Flexible woman on office deskFor most people, finances are an everyday concern. The need for money is everywhere: groceries, rent, child care, utilities, taxes. Everything has a price (expect the best things in life) meaning your life will always consist of you paying for something. And with the rough economy and high costs of living, it’s becoming harder and harder for most Americans to make ends meet and/or to save.

Many workers are now turning to extra employment e.g. a second job. I have had two jobs at once multiple times while in school and I know countless people who have done or currently do the same. An old friend of mine worked three jobs: his primary 7am-3pm office job, evenings as a grocery store clerk and weekends at a warehouse. Sounds exhausting, but multiple positions are becoming the norm for today’s worker. Why?

Top Reasons People Take on a Second Job

Extra cash

Who couldn’t use this? Extra income is often the primary reason an individual will work at multiple jobs. Although the second (or third) job’s pay is usually less than his or her primary pay, it still helps the worker add extra income to his or her household. An additional $150-$200 a week can mean the difference between paying off a debt or not.

Enhance resume

Juggling multiple jobs, and especially doing it well, takes a lot. You need to be disciplined to excel in both positions. Future employers will take note of multiple jobs on a resume, especially if the person accomplished a lot during his or her time at different companies. This can show employers you’re not only a hard worker, but dependable, dedicated and efficient.

New industry

A second job is also a way of getting your foot in the door of a new industry. Perhaps you’ve worked in HR all your life, but you’ve always had a longing desire to cook professionally. Adding a second job in the food service industry will help you get a taste of that field and give you the opportunity to decide if you want to fully pursue your interests or not.


Some companies, especially small businesses and startups, simply cannot offer their employees any benefits. Or maybe your once bountiful benefits package has continually seen cuts over the year due to company finances. There are many places that offer benefits, especially for part-time workers. Starbucks, Trader Joes and Target are just a few of the many employers workers can receive benefits from to compensate for a lack in their primary positions.

Improve social skills

Many jobs today require workers to sit in front of a computer for eight hours a day. Besides occasionally talking to a coworker, many employees may not continue to develop their social skills while in the office. A second job can help with that, especially if it’s in a customer service oriented field. Being a hostess, server or bartender at a local restaurant will help you meet new people while enhancing your people skills.

So there are plenty of reasons people take on another job, but the decision to do so shouldn’t be made lightly. Consider the following four suggestions if you’ve caught yourself contemplating adding another position to your resume.

Things to do if you decide to take second job

Make sure it’s okay with your current employer. Be sure your company doesn’t have a rule against workers adding extra employment (especially with certain companies). Be careful of this step as an employer may question your commitment or ability to handle multiple jobs.

Factor in additional work hours to your current schedule. Are you looking for another full-time job or just a part-time position? Will you be willing to give up your weekends if the second job calls for it? Think about the time commitment you currently have and the new hours from another job that can be added to it to determine if that much work is realistic for you.

Decide if the overall compensation is worth the extra work. Money isn’t everything and you shouldn’t overwork yourself just to get more of it. Evaluate the pay of the second job and the hours required. Then think about all you’ll have to do on top of your other priorities. Examine the advantages and disadvantages for taking a second job. Overall, is it worth it?

Think outside the box. Unless you absolutely love your current position and cannot wait to get to work each day, avoid getting a second job in your current field. Life is short, so have some fun. Think outside the box and take a second job that’s different from your current position. Work as a barista, be a promoter, walk dogs. Whatever there is to do that seems interesting and varies from your current work. You’re already skilled in that area/field, why not challenge yourself and try something new to gain more skills?

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