In Skyrim, during the thieves guild questline, do side jobs count towards the end restoration if you haven't yet finished the Thieves Guild questline? I understand that you can't restore the Thieves Guild until you finish the quest line, but will they count before then for the four cities that I have to do jobs in? I've restored the guild before but never actively done side jobs before the questline was finished.
TLDR: As soon as you can start doing "Small Jobs" for the Guild.
FWIW, I'll usually bring the holds back under control 1st so that I can:
- Bribe guards
- Spawn the remarkably lucrative Thief Caches which supply you with:
- Leveled Ammo
- Leveled Enchanted Daggers
- Lockpicks (you'll have so many that locksmithing perks become a waste.)
- Gems (Hello Smithing Experience!)
- Have more fence options.
- The Windhelm Influence quest gives access to Linwe's Armor that has different enchantments than the guild's armor but does combine with guild armor for light armor's set perk bonuses. Quite nice for the young rogue. I'm a big fan of the +15% bow damage on the hood.
- The extra shops in The Ragged Flagon don't hurt either.
... Waiting on the later parts of the main guild quest line until L46 so that I can get the best of the leveled rewards from it. Yes, I can be a bit of a munchkin. If you're interested, I'll get to the point in Speaking With Silence where Mercer asks you to join him in the frozen tundra and then leave him to chill out while I work on getting to L46. This allows me to start Hard Answers at a point where all the best versions of Nightingale gear is locked in.
Also you'll notice that the Cistern will have its decor upgraded and the tables/shelves will have more food/junk on them. With each city brought back under Guild control, one of the Cistern's entrances will gain a couple tapestries on either side of it. Eight total tapestries plus earning a fence in each Kajit caravan, and you're done with the side jobs to restore the guild. After that it's just the main quest line.