your employment contract stating which secondary employment is to be approved or notifiable, it is legally valid. The same applies to regulations that result from valid collective agreements or works agreements. You can find out whether a secondary job is permitted in your case and under what conditions by looking at the contracts for your main job that are individually valid for you. But in Germany there is no rule without exception. Without a corresponding contractual agreement, all secondary activities are not permitted, through which

  • the main employment contract is "jeopardized" because the employee is no longer able to meet his contractual obligations, for example in terms of time or health.
  • the statutory working time limits are overturned, so that you (can) no longer adhere to the prescribed rest and vacation times.
  • competitive activity arises which could harm your main employer. As a permanent web designer, for example, you are not allowed to become self-employed in the same field on the side or, in the worst case, even poach customers from your employer.
  • You endanger your health. While you are on sick leave with your main employer, as an employee you are not allowed to work in a part-time job. This would contradict the obligation of the employee on sick leave to behave “health-promoting” in the interests of his recovery.

Reading tip: Certificate of incapacity for work: rights and obligations in the event of sick leave

What happens if you don't report a part-time job?

Most employers handle the situation in such a way that the employee has to report a possible secondary job and then a decision is made on a case-by-case basis whether the secondary job is approved or not. A clause in the employment contract that categorically excludes paid and unpaid secondary employment would be invalid anyway due to an unreasonable disadvantage for the employee. On the other hand, every additional job that violates the regulations already mentioned must be reported - for example, a part-time job at a competitor, as a self-employed person in the same industry or in the event of a violation of the working hours regulation. Both the employee and the employer are therefore on the safe side when discussing any outside employment with each other in advance.

Read tip: The 15 worst behavior-related reasons for quitting

However, if you as an employee do not report a part-time job, although this is stipulated in your employment contract or if the part-time job violates one or more of the "exceptions" mentioned, which make them inadmissible, the employee must take consequences such as the prohibition of the part-time job, a warning or, in the worst case, one fear extraordinary termination for behavioral reasons. The legal situation must always be assessed on a case-by-case basis. If, for example, the employee has competed significantly with the main employer in the context of self-employment and lured customers away from him, a claim for damages might even be conceivable. In any case, the employee should refrain from such a risk and actually report notifiable secondary activities.

Can the employer arbitrarily prohibit secondary employment?

Many employees shy away from reporting their part-time work, for fear the employer might prohibit it and the part-time income for the next vacation is over. But don't worry: the law stipulates that the main employer may only prohibit secondary employment for valid and understandable reasons. So if your part-time job (in combination with your main job) does not violate legal regulations such as working time regulations or represents a disadvantage for the employer in any other way, the employer may not simply say no "on principle".

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Is a secondary job tax-free?

There is no special form of taxation for secondary employment. They are therefore not tax-free, but ultimately it makes no difference to the tax office whether their income results from their main or secondary activity. Accordingly, all income from a calendar year is assessed together, regardless of the type and number of secondary employment. Such an additional income can therefore increase your tax rate and thus also the tax burden of your main activity. If you are self-employed as a part-time job, additional types of tax such as sales or trade tax may be due.

Which serious part-time job is available?

Wanting to improve income with a serious part-time job on the side is a wish of many professionals when the income from a full-time activity is not sufficient. The reasons for this may vary and lie in the rising cost of living as well as the desire to afford some luxury.

But it is not always that easy to find a serious part-time job that is fairly fairly remunerated and yet does not conflict with your main job, for example due to working hours. A key point of reference when choosing a part-time job is therefore availability. The second step is to choose an activity based on your own qualifications and skills. We have now
20 suggestions for you, which are among the "classics" of part-time jobs:

