Professional Development

Should You Get a Second Job?

Written by Peter Jones

Not making enough to support your lifestyle? Need a little extra in the bank, or for your retirement account (it’s never too early!)? Here are 7 issues to weigh when asking yourself if you should consider taking a second job.

1. Your Money Situation

Are you drowning in debt from a big expense? Anticipating one soon? Or do you need a second job because your primary career isn’t paying you enough to live? If it’s the first thing, proceed. If it’s the second, think about changing jobs instead and shifting into something more lucrative. Otherwise, when contemplating a second job it’s best to make yourself a timeline of how long you’ll work that job to get yourself on more secure footing. Have an exit strategy in mind.

2. Your Current Job Security

If you’re worried about your job security at your current job, now may be an ideal time to take on a second. You’ll hedge your bets a bit. Just in case anything goes south at your first job, you’ll have a back up plan at least part-time to get you through.

3. The Possible Perks

Second jobs can be chosen to benefit you. For example, if you love clothes or makeup or even furniture, a second job in retail can give you access to deep discounts on the stuff you buy the most. That’s two ways you end up richer. Alternatively, you could find a second job in your industry that can increase your skill set and marketability in the long run of your career.

4. The Chance to Learn

If you’re contemplating a career or job change down the line, this is a great opportunity to get your feet wet and gain a little experience in another industry. A second job is like a paid internship, giving you a chance to explore your options without any serious commitment.

5. The Realities of Your Schedule

Really budget out your time and schedule—not just your paychecks and your bills. Do you have the time and physical stamina to work two jobs? If you’re up for it, but wary, make sure to give yourself an exit date and to consider erring on the side of shorter hours in your second job. There’ll be no use for extra cash if you’re too physically and emotionally exhausted to live your life.

6. Your Current Job and Its Demands

Don’t take a second job only to lose your first because you diluted yourself and eased up on your standard of work. Make sure that you don’t dip in time or energy to compromise what you are already doing.

7. Your Basic Priorities

The last thing you need to do is prioritize your life. Would you rather have the time to socialize with friends or to spend with your family or on a hobby—and perhaps draw your financial belt a little tighter? Or is the money your biggest, most dire need? Once you figure out what’s most important, the decision should (almost) make itself.


About the author

Peter Jones