Thinking About a Second Job?

There are those who get up and get things done and those who sit and complain. If you’re a get-r-done type of person, then you’re probably considering a second job to help you through financial problems.

Sometimes things are not always as easy as they should be, such is the case with a second job. While it might seem like a no-brainer when you need extra income, a second job comes with its own set of complications. It’s important to do your research before applying for a second job.

First, you have to consider your primary job. This should be your priority, never jeopardize a good income for a secondary income. Crack open that old employee handbook and read it carefully to make sure that your company will allow you to work at a second job. If you have any doubts, talk to your supervisor about it. As long as conflicts are kept to a minimum, most companies don’t care what you do when you aren’t at their place of work.

Next, decide if a second job will be worth the effort and hours. Second jobs are usually part-time and don’t pay as well. You may need to factor in the cost of extra childcare, also include any other costs such as uniforms, transportation and meals-on-the-go. If taking a second job doesn’t net you enough income to justify the effort, then you should look for other ways to save or make money.

When working a second job, it’s possible that schedules will conflict. What if both companies want you to work overtime on the same day? Unless you are Superman or Wonder Woman, you’ll have to sleep sometime. It’s best to work the overtime for your primary job and let your second job slide. But if you are like most people, you’ll try to do both. This might be all right for a very short time, but long term it could make you sick and you will miss out on the income from both jobs.

Once you’ve done your research and decided that a second job is the answer to your financial shortcomings, take your time and find one that will fit your existing schedule. Some fields to consider that usually have flexible hours are:

  • Bartending and most jobs in the fast food/ restaurant field
  • Any entry-level health care or nursing home facility jobs
  • Seasonal laborers
  • Taxi cab driving or chauffeuring
  • Security guards
  • Cashiers at mini-marts
  • Hotel housekeeping and janitorial positions

If none of these types of jobs appeal to you then consider your own skills. Can you turn them into something marketable? Many people are utilizing their talents and creating their own second jobs. Look around and find a need, then fill it. Often it’s just that simple. Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

  • Shade tree mechanic
  • Cook for shut-ins
  • Professional shopper
  • House sitting
  • Office, church, or house cleaning service
  • Pet walker/sitter
  • Landscaping
  • Trash hauling
  • Tutor
  • Sell Avon or Mary Kay
  • Sew alterations or tailor
  • Sell Crafts
  • Wash and detail vehicles
  • Clean out garages and attics
  • Teach computer
  • Run errands

Whether you work for someone else or turn to self-employment for a second job, it’s a good idea to earmark the extra income to pay off debts or build your savings account. Set specific goals to determine how long you will need to work an extra job. This will make it easier to endure all those extra hours that you don’t get to relax and spend time with your family. When you reach your goals, you might want to work a few extra weeks to put a little extra spending money in your account. Then drop the second job and schedule a well deserved vacation.

I know that through the years, I’ve worked many short-term second jobs. They got me through some rough times or helped me buy something I needed, like a car or an appliance. I was lucky that I could almost always find a bartending or waitressing job. As I look back, I’m thankful I was able to find second jobs when I needed them. My personal advice to anyone looking for a second job is to be open-minded. Look at this as an opportunity to experience a different field of work. You may not have ever thought about being a cashier or bartender, but you might enjoy it.

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8 Responses to Thinking About a Second Job?

  1. Michelle says:

    Very well thought out article. I’ve been working two jobs for the past year and although there are times where I wish I had more time, I really enjoy the second job – a phone operator at the cab company. Currently it’s helping me pay for an uninsured root canal. :) After that’s done, it’s going to help me pay off my credit card debt.

  2. Amber Jones says:

    This is a great post. I know many people who have to consider taking a second job to make ends meet, and that’s ok. If you are working towards a goal, it could help you attain it faster. Just never assume something is beneath you. I’ve always enjoyed working at a fast food restaurant or even a sit down restaurant. I enjoyed the interaction with people, getting them what they needed, in a timely fashion.. it would make their day! And you could see it on their face. They were happy. :)

  3. Rivver says:

    Great post, especially the first point about checking with your primary employer first. I know, for example, if you’re licensed to sell insurance, workers must receive premission from owners prior to taking a second job. One of the licensing req’s state if secondary employement is obtained, you must prove it will not interfere with being an agent or broker.

    Another thing to think about is taxes (at least in Canada, where I’m from). Employers are not required to deduct money from paychecks for federal taxes for PT employees and this can cause big problems come tax season!

  4. Panda Bear says:

    No way would I risk my life for some low-paying minimum wage crap job such as convenient store cashier or security job.
    I would go on welfare and food stamps first!!

  5. fathersez says:

    Great thought provoking post.
    What about MLM? Have you eliminated it as a non starter or is it a possibility, too? (You have mentioned Mary Kay / Avon, though)


  6. Getting a part time work at home job at home. I have work at home for several companies doing both inbound and outbound call center work at home.

  7. Alan says:

    I have a primary J-O-B, but I own a internet shopping business that “acts” like a second job, but is a true business with tax benefits.

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