How to Manage Multiple Jobs

Nowadays, it is not uncommon for people to have more than one job. In fact, in some cases, it’s necessary for people to hold down more than one job to make ends meet – it’s a tough world out there! So here’s a little advice on how to manage working more than one job if you are trying to do so, or if you are thinking of taking on an extra job.

A second income or just a little extra cash sounds good to anybody in any financial situation, but taking on a second (or third!) job can be difficult and the decision to do so should not be taken lightly.

First of all there are a number of things that need to be considered before jumping into employment;

  • How much do you need to bring home from the job in order to see any real difference in your income?
  • Are you prepared to commit yourself to another job or would other priorities jeopardise your commitment?
  • Will this second employment enable you to obtain other skills/qualifications that could be useful in the future?
  • Will your performance in your current job suffer in any way as a result of working multiple jobs?
  • Are you taking on another workload purely for financial reasons, or as a way of making contacts or building on skills/qualifications you may need to get onto your chosen career path?

There is a difference between working multiple jobs just for the extra cash, or doing it to better your career options.

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Personally, I think in some ways it is probably easier to manage multiple jobs if extra cash is the reason for doing so. If this is the case for you then the best way to manage multiple employment is to consider what you want from your second (or third) job. Look for something that offers flexible hours, such as waiting on, bar service etc. Then if possible, try to fit your weekly hours into the lowest number of days you can. If it’s part time this should be fairly easy, and this way you’re not bogged down by work, day and night, every day of the week and you can still have some sort of social life to keep you sane.

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Also, it’s a good idea to take on a second job that you won’t have to take home with you. Nobody wants to take work home with them from their main employer, so don’t take on a second one that would mean you will be doing the same! You’re doubling your workload unnecessarily and if the workload gets on top of you, the novelty and excitement of having the extra cash may not seem worth it for very long.

Being able to manage your time efficiently is absolutely essential to being able to keep up more than one job at any time. You will need to come up with a system that works for you; a system that allows you to give the needed amount of time to each job, and that allows you to pencil in some time off to yourself too.

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This time management element is also necessary if you are taking on additional jobs as a way of just doing something you enjoy doing, or doing something that will contribute to a brighter career path in the future. By setting yourself time limits for each individual job, or project etc, you are keeping on top of the workload and are less likely to feel like it is getting on top of you, and more likely to do a good job in both roles.

Another good idea would be to try to acquire a set shift or work time pattern. Most job roles allow people to have set days off or set hours to work, so make this the case for any additional jobs also. Take a look at the working times and days you are undertaking at your current job. If you want to get a little creative – and maybe slightly overly organised – you could actually pin up a time table somewhere with all these hours and days written on and highlighted, so you can visualise you dedicated work pattern.

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Consider when, where and how another job would fit in nicely with your current schedule, and try to incorporate any new working hours around this. This also enables you to allocate yourself certain days (should you be so lucky!) or half-days where you don’t have to do any work and you’ll feel less overwhelmed.

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Regardless of the motive for taking on an extra job, at times it is going to be hard and you may wonder why you’re bothering. To combat, or at least minimise this happening, it could be a nice idea to have your money from your second job going into a separate account. This way you can watch it all add up, and each time you feel like it’s not worth you, that small stack of money that keep growing by the month will remind you of why you are doing it.

Similarly, you could write down a list of all the new contacts you have made whilst doing this second job, or all of the new skills you’ve acquired etc, and add those skills to your CV. Physically seeing what you are acquiring from multiple jobs can only be a good thing, and will surely motivate you to carry on.

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So to sum up, if you’re thinking of taking on another job, or if you already have but are struggling, write down a list of reasons of why you are doing it, what the possible benefits of doing so are, and remember that time management is key. Making time for yourself, or to spend with friends and family is just as important, and by planning your time effectively, you may very well excel in both (or all) job roles, and in your social life.

Written by Katy James

@katyannejames

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