How To Balance A Second Job

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By Lee Hurley

There are almost as many reasons for taking a second job as there are second jobs to take. Regardless of your reasons for needing, or wanting, a second job, there are a few things to keep in mind to help you be successful in both roles. Here are a few tips to help you navigate a two job lifestyle.

Vary the work

I have a friend who delivers pizzas at night. He has a complicated daytime job selling mortgages and this is the perfect second job for him. Why? First, he can set his own schedule and, second, it’s a completely different type of work for him which allows him to not burn himself out doing the same thing at night as he does during the day. In the daytime, he crunches numbers. At night he meets people and works for tips. Also, keep in mind that varying your jobs helps you find out ultimately what you enjoy doing the most. Experiment.

Be Honest

It’s a delicate balance explaining to your supervisor that you need or are taking a second job. The first thought you worry about is what anyone would worry about: will this second job affect your productivity at your main job. Miriam Caldwell of The Balance Careers recommends complete honesty with your manager about your second job which will eliminate any suspicion and keep you on your toes. A good boss will understand especially if you are not using one job to cut corners at another.

Take Care of Yourself

No one knows your limitations as well as you do but most of us push ourselves too hard and that’s only helpful until you fall asleep around 10:30 one morning after working 3 shifts. If your day job is extremely demanding physically consider something at night that doesn’t require as much strenuous effort. Examples include, call centers, walking dogs, tending bar, or night security.


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Set Goals

David Weliver from Money Under 30 offers this: “If you can, designate your extra income for something tangible, like paying off a credit-card or funding a savings account.” There is another side to this too. The vacation side. Slip a little away each night so you can work toward a few days off on a cruise ship or in the mountains. Planning a vacation is a real motivator. It can help bring sanity and imagination into some long hours.

Don’t forget about Uncle Sam

There are all types and sizes of additional jobs but every one of them comes with tax implications. It’s very tempting to pocket every penny you earn from a second job but sooner or later it will be pay-up time. Unless you have an iron discipline, make sure you give Uncle Sam his due upfront or else you will be very sad around April of each year. Something else that others don’t always think about is that working two jobs can move you into a higher tax bracket. Consult a professional. 


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Tags: Job Seeker Tips, Job Search, Job Search Advice, Work-Life Balance, Working, career develoment