According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 7 million Americans, or about 5 percent of the total U.S. workforce, are currently or working more than one job, otherwise known as “moonlighting” – including me.
My Moonlighting Tips for Success
The reasoning behind juggling multiple jobs varies – some do it for extra income (especially around the holidays), to gain more experience, or waiting for full-time employment in a future career. Whatever the reason, juggling two or more jobs can be challenging.
I'm a full-time career coach at Kuder by day and part-time college instructor by night. After working this schedule for five years, I've learned a trick or two to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Being able to stay on top of my responsibilities and still have some “me time” requires constant attention and care. Here are a few strategies that I've found most effective:
- Prioritize. Before taking on a second job, sit down and make a list of your priorities and a realistic schedule with additional time that allows you to breathe before going to your second job, whether it's a coffee run or a 20-minute nap (my personal favorite). This will help the transitioning period and boost not only your energy level, but also your mood.
- Be selective. Mindfully select jobs that relate to what you're already doing or involve something that relates to your interests not fulfilled by your full-time job.
- Be honest with your bosses. Tell them about your employment situation so they're aware when setting schedules or other functions that may affect your job. Remember that your full-time job has precedence over your part-time job.
- Set goals. Visualize the overall big picture of what you wish to accomplish. This is a great motivation tool when times get a little bumpy (and they will).
- Stay organized. Have a “To Do” list to stay organized at work and at home. I have a calendar on my phone and carry a small notebook with daily lists and reminders that have saved the day more than once.
- Focus on one job at a time. Keep your jobs separated to avoid confusion and unnecessary problems with your supervisors. Focusing on one job at a time allows you to apply 100% of your talents to each. Distractions can decrease work productivity and can affect your value as an employee.
- Reflect on your efforts. Take time to review your progress, think about your accomplishments, and gauge your level of satisfaction to determine whether having a second job is paying off or if changes need to be made.
- Don't forget about you. You're not a superhero. Burnout can be a dangerous side effect of juggling two jobs. With two jobs, even a cold can cause everything to come toppling down. Getting enough sleep and eating a healthy diet gives you fuel to manage a hectic schedule.
- Lean on your support network. Turn to them when you need to vent or let off steam so stress doesn't affect your work performance or relationships.
- Keep in mind this schedule isn't meant to be forever. Whether it's for short-term financial gain, to spread your wings and expand your skills, or for the sheer fun of it, remember that working two jobs is a means to an end.
Whatever the reason you're considering taking on a second job or are already doing so, you're not alone. Talking to a career coach can help you determine the next avenue to pursue to satisfying full-time employment.
- work-life balance