There are many reasons why one would choose to work two part-time jobs, instead of one full-time job. Perhaps you have made this choice because you enjoy the variety or want to diversify your skill set. Perhaps a job you enjoy can offer you part-time hours and you need to make up the difference. Perhaps this setup gives you the freedom to do what you love. Whatever your reasons, by managing your schedule, working to keep your stress-levels low, and tending to your life at home, you can work two part-time jobs effectively.
Managing Your Schedule
Attain two compatible part-time jobs. In order for you to work two part-time jobs, they need to occur at different times. Search out part-time work in your area through various channels. Look for jobs that occur on different days of the week, or different times of day. Another option is to find one job that involves working from home. You may try online resources (like Monster, Glassdoor, or Career Builder), look on Craigslist, or search in your local newspaper. Carefully follow the instructions on the job calls, submit the necessary materials, and with any luck, participate in some interviews.
Be strategic with the jobs you select.
Two very different jobs will give you more variety and keep you on your toes.
Two very similar jobs may help you if you’re on a specific career path.
Be sure you are looking for part-time work.
Keep your schedule consistent. The smoothest way to accomplish working two part-time jobs is to figure out, and maintain, a consistent schedule. If you can keep your schedule the same from week to week, working both jobs will become a comfortable routine.
Be honest with those around you. It may be tempting to try and keep your jobs secret from one another. However, if your employers and/or clients are aware that you’re working multiple jobs, they can give you the time you need to get things done. They may be more respectful of your schedule. They may view you as an even harder worker.
Make sure each employer understands that you can only work part-time from the beginning.
The sooner you inform your employers of one another, the better. You may consider mentioning it in your interview.
You may say, “Will it be possible to maintain a consistent work schedule? I work Mondays and Wednesday evenings for [name of other employer], so I will not be available. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays you will have my full attention.”
Plan your week ahead of time. If you’re not able to keep a consistent schedule from week to week (or even if you are), it is a fantastic idea to sit down and plan your whole week in advance. Use a paper planner, or an online one, to pencil in both jobs, commuting times, breaks, and any other obligations or chores. Use different colors for various activities to help keep you organized.
Keep your jobs separate. It is important to resist overlapping your jobs and trying to do both at once (such as being logged into a telecommuting job, while on the clock at your office job). Combining jobs may seem like an efficient use of time, but in actuality, you will make mistakes and both jobs will suffer.
Keeping Your Stress-Level Low
Aim for a short commute. One of the keys to managing two part-time jobs is keeping your stress-level low. One way to accomplish this is to aim for a minimal commute. If both of your jobs are close to one another (and ideally also close to home), then you will be able to travel between them more easily. This will minimize the time you could spend worrying about getting to work on time. Keep location in mind when selecting your jobs.
If working two jobs close to each other is not an option, consider working different jobs only on different days.
This way, you won’t need to travel between them.
Make a daily checklist. In addition to maintaining a consistent schedule and planning your week ahead of time, it is important to create a new checklist each day. When you are working more than one job, it can be easy to get confused and let obligations slip. Instead, each morning sit down and make a list of everything you need to accomplish that day at each of your jobs. Then when you are at work, simply move down the list, tackling projects one by one.
Set limits for yourself. An important component of managing multiple jobs is remembering to sometimes say “no.” You are not going to be able to always take the overtime, or the extra project, or attend every training seminar. Working multiple jobs will have you stretched thin, and you will need to protect the precious time that you have.
Set limits for yourself, such as maintaining one full day off each week, never working past 7:00pm, or never exceeding 50 hours per week.
Plan some breaks. Along the same lines as setting limits, it is crucial for you to plan some breaks into your work schedule. If you do not prioritize taking breaks, you are likely to burn out. When you are figuring out your schedule, aim for at least a two-hour break between jobs, and one full day off each week.
Truly take some time off. In order for your breaks to be effective, you must really use them as breaks. When you’re not working, don’t think about work. When you are on break, don’t check email or try to get caught up on work-related tasks. Instead, spend time with friends and family, simply sit and enjoy a meal, or do something else fun to get your mind off of work.
Managing Your Home Life
Work out a budget. When you have more than one revenue stream, it is important to keep careful track of your income and spending. Take some time to figure out how much money you plan to bring in, and how much you will need to spend on expenses. Make sure you plan to put some money away in case of emergency.
You may need to consider budgeting some extra money for health insurance.
When working two part-time jobs (instead of one full-time job), you may not be offered insurance through your work.
Plan your meals. When you are working two part-time jobs, you will not have as much time to prepare healthy food. As such, it is important to take some time to plan your meals ahead of time. Otherwise, you will end up wasting money on quick food options and jeopardizing your health.
Consider using a slow cooker. You can add ingredients before work and come home to a nice meal.
Consider making large batches of food on your day off and eating leftovers throughout the week.
Find time to exercise. With so much time spent working and commuting, it may be easy to let exercise go by the wayside. However, working toward good health will be a crucial factor in allowing you to maintain both jobs effectively. This will help you reduce stress and stay focused.
Set aside just 20-30 minutes per day to do something active.
Try taking a walk on your lunch break, doing a quick yoga practice before work, or completing a step-aerobics video in the evening.
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Talk to your family. Whenever you make a big life change, it is important to talk things over with your family. The decision to work two part-time jobs can have a big effect on your spouse and/or kids. Be sure to talk things over with them and work together to make a plan. This way, you can effectively juggle home responsibilities as a team.
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