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We always remember our teachers for the learnings and understandings they imparted to us. They have the greatest influence on society and youth, yet they face financial difficulty because of the profession they have chosen. This is the reason they have been forced to seek employment outside their work, (Hanushek & Rivkin, 2007), in order to provide for their families. This financial and emotional strain affected their class performance as teachers believed their jobs were quite stressful.
But in a study by Hanushek and Rivkin (2007), it is also revealed that not all teachers want to quit teaching because of salary concerns. Their research indicated that many teachers chose to move to a district that had “higher-achieving, nonminority, non-low-income students” in order to continue in their chosen profession (Hanushek & Rivkin, 2007, p. 76). So, the profession is certainly not a problem. The desire to explore other fields is the reason many faculties choose outside employment.
This rising trend of outside employment other than the academic contract can be termed “Moonlighting among the academicians”. It also includes the nature of the outside employment that may or may not be directly job-related.
Moonlighting in academics is indicative of full-time faculty burnout and a lack of challenging opportunities for full-time faculty. When faced with years of the same teaching workload(teaching and advising students) but limited opportunities and resources for professional growth, academicians turn outside their institutions to revitalise their career plateaus. The moonlighting includes activities such as publishing journal articles, original essays and poems, writing and editing textbooks, displaying art exhibits and making professional speeches as these activities fall outside of classroom teaching.
Palmer and Vaughan claim that administrators do not necessarily recognize, reward, or promote them among faculty. But still, Academicians are often found moonlighting more than the general workforce.
Is Moonlighting wrong?
With remote work and an online generation entering the workforce, moonlighting become the force. After Wipro fired 300 employees for ‘Moonlighting’,
The primary reasons for seeking outside employment are these two:
(1) an opportunity to “do something different” and
(2) extra income.
The additional benefits they derived from their outside employment are:
- Brings the real world to the classroom
- Helps to stay up to date with the Industry Trends
- Adds to the knowledge base of the faculty with first-hand practical exposure
- Gives credibility to the profession and beliefs.
- Personal practical experiences can be drawn in the classroom.
- Allows students to see that theoretical teachings are already applied skills and can be profitable.
- Gives a broader perspective of what students need to be taught.
- Provides an opportunity to stay on the cutting edge.
Disadvantages of Outside Employment:
- The faculty has burnout in a very personal way.
- Full-time community college faculty moonlight for other than economic reasons. Veteran faculty in community colleges may not lose their initial love for teaching or their dedication to the classroom; but if they become involved in outside employment that progressively captures their interest and time, their institutional commitment may diminish.
- The practice of job-related paid consulting is simply not discussed among the college chief administrative ranks. Universities have permitted and even encouraged faculty to secure consulting contracts and research projects to benefit both the faculty individually and the institution.
Recommendations for Outside Employment
- While planning for additional employment outside your academic institution, you should talk with your supervisor and have approval from administrative management. The management will decide whether the other employees will have an adverse effect on your performance or if there is a potential conflict of interest in the second job. If you receive approval to accept additional employment, but your job performance begins to deteriorate, you may be asked to give up the second job.
- The counselling and discussions should be appreciated among academicians and the administrative team, where both parties can have the discussion that their faculty may not be professionally fulfilled only by their full-time teaching contract or administrative responsibilities can be assigned to them by the administration.
- If moonlighting was fully disclosed, faculty might lose support in their ongoing quests to increase salaries while decreasing contractual obligations. This should be openly discussed and consent should be taken of faculty or other terms and conditions should be written down.
The moonlighting in academics indicates that full-time faculty feel a sense of individual invigoration by pursuing outside employment, yet institutional commitment may be diminished. The model used by Roger Baldwin for studying individual and institutional/environmental factors characterises faculty to further research on the degree to which college faculty become disengaged as a result of moonlighting, thus, losing institutional vitality.
Most presidents, CEOs and chancellors are not aware of the extent to which faculty moonlight and its impact on their institutions. It seems that there are, valuable lessons to be learned from what faculty do outside of their teaching contracts.
With all this, we see a silver lining in moonlighting for building up a “Portfolio Career”. You can build up Portfolio Career.