The number of Americans working two jobs — or more — is higher than it has ever been.
Recent data from the Census Bureau reveals that an estimated 7.8% of U.S. workers work more than one job, up from 6.8% in 1996.
The necessity of holding a full-time job plus one or two part-time jobs has become such a prominent part of our culture and economy, that several candidates in the most recent presidential election included it in their platform.
It continues to be a frequent talking point among economists and activists alike. Politics aside, public opinion and basic math prove that the more jobs you have, the more stress comes into your life. It is important (and very doable!) to practice self care to avoid burnout.
Tales from the Second Job Front
Zach Brandner, a recent college graduate in Washington, D.C., works in guest services at a museum during the day and his second job is as a server at a restaurant in the evenings.
“Of course in a dream world, I would be able to make ends meet with just one job,” he says. “But that’s not the case right now, so I’m just rolling with it.”
Brandner says he’s learned the hard way that juggling two jobs can’t push out self-care.
Statistically, women are more likely than men to work multiple part-time jobs. Summer Tuverson of Santa Monica, California, is in a similar situation as Brandner. She works at a doggie day care center and nannying.
“There are a decent amount of similarities between taking care of dogs and children,” she says. “Especially the cleaning up poop part.”
9 Tips on Working Multiple Jobs
With the help of Zach, Summer, and some experts, here are nine tips for maintaining self-care while working more than a single job.
1. Make Friends at All Your Jobs
Avoid the temptation to punch in, do your job, punch out and repeat.
Brandner: “I was pretty surprised to learn that there are actually a few hidden perks to having more than one place of work. The major one is having more than one new circle of friends. Obviously you’re not going to be best friends with everyone, but making an effort to develop and maintain friendships is a good idea. If you feel you have a support system, or at least someone you can laugh with, your shifts seem shorter and more enjoyable.”
On the hunt for a second job? Here are 10 great second job options plus advice on how to land one.
2. Location is Everything
When you look for a full-time job, one of the first things you keep in mind is proximity to your home. Of course, if you have a work from home job, you are always close to your work space.
Depending on your schedule and if you are working outside the home, your second job should be physically near your first job. (Two work from home jobs? You’ve got this covered.)
If you bust your gas budget because you’re driving all around town, your second income becomes pointless. If you are in a city where you use public transit, make a point to check if the job you have in mind is on your same bus or train route.
Looking for a second job but don’t want to leave the house? Check out our list of 32 work from home companies.
3. Let Your Employers Know About One Another
Brandner: “When I first got my second job I felt awkward telling both my managers that I was also working somewhere else. I felt like they would feel like I wasn’t able to give them both 100%. For a while it almost felt like I was cheating on both of them. When I eventually did let them know, they both actually admired my hustle, and ended up being much more receptive and understanding when I had to make slight schedule changes.”
4. When You’re Sick, Do NOT Power Through It
While this tip applies to people with one job, it is especially important for people who deal with twice the same amount of interaction.
If the past year and a half has taught us anything, it is that we need to stay the hell away from other people when we are sick. In the long run, it will not be worth ignoring your symptoms in exchange for that day’s wages, when you are risking exacerbating your own health as well as others’.
If you are working two jobs, you are putting in twice the amount of energy, which will wear you down even more. Be honest with your employers, and they will probably be grateful. Remember, it is illegal for someone to fire you for calling in sick.
5. Normalize Power Napping
Tuverson: “I copied this from the kids I look after. If they get home from school at 1:15 and we need to leave the house for swim lessons at 2:10, it is crucial that they get some rest or lest they be grumpy and lethargic for their poor teacher.
“Sometimes I have similar amounts of time before I need to get going for my next job. I used to think that this only allowed me to scroll through my phone and watch half of a ‘Law and Order’ episode. When I still couldn’t stop yawning, I Googled some tips and started power napping between shifts. It’s been a game changer.”
Tuverson says the key is napping between 10 and 20 minutes. She swears by a little caffeine before the nap which will kick in after you wake up, providing you stick to the short nap.
6. Plan and Prep Your Meals
If you are in your car several times throughout the day, rushing to make it to your next job and then also rushing to finally get home, there is the inevitable temptation to pull over for fast food.
While this is okay once in a while, the initial comfort and convenience of not having to cook will soon backfire, making you (and your wallet) feel worse. Set aside time to prep and prepare meals (and snacks for those 15 minute breaks!) that are easy, cheap, and delicious.
