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Getting a Second Job - Is It Worth It?

Getting a Second Job - Is It Worth It?

One way of earning more money is to get a second job. But is it as simple as it sounds, and is it worth doing? We find out.

Usually when you are thinking about getting a second job it's because you need the money. Whether this is to pay off debt, allow you to save (or save more), or to have more money for retirement, more money is the usual motivator.

But there are other reasons to pursue another job which you may not of considered:

New career options

You never know where life will lead you. And it is the same with a job. Whether you take the time to plan a second job to take you in a new career direction, or it simply happens that way, taking on a new job could lead you to new experiences and a new life!

Fights boredom

If all you are doing is sitting on the couch watching re-runs or sub-par TV shows or checking your Facebook every five minutes (or both), it might be time to start doing something productive like working a second job.

Expands your skills

Getting another job, especially if it is an area completely different to your primary one, is a great way to gain new skills. You may also hone your current skills or expand on the ones you already have.

Looks good on your resume

Working in various industries and areas will look good to prospective employers as it will show you are hardworking and can handle different situations.

Make new friends and connections

Many people find new friends where they work. And having extra connections is always a positive. You never know who you may meet!

Gives you motivation

Whether you are stuck in a rut or just tired of your current life, getting a second job and meeting new and interesting people may be the shot in the arm you have been looking for.

All about the money

Let's assume your primary motivation is still money. Before you start, it's a good idea to know why you want more money and have a plan in place. What follows is a list of questions you may want to ask yourself before you start looking in the want ads.

Will this second job just be for the short-term, or is it more a medium or long-term prospect?

As part of your plan you should decide how long you want to have a second job for. Even a rough idea is better than nothing.

This will depend a lot on why you are getting a second job. If you are paying off debt for example, you may only want a second job until your debt is paid off. Or if you are looking for a new career, a longer time frame may be in order.

What do you want the money for?

If money is the primary motivator, think about why you want it - is it to pay off debt, start saving, for your retirement, a trip overseas. And make sure you use the extra funds for this purpose alone.

How much do you need?

Working out how much money you will need before starting out is a good idea. It will allow you to figure out how long you will need to work for. For example, if you want to save $5000 to start investing, and the new job will net you $200 per week extra, then you will need to work for 25 weeks - or roughly 6 months.

What skills do I have to help me find a job?

Listing the skills you have will go a long way to giving you a better idea of what jobs you could apply for, or give you some direction around finding a way to make money online.

Are there any restrictions with my current employer?

Before you jump in, find out from your current employer if they have any rules around working second jobs, or on what jobs you can or cannot do. While your private life should be just that, there may be some conflict of interests depending on what second job you take.

Do I want to do something similar or something completely different?

Think about what you want to do. You may want to do something very similar to your current job, or something completely different. Some recommend working in a very different industry as it will add variety to your working life. If you work in an office, for example, then think about waiting tables or working as a bartender.

When do I have the time to work?

Think about when you can work. Can you work in the evenings? Or do you have some prior commitments? How are weekends for you? Remember you will need to have some time to rest and socialize as well.

Ideas for that second job

I love my job

To get you thinking about what job you may like to do, here are some common examples of jobs that would be good for a second job:

  • Bartending
  • Retail Assistant
  • Dog Walker / Pet Sitting
  • Mowing lawns
  • Kids Sports Coach
  • Cleaner
  • Night Packer for a retail store
  • Baby-sitting
  • Working Online
  • Cab Driver
  • Bus Driver
  • Pizza Delivery Driver

Use your talents

You don't have to be limited to the above common jobs however. You could always try and use your skills to create a second job for yourself. Some examples of this include:

  • Blogger/Writer
  • Consultant
  • Designer
  • Tutor

The downside

While the extra money (or other benefits) may be worthwhile and nice to have, there are some negatives to taking on a second job:

Don't let your second job impact your primary job

Having a second job can be exhausting and being tired will almost certainly impact on your primary job. Be careful not to take on too much.

Stay healthy - both physically and mentally

Working two jobs can bring in more money but it will also decrease the time you have to relax, keep fit and interact with other people - all important things in your life. Make sure you allow enough time, energy and motivation to keep fit and eat well.

Think about how it will impact your lifestyle (free time, down time, hobbies)

You will almost certainly have less time to devote to other projects and people in your life. Make sure you have enough time and energy to devote to these.

Will this affect your home jobs (cleaning the house, looking after your kids, etc)?

Don't forget to factor in your home duties as well. Cooking, cleaning, mowing the lawn, washing clothes - all of this takes time.

Look at the whole picture before deciding

Create a plan and make sure you have considered everything before going out and getting a second job.

Think of how this will impact others in your family

If you have a partner or family then think about getting a second job may affect them. You will almost certainly see them less - are they okay with this? If you have children, are you willing to give up time with them?

How do you find a second job?

So, you have decided to go ahead and get a second job. What are the best ways to find one?

Network and ask

Get out there and start asking around and letting people know you are looking for a second job. Start asking the right people about what they do and whether they know of any work.

Update your CV

Make sure your resume is up to date and is tailored for the sorts of work you are looking for. And don't forget about using the social networking website LinkedIn, which allows you to tell others about yourself and gives you a chance to network with others in various industries.

Respond to online ads

Start looking online for jobs. You can use the major job search sites and most have email alerts you can create in case something in your chosen industry comes up. Apply for all you think you could do.

Target companies you really want to work for

If you have a particular industry or company in mind, then find out more about it and target it with more personal approaches. Use social media to find out more about the company and who works there.

Turn a hobby into an income stream (blogging, sewing, gardening)

Think about what you do for fun and see if it could be turned into something more.

Use your current skills (consulting, design, tutoring)

Use your skills to develop a business.

Pound the pavement

Walk around your neighbourhood and look out for help wanted signs or chat with business owners you come across.

Be aware of opportunities

Just be alert for any opportunities. If you hear people talking about a new business opening up then ask them more about it. Keeping your eyes and ears open can do wonders.

Put the word out to your family and friends

Tell everyone you know you are looking for a second job - they may just know someone who is looking for someone just like you!

How do you feel about getting a second job? Is this something you would do?  

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