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How to Work Two Jobs, But Keep Your Head

Second jobs can be everything from part-time opportunities in an emerging field or personal projects that you'd like to make into a reality. Maybe you want to tackle something that your workplace can't offer you, or that can't sustain you, financially. Either way, a second job can be a great help to your career, or a great danger to your personal health and well-being. Here's how to deal with it all.

Second jobs can be everything from part-time opportunities in an emerging field or personal projects that you’d like to make into a reality. Maybe you want to tackle something that your workplace can’t offer you, or that can’t sustain you, financially. Either way, a second job can be a great help to your career, or a great danger to your personal health and well-being. Here’s how to deal with it all.

two jobs 

(Photo Credit: arj03/Flickr)

1. Tell Your Boss

Do You Know What You're Worth?

While moonlighting was once frowned upon or universally banned, nowadays, employers can be swayed if you present your second job as a boon for them as well. Be upfront with your boss about your second job, and how you will still put your first job … well … first. Have a strategy in mind for how you’ll manage your time and head space at both jobs (for your sake, as well as your boss’). Present your plan to your boss, not necessarily for their approval, but to open up the lines of communication and avoid any claims of subversion.

2. Ask for Help From Your Network

It’s important to talk to your close friends and family about your undertaking, and to get your helpers lined up. Your personal time is going to virtually disappear and you’ll need help in strange places, like doing laundry and feeding yourself at regular intervals. When that friend offers some babysitting or dog walking time, take them up on it! You don’t have to martyr yourself in the name of the job. Take the casserole when offered, accept help making the bed or the lunches for the morning, ask for assistance from your spouse or even your kids. When it comes to helping out, every little bit saves your sanity in the end.

3. Take Care of Yourself

Unless you plan on sleeping for eight minutes a night like Homer, you’re going to find that sleep and work might be your two main priorities. But, when the opportunity for self-care presents itself, take it! Go out and have a glass of red wine with friends, head to that day spa for a massage and a soak, head to the movies! Whatever can take your mind off your troubles and soothe your soul, it’s going to be good in the long run. Working yourself sick isn’t going to help anyone.

4. Prepare (Everyone) for Chaos

In addition to assistance at home, you’re going to need to brace your friends and even co-workers that you might be a little slower in the communication department. Maybe texts don’t get returned quite as quickly, or you need some advance warning to make “last-minute plans.” Know that the chaos of two jobs is likely not to be long-lived (after all, the whole two job thing isn’t usually a permanent situation). But embrace the chaos as a part of the bargain and you should do fine.

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What’s your best job-juggling advice? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


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