Planning meals is crucial to staying healthy but this task is easily overlooked when you get busy.Learn how to start a meal plan and stick to it.
7. Remember the Reason for Working a Second Job
Tuverson: “Even with two jobs, it’s not exactly like I’m living in the lap of luxury. But, I am now able to afford a mini-vacation that I would not have been able to otherwise. When I’m on the bus for the third time that day and I have spit up on my blouse (and I’ve forgotten if it’s from a human or animal), I open my wallet and see some pictures I’ve printed out of things I’ll experience on my trip.”
She says that her coworkers look at photos of apartments, cars, even engagement rings to keep their eyes on the prize. The aspirational photos are a good pick-me-up, she says, that reminds them why they are working a second job.
8. Commit to Something That Brings You Joy
Even when you have one job, it may seem like all you have the energy to do after work is eat and go to sleep. On a good day, you could summon the chutzpah to grab a drink or some dinner, but even this can seem like a stretch sometimes.
Still, it is important to have other consistent things in your schedule besides just working.
For example, you could join a book group dedicated to your favorite genre. Read on your lunch breaks and on your transit commute, then spend an hour a month chatting with new friends about your thoughts.
Not only does this increase your social circle and offer an escape, but it also exercises your brain. The Penny Hoarder actually has our own book club, and you can find dozens of others online or in person through your Meetup.com, Goodreads, or your local independent bookstores and libraries.
9. Don’t Get Discouraged
It can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit and an average of 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic.
Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t immediately get in the groove of working two jobs with differing protocols, expectations and managerial styles.
Any half-decent supervisor will cut you some slack when you start. If you find that you are still having trouble adjusting to a new routine after a couple months or so, let Human Resources know and they can give you some more specific tips.
Olivia Smith is a writer based in Washington, D.C., who has experience in public and political advocacy work. She is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.
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How to work 2 jobs and still have a life? ›
- Find Quick Fixes for Life Tasks. ...
- Plan Out Your Week Ahead of Time. ...
- Give Yourself Some Time Off. ...
- When You're Not Working, Don't Think About Work. ...
- Keep the End Goal in Sight.
- 5 Tips To Keep Yourself From Feeling Burnt Out Working Multiple Jobs. by Christine Wine. ...
- Work Smarter Not Harder. ...
- Focus On One Task At a Time. ...
- Take a Break. ...
- Learn To Say No.
- Ride-share driver.
- Meal delivery.
- Doing odd jobs.
- Restaurant server.
- Fast-food worker.
Working a second job will boost your income, especially if you keep your taxes in order, plan your time effectively, and choose your second job wisely. If you choose a job that's in a completely different industry, you're less likely to upset your main employer – and you'll also get the chance to develop new skills.What are the benefits of working 2 jobs? ›
- Having extra income for leisure. You can use the income you've earned with the second job for leisure, leaving your main revenue for your fixed expenses, due bills or potential emergencies.
- Being able to save up some money. ...
- Going on your dream vacation.
So when you ask 'do I pay more tax on a second job? ', the answer is no. But it can increase the rate you're liable for overall. You combine the income from both jobs, and pay tax on the whole.How do I get energy to work two jobs? ›
- Make Friends at All Your Jobs. ...
- Location is Everything. ...
- Let Your Employers Know About One Another. ...
- When You're Sick, Do NOT Power Through It. ...
- Normalize Power Napping. ...
- Plan and Prep Your Meals. ...
- Remember the Reason for Working a Second Job. ...
- Commit to Something That Brings You Joy.
In most cases, you don't have any obligation to tell anyone at your current job that you're taking a second job opportunity. However, we suggest you remove any possible misunderstandings between you and the company in the future by being as transparent as possible.What happens when you work 2 jobs? ›
It is not illegal to work 2 jobs at the same time, but it may be in breach of any workplace rules, for example, many employment contracts prohibit employees from undertaking any activity that may create a conflict of interest.When should you quit your second job? ›
Interference with Your Main Job
Having two jobs can be difficult to juggle and your performance at your main place of work may suffer. If you are having trouble managing the hours or the effort it takes to have two jobs, consider quitting the second job. It is not worth putting your main source of income at risk.
How do you juggle two jobs at once? ›
- Find a second job with maximum flexibility. ...
- Choose jobs that are local to you if possible. ...
- Select jobs that you enjoy doing. ...
- Take time for self-care activities. ...
- Schedule time for yourself. ...
- Practice good time management habits.
- Dental Hygienist.
- Physical Therapist.
