I have seen a lot of questions on this site about avoiding working extra hours without compensation or maintaining work life balance. My question is how do you go about working extra hours for pay in the tech industry?
I work as a salaried software developer. However I do not work more than 50 hours per week. This leaves at least another 50 hours in the week that I must do something with. All of the recreational things I could do either cost money or do not earn money (net zero). I really like software development, and end up spending most of my time outside work doing programming. However I am not a rockstar programmer that can contribute anything other than minor bug fixes to major open source projects, so I don't really fit in with that community. Since programming is fun, I figured that I could just do another job, have fun solving problems, and actually get paid for it on top.
Is working more hours for pay something that companies will do, or will I have to find a remote job with flexible hours? I do not want to give my work away for free, but I really like working and find more enjoyment from programming and documentation than other activities. It would be a win-win if I could get paid for extra labor in programming. Is my only option working for two companies at once, which seems more difficult due to non compete?
I know the fiction is that salary employees are working as hard as we can and are giving very last drop of mental ability during the work week, but actually I am not exhausted and in a mental stupor for the rest of the time I am not working. There is still productivity left in me when I leave the office, and certainly on the weekend. I always complete my assigned tasks, but I have learned the hard way that I will not get paid any more for doing something in an especially clever or efficient way. I work for what I am paid, and force myself to leave once I am done with the assigned job tasks/time.