Workplace: Working Two Jobs

WWorking two jobs in college allowed me to graduate with little debt to repay. Early in my career, I hit a point of boredom that prompted me to keep the good-paying, insurance-providing job and add a second job, a direct-selling cookware line of products. Working two jobs kept my creative energies flowing.

Years ago, working two jobs included serving in the Idaho Legislature ($16,000 a year) and operating my now 25-year-old business. This public service/job opportunity taught me a great deal. I’m glad for having had the opportunity. However, it hurt my ongoing main-gig business, as it did for other self-employed legislators from around the state.

More recently (still 8 years ago), I picked up an employee contract for a while in addition to operating my ongoing business. (Think recession.) While the second job provided income and insurance – I was still literally losing money every month against the bare-bones expenses of our family. The hours at this money-losing job prevented me from focusing all efforts and energies on my main-gig business. Lesson learned!

A friend’s employer closed its business and she opted to take a job far below her capabilities and education levels so that she would have insurance coverage. She discovered that having this job allowed her to start her own business. In other words, there are many ways to be working two jobs and have those jobs be genuinely working for you.

When I hear stories of people working three or more jobs to make ends meet, I understand. Working two or more jobs may be a financial necessity; or a creative/spiritual necessity; or an insurance necessity. Reflect on how many jobs you are working each week.

Working two jobs for pay can look different than working one job for pay along with the many “jobs” we do at home, with our families, when volunteering, and when caring for others. Most of us are truly working multiple jobs that demand our time, attention, problem-solving skills, and resources. The key is to find a balance that replenishes us rather than depleting us.

Working two jobs may be a great fit for you and your energies. However, working two jobs may also deplete you in ways that are worth considering so that you can determine what workload is really the best for you. How many jobs are you working? Is this workload helping you?

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