As the cost of living continues to rise and bonuses and raises are hard to come by, many people in the workforce are/have been considering taking on a second job. Some choose to pick up shifts in a local store or restaurant, some take on freelance opportunities and others start their own business for a creative side hustle.
But taking on a second job, while it comes with many benefits, also comes with considerations. Things like making time for yourself, time management skills and even meal prepping become more important than before.
Things to keep in mind when working multiple jobs
While you might just be seeking a little extra income, the truth is your second job is still a job requiring attention and commitment. In order to continue giving 100% to both workplaces, you’ll have to take into consideration and implement some simple, yet effective, lifestyle changes.
Time management takes on a whole new meaning when you’re scheduling two jobs. For some, this might not be a challenge if you work freelance and have the flexibility of making your own hours and working from home. You won’t need to consider commuting time or schedule conflicts.
For others, it might become vastly important to stay on top of your schedule. Especially if you’re working retail or shifts at a restaurant, you’ll want to ensure scheduling hours don’t collide with your day job. By keeping track of shifts in a planner and always double-checking before picking up extra hours, you’ll be able to manage your schedules with ease.
You might be wondering what in the world meal prepping has to do with working multiple jobs, but when you’re running from one workplace to the next and haven’t planned what you’ll be eating in the meantime, odds are stopping for fast food will quickly become a habit.
However, this can take a toll on both your health (which is crucial to maintain with a busy schedule) and your wallet (which defeats the purpose of extra income in the first place). In order to avoid this, all you need to do is strategize what you’ll be eating throughout the week and take time on your day off to prepare your food ahead of time.
It can be tempting to work back-to-back shifts and endless hours when your paychecks reflect your hard work. But this lifestyle isn’t sustainable and is a slippery slope into burnout if you’re not careful.
Taking time for yourself—and not just an hour or two in the evening after work—is essential to successfully working multiple jobs. With an entire day off, you can complete errands, meal prep, sleep in and spend quality time with friends and family. Prioritizing rest and leisure not only gives you the chance to regroup, it gives you the stamina to keep up with your workload.
The work itself
If you’re seeking a second job, consider your first one and ask yourself what would be beneficial to do in addition? Maybe you work a 9-to-5 at a desk and want something that gets you moving —consider landscaping or gardening in a local greenhouse.
Perhaps you work in an animal shelter, but would like to start taking steps towards becoming a vet —try taking on a weekend shift as a vet assistant in a nearby clinic.
You might use your second job to hone your skills in a field you’re already comfortable with, or you might use it as a safe way to learn new skills and break into a new career field entirely. No matter what, make sure it’s something you find interesting and want to spend your time doing.
Your first job
While it might be true that your second job won’t affect your first one in the slightest, it should be noted that your first job should remain your priority. Of course you don’t want your performance to suffer at any place you work, but while you’re juggling multiple jobs, try to be self aware in regards to your performance.
Is your first job suffering your absence as a result of your time being stretched thin? Are you afraid of upsetting your first boss if they find out about your second job? Is your quality of work declining since you don’t have the energy anymore?
These things are all important to be aware of when working multiple jobs. Make sure you understand your company’s policy on second jobs (especially regarding conflict of interest), be as transparent with both supervisors as possible and continue taking care of yourself so that you can give your best to both. And if you do feel yourself overwhelmed, take the time to reassess when needed.
Your mental health
Having a little extra income is always nice, but it shouldn’t cost your mental health. While working multiple jobs, stay in touch with yourself and be honest about your mental state. If you find the stress becoming chronic, feel anxiety about overcommitting or observe any other conditions as a result of work, consider taking a step back or taking the time to learn effective coping and relaxation methods to help you balance your work and life.