How to Work Two Jobs at Once (And Not Go Crazy!)
There are many reasons to work two jobs at once. Of course, the most popular reason is to make more money. Sometimes people work to make extra money for a vacation or savings.
Other times, it is helpful to work a second job during the holiday season; you can get a great discount and extra cash. Sometimes people simply work a second job in retail to get the discount the entire year. Whatever your reason, it can be a difficult task.
I am not claiming to be an expert in this matter, but I've been known to work two or even three jobs at the same time. It is not always fun, but sometimes it is necessary.
Find Out If You Are Permitted to Have a Second Job
Are you already working a full-time job but not making ends meet? The first thing you need to consider is whether you are allowed to do more work.
Some companies will not allow their employees to work a second job, or other companies require you to ask permission first. Refer to your employee manual to determine if your position falls into either of those categories.
If you learn there are restrictions regarding a second job, you need to decide the best course of action from there. To be perfectly honest with you, if you are not making ends meet and you have to find a second source of income, you may consider getting the second job and just not mentioning it to anyone.
It is obviously not an ideal situation, and I am not telling you to do it, but these things happen. If you do decide to take your chances, you need to have a plan. In what ways is it possible for you to be found out? Do you have a good story to tell if it does happen? Are you going to cry and beg for forgiveness, or are you going to pretend you did not know the policy? You must have a plan should this situation occur.
Managing the Second Job
Before you start the second job, you need to think about time. If you already work at an office, probably the only job available will be restaurant or retail work.
Haven't worked in retail or at a restaurant in a while? Don't worry. I took quite a break from it myself but had to go back to find a second job.
Haven't ever worked in retail or at a restaurant? You may have a tougher time, but you should still be able to get something. Most managers are excited that you are capable of holding down a job, and they will usually give you a shot.
The managers are usually pretty decent about giving you evening and weekend hours. You need to be really clear on the hours and insist the managers keep up their end of the deal. If the manager starts giving you too many hours or too few hours, don't panic. You need to have an honest discussion.
Certainly, if you are supposed to get off work at 5 and they are scheduling you to come in at 4, that is not acceptable. The first mistake is an honest mistake. The second time is annoying. The third time is when you quit. There are other jobs out there, and you can't lose your main source of income over something like that.
Variety Really Helps
When picking jobs, whether you are looking for a two or three part-time job combo or a full-time and part-time combo, it is important to consider how the jobs will mesh with each other. I can tell you from experience that it is very difficult to work two customer-service-oriented jobs at once.
Sometimes you are working about 60 hours a week with a variety of customers. You could be dealing with everything from total psychos to grumps. If you opt to go that route, it is going to be really tough to do that for a long time. If you are only working as a temp, you can probably pull it off. I wouldn't recommend it beyond that, though.
You also want to think about how much physical activity is involved in both positions. Ideally, a job at a desk and then a second job on your feet works well. If you can get a second job doing stock, that works even better than working with the public.
You usually stay out of the customer's way, and after sitting at a desk all day, who wouldn't want to stretch their legs? Of course, sometimes, it becomes a tiresome task. If at all possible, stock jobs tend to work better if they are weekend only, but it can be done (at least for a while) at night, as well.
The Sacrifices You Make for Work
Now, let's talk about some sacrifices you will need to make. No, I am not talking about sacrificing live animals or anything like that. Hopefully, your second job won't be that bad! Do you have friends and family? You are not going to see them that much. Do you like free time? Kiss most of that goodbye. If you have pets, make sure you can take care of them or make plans so that someone can. It is really hard sometimes.
Keep in mind that sometimes you will need some "me time" and don't be afraid to ask for it. I am not saying you need to ask for a day off once every week or two. I've worked with people like that and, trust me, everyone finds that behavior annoying. Don't be that person! However, it doesn't hurt to make sure you have a weekend off every now and then. Also, if you have vacation time at your primary job, by all means, take a day off here and there. You are only human.
The Perks of Having Two Jobs
I know all of this can be a downer, but here are some of the perks. Do you like money? Well, you'll have more of it. Would you like to make new friends? Chances are, you will. Nothing bonds a group of people together more than whining about work. Do you like discounts? If you work in retail, you will get some. Do you want to see how far you can push yourself? You will learn you can do it if you have to do it. You may even find you are really proud of what you are able to accomplish.
Working two or more jobs can be very rewarding. Everyone should give it a try at least once. You may even find that you like it. Sometimes I absolutely loved it, but it really depends on the two jobs and how well they work together.
Plus, it never hurts to buy lots of caffeine.
Have you ever worked more than one job at a time?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2011 Jeannie Marie