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How to hold down two jobs without losing the plot

How to hold down two jobs without losing the plot

Holding down two jobs can be really tiring, taking a significant toll on your family or social life. You’ll need to be organised and committed to both roles. Obviously, the financial benefits may outweigh the negatives, but if you’re thinking of taking on a second job or already struggling with two, the following information may really help.

How to choose your second job

If you’re already working full-time, you need to work out how many hours you can realistically commit to in a second position. Even if your primary job is part-time, there’s a limit to how much more you can take on. Maybe you just need a short-term temporary job where you can make some quick cash or perhaps you just need to do a day a week on an ongoing basis.

It might be that you take on something similar to what you’re already doing or try something completely new. Just make sure there’s no conflict of interest. If it’s something you’re qualified to do you may be paid more, but taking on a new challenge could bolster your CV, providing you with new skills, experience and contacts. You could even offer consultancy services within your existing field in your spare time or use that experience to set up a side-line project.


How to schedule your time

If you’re working two jobs, it’s essential that you work out how best to organise your time. Think about how much time will be spent at work and travelling to and from work. If your workplaces are close together, it may be worth trying to go straight from one to the other. If they’re in opposite directions, you may want to try and split your days accordingly.

Think about any hobbies or social activities you may have to sacrifice for your second job. Is there any way of making them fit in or can you deal with giving them up for a time? It’s also important to consider to keep up with housework. Make a planner detailing how you will spend your time each week and place it on the fridge to remind you of what needs to be done.

Looking after yourself

If you take on too many hours you could suffer from burnout and be unable to work altogether. It’s vital that you find time to rest between shifts. Get plenty of sleep, eat well, exercise and try to have fun and do relaxing things around your work. Start by taking on just a few extra hours a week and then increasing your hours once you know you can cope.


What to do with the extra cash

You may be planning to save all the money from your second job for a particular cause, for example a wedding or a house deposit, or perhaps you simply need the second income to stay afloat. Work out your financial goal before you take on additional work. How feasible is it? How long will it take you to achieve it? Do you want a short-term fix or a long-term boost? Will you be able to cope with going back to a single wage if you’re only planning to work two jobs for a short period?


Other important questions to ask yourself

How will you ensure that you are able to give 100% to each role, and particularly your primary position? How flexible is your current and prospective employer? How will you fit a second job around any existing commitments you have? Will you have time to rest and recuperate? What benefits will you be offered, for example holiday and sick pay, bonuses or health insurance?