  1. Caregiver: You must have been born to work as a geriatric nurse, but you can also earn money caring for the elderly in a care facility. They read something to the old people, play board games or chat. Sometimes you need someone to accompany you when shopping or a driver for doctor's appointments. It is less about medical care, for which you need special training, than something more company and help in everyday life for those in need of care.
  2. Delivery driver: If you have a valid driver's license and have driving experience, temporary jobs as delivery drivers are available. The options and with them the working hours vary from meals to medicines and newspapers. In any case, a safe driving style and enjoyment of being on the road are important for a sideline job in delivery.
  3. Bookkeeping, evening secretary and data processing: For qualified employees in the commercial area, secondary jobs in preparatory bookkeeping, data processing or as evening secretary offer good opportunities to top up the household budget. The working hours here are set for the evening or can be freely divided. Solid prior knowledge in the respective area is required.
  4. Call center: Call centers are constantly looking for new staff. Your job is either to call customers or to answer incoming calls, so a friendly telephone voice is required.
  5. Ebay shops: An Ebay shop offers a very special category of sideline activity. Again, it is important to check whether a trade needs to be registered and to deal with the legal circumstances in order to avoid trouble and costs. In addition, there is a certain financial risk associated with such a shop, as goods must first be purchased before they can be sold. A possibility for people with experience in trading. Reliability and organized work are essential.
  6. Retail trade: As a help at the cash register, as a shelf clearer or jumper - the retail trade offers numerous opportunities for additional income. Advising in a specialist department or as a generalist, an impeccable certificate of good conduct, openness and reliability are essential.
  7. Fitness trainer: Anyone who likes to do something for their health and is active in sports can work as a temporary fitness trainer. For this, depending on the sporting direction, various trainer licenses are required, the purchase of which is more of a long-term decision, but it can be worthwhile. In addition, fitness classes can now be done online without any problems, e.g. B. for home workouts. These are a great way to stay fit right now during the Corona period.
  8. Freelance sales activities: There are also countless possibilities in direct sales. However, caution is advised here. A job offer in this area should be carefully checked for seriousness. In addition, pronounced sales skills and above-average openness are required. Offers that require the seller to purchase goods should generally not be accepted.
  9. Gastronomy: Whether as a temporary worker in the kitchen or as a waitress in the guest room, even helpers without specialist training have a good chance of being hired here. Flexibility in terms of working hours and the availability of jobs speak in favor of a part-time job in gastronomy, because gastronomy businesses can be found practically everywhere. However, the joy of dealing with people and physical resilience are essential.
  10. Building cleaning: Experience with cleaning utensils and techniques is helpful for a sideline job in building cleaning. The working hours here are usually outside of normal business hours and are not very flexible. Thus, jobs in building cleaning are only suitable for those employees who are looking for additional income that can be done in the evening hours. Determined and thorough work is important here, as well as reliability and honesty.
  11. Internet offers, homepages and earning opportunities online: In the meantime, the opportunities to earn money on the Internet are also numerous and available to everyone. From homepages and blogs, which can bring in money through advertisements, to paid website offers, a lot is possible. However, it is often forgotten through the medium that online sales are also taxable and may require the registration of a trade - and here, too, not all offers are serious. Without legal advice in advance, the provider can maneuver himself into great financial distress.
  12. Childcare: Taking care of other children is an attractive option for people with strong nerves and a lot of patience. As a childminder or father during the day or as a babysitter in the evening, a part-time job in this area is associated with great responsibility. Of course, child love is a must here, and day care also requires an appropriate room to play and accommodate the children.
  13. Teacher: It doesn't always have to be tutoring, because you can also give lessons at adult education centers or sports clubs. Anyone who is talented in any subject or is very sporty and likes to get together with people can earn some money here with an activity that is fun.
  14. Tutoring: Anyone who remembers their school days and is proficient in German, mathematics or English can take on a part-time job as a tutor. To do this, however, you should have the necessary knowledge and be able to deal with children and young people. The earnings per hour depend very much on the target group, because those who look after young people in their Abitur or even students earn significantly more than a tutor for lower school students. The range is between ten and 18 euros per hour.
  15. Property protection: Since working hours usually start late in the evening and end late at night or early in the morning, property protection activities are only suitable for employees who usually do their main job underground. Physically moderately strenuous, a sideline job in property protection is potentially dangerous and involves great responsibility. Impeccable repute, reliability and strong nerves are important prerequisites here. Depending on the specific position, the ability to carry weapons may be necessary.
  16. Product tester: In a product test, new products of all kinds are tested and the results are published on the Internet. Payment is made for the retrieval of a test report, and sometimes a positive rating is a prerequisite for payment. The more product reviews you publish, the higher the earnings. But in the end it will usually only be enough for some pocket money - and a lot of free products.
  17. Independent service provider: Some internet platforms offer all kinds of services. They range from manual work and office work to sewing, gardening or whatever else you are good at. The big advantage: You set the hourly wage yourself and earn money with a job that you enjoy doing. You are completely flexible and determine the working hours and the scope yourself.
  18. Gas station attendant: A gas station attendant can be deployed at the cash register, but he can also help customers with refueling. This also includes support with cleaning the windshield and checking air pressure and oil level. The job is therefore well suited for young men who are not afraid to get their hands dirty and who have a certain technical understanding of cars. The activity is often carried out on a minor basis.
  19. Taxi driver: Working as a taxi driver is tied to certain conditions, such as being allowed to transport people. If you want to work long-term as a temporary worker and are not afraid to work in the evenings, at night or on the weekend, this part-time job is well advised.
  20. Counter staff in the fitness studio: As a counter worker in a fitness studio, you serve visitors with water, coffee, mineral drinks and protein shakes. The job is usually a marginal occupation, special prior knowledge is not necessary, because the work only requires a short training phase. The practices in each studio are slightly different, but those who like to approach people shouldn't have any problems familiarizing themselves with them at short notice.

Conclusion: extra income - yes or no?

Ultimately, there are numerous opportunities for those of you who are looking for a side income opportunity.However, it is important to clarify the admissibility of secondary employment with the main employer in advance, so as not to risk a warning or dismissal. You should also make sure not to exceed certain income limits. Otherwise, the additional income from tax deductions can quickly turn out to be zero. In the end, you have to decide for yourself or calculate whether a secondary job is worthwhile and which one is the right choice for you. But you should also be aware that you will lose valuable free time - and after all, money is not everything in life.

Reading tip: Part-time self-employed: The best tips for founders

What sideline do you have? Or are you fundamentally against additional income and why? What is it about being self-employed as a part-time job? Is it worth it and what do those affected have to pay attention to? We thank you for your additions in the comments!

Photo by Mar Newhall on


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