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Is taking a second job worth it in the long run?

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by Startacus Admin

working a second job

Taking on a new part-time job for a few hours a week can be a great way of supplementing your income, learning new skills, or simply getting away from your first job. But there are prices to pay and learning the arts of moonlighting can sometimes be painful – here are some of the considerations that you might wish to analyse before branching out to fill up your days away from your main job.

Pros

Another career?

While a second job might initially seem like an escape or just another way of making money, sometimes you might actually really grow to enjoy it more than ‘job one’. The grinding slog of 9-5 in an office might be a direct contrast to working part-time in a restaurant, leisure centre or theatre, or as a librarian, dog walker or tutor, and you might just find that your second role gives you more satisfaction than job number one. Also, of course, it gives you a back-up plan should job number one fail through redundancy or even – gulp – dismissal.

Extra money

The level of extra cash will depend on hours, the type of work and pay, but a little more in your pocket per month never hurts. Even if the additional money only pays off bills, or gives you enough for one or two nights out a month, then it could be construed as worthwhile. However, if the additional money does not counterbalance the negatives of working in a second job, then it might be worth giving it up.

New skills

A second role could provide you with additional training and abilities, that might boost your skillset. They could be practical and/or life skills, or perhaps physical skills, that you might take into everyday life or your future career.

Meeting other people

Maybe you’re working in two similar jobs and meeting similar people – or maybe the people in your second job are completely different. A classic example might be the office job and the gym instructor – two wildly divergent premises, that probably comprise a very different type of co-worker and client.

working a second job

Cons

Tax

With one, PAYE job, your tax is calculated and paid for you – you don’t need to worry about it because it’s gone before you ever receive it. Maybe your second job is the same. However, with multiple freelance roles and self-employed services, you will be responsible for filing your own returns. If in doubt, seek professional advice.

Boss number one

This writer was explicitly told, when he started as a journalist, that he would have to give up his part time job at Woolworths. There was no clash in hours and I argued my case – and in actual fact I put it off for six months before finally leaving. I had friends there and the extra couple of hundred pounds a month was useful.

Some bosses are happy for you to take on another job, but some contracts will not allow you to do so. And if your second job location could be construed as a competitor, you could be in danger of receiving a warning – or worse.  

Tiredness/stress

Is it really possible to perform two jobs, for a combined 12 hours a day (or more), to the best of one’s ability? Is it healthy to get home from one tough job and then just head immediately for another? Does it affect sleep and relationships? There’s little doubt that overwork can kill, across one job or two, so care needs to be taken. 


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Published on: 8th February 2017

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