- Radiation Therapist.
- Human Resources Manager.
Passive income streams can come from investing in mutual funds or real estate, selling products online, publishing online courses, or other side hustles in which the earner doesn't have to actively participate.What is a great side job? ›
Deliver food or groceries with DoorDash or Instacart. Get paid to pet sit or walk dogs with Rover. Work on home projects with HomeAdvisor. Take surveys and make money online with Survey Junkie or InboxDollars.How hard is working two jobs? ›
Working two full-time jobs has the potential to be a stressful undertaking. There are only so many hours in a day, and if you're theoretically working eight- to nine-hour shifts at two jobs, you have little down-time time for personal care.What percent of people work two jobs? ›
You can hardly even buy food with that amount.” Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 400,000 Americans work two full-time jobs. In September 2022, 4.9% of all the more than 164 million US workers held two or more job positions, over 7.7 million workers.Is it OK to work two full-time jobs? ›
While it's not generally against any law to hold multiple jobs, employers generally have the right to fire anyone they catch doing it.Why do I owe taxes if I have 2 jobs? ›
Working two jobs
People who work two jobs often don't have enough tax withheld from their part-time earnings. So, they might wind up owing a large sum of money at tax time. To avoid this, you might need to increase the amount of money withheld either from your main paycheck or from your second job — or both.
Cumulative tax basis
Despite the fact their earnings are below their annual allowance, so why is it they are paying tax? Payroll is not run annually, it is instead run on a cycle set by the employer, such as weekly or monthly. Therefore any tax-free allowance is shared evenly across the pay cycle.
Legally, your employer can't make you work more than 48 hours a week, including overtime. If they want you to work more than that, your employer has to ask you to opt out of the 48-hour limit. Find out more about the maximum weekly working time limit.
Can a company stop you from working 2 jobs? ›
Is it legal to prohibit my employees from working a second job, or fire them for doing so? Yes. Employers may legally limit the rights of their employees to work a second job (often called moonlighting), especially if that work substantially interferes or competes with the duties of their primary job.Is a second job a conflict of interest? ›
It is absolutely appropriate for employers to ensure that a second job does not represent a conflict of interest in terms of working for a competitor or sharing confidential or proprietary information or materials.What is moonlighting at work? ›
Moonlighting is when an employee takes up a side hustle or a second job while being on the payroll of a primary employer — usually without their knowledge. Generally, the primary job is a full time position, while the moonlighting one may be part-time.Is working two jobs exhausting? ›
Working full time and getting a second, part-time job can be exhausting. Even if you are only taking on a holiday job to help afford holiday activities, it can be draining.What is it called when you have 2 jobs? ›
A side job, also informally called a side hustle or side gig, is an additional job that a person takes in addition to their primary job in order to supplement their income.What is the tax code for 2 jobs? ›
Tax codes for second jobs
Your main job, assuming it pays you more than the Personal Allowance, should be 1257L for the 2022/23 tax year. Your second job should have a BR, D0 or D1 tax code, depending on whether or not it's taxed at the basic, higher or additional rate. You can find your tax code on your payslips.
Working two full-time jobs has the potential to be a stressful undertaking. There are only so many hours in a day, and if you're theoretically working eight- to nine-hour shifts at two jobs, you have little down-time time for personal care.Can you work 2 jobs at the same time? ›
BONUS: California has some of the most pro-labor employment laws, where employers don't prohibit a second job or overtly terminate an employee due to a second job. You can learn about California's Labor Code §96(k) or read this law firm's blog advising employers on their moonlighting policies.How can I make money with 2 jobs? ›
- Freelance Jobs. A freelance job involves completing work or projects for multiple companies rather than working for one company at a time. ...
- Service Industry Jobs. Service industry jobs involve doing some sort of work for customers. ...
- Seasonal Jobs. ...
- Caregiving Jobs. ...
- Starting Your Own Business.
The IRS requires taxpayers to file only one federal tax return, even if they worked multiple jobs throughout the tax filing year. However, you may be required to file multiple state returns depending on which states you earned income in.
What happens if you get caught working 2 jobs? ›
While it's not generally against any law to hold multiple jobs, employers generally have the right to fire anyone they catch doing it.What is the easiest full time job? ›
The top easiest jobs to get are waiting tables, a customer service specialist, and a retail clerk. Most of these jobs listed require great customer service skills and strong communication skills. It's important to remember that your idea of an easy job may differ from another person, so find a job that fits your needs.