About five percent of Americans are now working more than one job according to the U.S. Dept. of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. Reasons to work multiple jobs might include the following:
- Difficulty finding a full-time job
- Additional income requirements (paying down credit card or education debt, higher cost of living in new location)
- Schedule flexibility
- Working one job for money and the second for love of the job
- Gaining work experience in a higher or different role
- Wearing two hats for the same organization (for example, an internal accountant and an external consultant)
Whatever your reasons for working multiple jobs, learn to ease your stress by managing your time, scheduling your day and creating down time between roles.
Strategies for juggling multiple jobs
- Separate your jobs. Avoid checking email, answering calls or focusing on duties or projects for job number two while you are working job number one.
- Take a break between jobs. Relax, exercise and eat. Let one job go before you start the next.
- Avoid conflicts between your primary job and your second job by getting approval from your primary boss before you freelance or get a second job. Set boundaries and steer away from working for a competitor.
- Find a part-time job doing what you love or learning new skills. The extra hours will be easier and more valuable to you.
- Set a short-term goal or trial period for working a second job. Allow a couple of months to adjust to the new work schedule and routine.
- Strive for variety. If your primary job is physically challenging but doesn't require a large amount of critical thinking, consider a second job that might help you develop those skills. For example, two restaurant positions might be physically exhausting, but sedentary office work during the day and a waitressing job a few evenings a week might provide more balance.
- Think temporary. Keep your end goal in mind by finding one higher paying full-time job for paying down your bills or eliminating the reason for your second job as quickly as possible. Maintain your long-term vision and your career objectives.
Strategies for work-life balance
Achieving work-life balance when working multiple jobs is critical to your mental health and well-being. Strategies for maintaining that balance may include the following:
- Scheduling at least one day a week without work
- Exercising, eating healthy meals and getting plenty of rest
- Treating yourself to a day in the park with the kids, a pedicure or a great book on your day off
Discuss ideas or concerns about working multiple jobs, employment and achieving work-life balance with either a Military OneSource Health and Wellness Coach or a career coach at 800-342-9647. Read additional articles on the job search and work-life balance on the Employment Readiness lifecycle stage of MySECO. Consider contacting a mentor for suggestions and support through Military Spouse eMentor Leadership Program or Blue Star Networks.