The benefits of a second job

For many people, the thought of working more than they have to is an alien concept.  But making more money is the easiest way to give yourself a financial boost, especially if it’s in a field that you enjoy or done during a time where you wouldn’t be doing anything anyways – you can even make money at parties! I’m working this Sunday at the the research centre.  I’ve been on their casual list for several years now.  I used to work there almost once a week, but lately, there have not been that many shifts available to me.  That’s fine, since I don’t need the money and I am busy with other projects, but when they do give me a shift, once every month or two, it’s a great windfall.  I get $150 of unbudgeted money which I can allocate towards short term goals or dump into debt.  This time, I’m planning on using it towards gift-giving money.

Original by FLEECIRCUS at http://www.flickr.com/photos/fleecircus/5476524814/

As a side bonus, this job (like many other mindless side jobs) leaves me with lots of time to do other things while I work.  I’m planning on getting some studying done and working on some writing during down time.

My mentor back when I was a student working in pharmaceuticals taught me the value of working a second job.  She was a manager and making $50k a year but she still worked once in a while on the weekends.  I remember being so shocked that a person making that much money would still need to work a second job, but now, I realize that it’s just good sense.  If you have the opportunity, why not?  And this person happens to be one of the most successful people I know (with a house and two rental units in Vancouver, a husband, a kid, and a horse!).  She must be doing something right!

Having a second job, even if it’s only something casual, also buffers you against unexpected job loss.  When I decided to quit my job a few years back, I wasn’t worried about cash flow because I had several sources of income that I could rely on.  I don’t want to imply that leaving a job is easy – it usually isn’t – but having alternative income sources offers an extra safety net that can make the leap a little bit easier.

So how do you go about getting a second job?  Consider starting with your interests first – is it clothes, wine, maybe books?  It’s often easy to find part-time work in retail that relates to your interests.  Often these types of jobs come with discounts that you can use to fuel your hobbies and you may actually enjoy the work as well.  I worked at a bookstore for a while and it was one of my favourite retail jobs.  We got to borrow hardcover books for free and could purchase books at a steep discount.

Maybe you have a skill that you can leverage within your current field.  For me, I have a variety of research skills that I was able to use in a part time job.  I’m vastly over qualified for this particular part time job – indeed, many people would consider it “beneath” them – but what do I care?  It’s good pay for mindless work, happens once in a  blue moon, and lets me accomplish other tasks while at work.  Depending on your skills and interests, it might even be feasible to set up a business on the side.

And if that’s too much commitment for you, there’s always Craigslist.  Every month I see ads looking for people to help out on moving day.  It’s easy money and once you’re done, you’re done and you have the cash in hand.

Finally, once you have those extra skills or job sources, hang on to them.  You never know when they might come in handy.

**It’s easy to get overwhelmed with work though.  I was recently reminded that I have been neglecting some of my paid blog obligations so it’s time to get back to work on those items!

Posted in: Career and Work, Life Hacks

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