Since the recession of the late 2000s, many Americans have found that the only jobs they can find are part-time. While part-time jobs are great for teens or college students, for working adults, they’re less than ideal. If you’re struggling to pay the bills with a part-time job, the solution may be to take on a second part-time job.
But balancing two part-time jobs is tricky. Conflicting schedules can create problems, and workers risk getting burnt out from too much work. Still, in 2016 the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there are more Americans are taking on second jobs now than in past years. In September of 2016, the number of workers with two or more jobs reached 7.8 million. Of those, 2.1 million were working two part-time jobs.
As those 2 million Americans could tell you, holding two part-time jobs is hard, but not impossible. With a little planning, you can make it work.
Finding a Second Job
Before you can think about balancing two part-time jobs, you’ll need to find a second job. Finding the right job can make it a lot easier (or a lot harder) to have two jobs. First, think about your current work schedule. If you work the same hours each day, it will be easier to find a second job that works for you. For example, if you currently work mornings, find a job where you’ll only be required to work afternoon or evening shifts.
If you work unpredictable hours, finding another job can be trickier. You might need to discuss your options with your boss. Tell them about any potential second jobs and see if they can help you switch to shifts that will work for your new schedule.
Many workers are turning to non-traditional options, such as telecommuting or freelancing. Finding a job that allows you to work from home or on your own time can make it easier to balance two jobs.
Of course, finding a job that fits your schedule is easier said than done. Job hunting is hard enough without the challenge of working around your current work schedule. Most job-seekers today are looking for jobs online. Recruiters are looking for employees online as well. In fact, 77 percent of all job recruiters are required to look up candidates online. The Internet is a great way to search through hundreds of jobs quickly and find the one that works for you.
Start by looking at local job sites. New Yorkers, for example, might check out New York Jobs. If you already have one job, odds are, you’re not looking to relocate. Finding a job close to home can also help cut down on the time you’ll spend commuting between home and both jobs.
Most people are worried about their work-life balance. With two jobs, you’ll have to worry about balancing both jobs and the rest of your life—you might call it the work-work-life balance.
First, it’s important to prioritize. Does one of your jobs pay better or offer more opportunities for advancement in your career? Focus on that job first. There will may be times when your performance at one job must suffer due to the other job, so it’s crucial that you know where your priorities lie.
Another key is to keep your jobs and personal life separate. Don’t try to do too many things at once. If you’re on a phone call with a client from one job while typing a report for your second job, you’re going to get mixed up and overwhelmed. Be clear about when you’re “on the clock” for each job.
Some employees prefer to have two completely different jobs to help mix things up. If both your job has you sitting in an office in front of a computer, you might take a second job where you’ll be on your feet and interacting with customers. This can make your life feel more balanced and a little less stressful.
Working two jobs can make it tough to have any kind of personal life, but you should still strive to make time for yourself. If you can, try to arrange your work schedules so you have at least one day a week off. Otherwise, you may become overwhelmed and stressed out.
With smart planning and the right mindset, it’s entirely possible to find two part-time jobs that complement each other perfectly and don’t leave you feeling burnt out.