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Karen Dwyer: Weighing the Pros and Cons of Working Two Jobs

Before you sign on for more work, there are a few things to consider as positives and negatives

With the economy beginning to stabilize, many job seekers might expect to see more full-time employment opportunities. According to analysts, however, many employers remain reluctant to hire employees until they become more confident that the recession is over. This news is frustrating for many people who’ve been laid-off or had hours or salaries slashed as a result of company cutbacks. Many have had to look for a second job just to stay afloat during these tough economic times.

Karen Dwyer
Karen Dwyer

According to a recent survey on Movin’ On Up, the Express Job Blog, 56.7 percent of 1,595 respondents are looking for a second job to generate more income this summer, up 41 percent from a November survey that asked about job seekers looking for a second job during the holiday season. Although working two jobs can be a great way to earn extra income, there are many other factors to consider before working for two different employers at once. The truth is, there are pros and cons to having a second job, and every individual must weigh each one to find out if it’s worth the cost.

The Positives:

Money — The obvious benefit to working two jobs is the money. And, right now, that seems to be the biggest motivator for many job seekers. Having a second paycheck can help pay bills, make ends meet, or even provide a little leeway in your finances. But, simply working for extra cash alone can cause any person to burn out quickly. So, to prevent the frustration and exhaustion that comes with burnout, set some financial goals and an end date for working a second job.

Passion — Another great benefit of working a second job is that it can help you find your passion. Many people get so busy just trying to survive in their day-to-day job that they often lose sight of what their interests actually are. Taking a variety of second jobs could be just what you need to ignite your inner drive and help you find your dream job.

Skills — Increasing your skills set to make yourself more marketable can be another great part of having a second job. Having two occupations, especially if they’re in different fields, allows you to gain knowledge and experience, which can increase your chances of earning a higher position and salary when the job market turns around. Even if you take on a job that’s outside of your desired field, the experiences you learn along the way are invaluable.

The Negatives:

Time — Let’s face it, there are some pitfalls to having two jobs, and one of those is having less time to spend with family and friends. Working for two employers can eat away from your personal life. This can take its toll on relationships and destroy your efforts at work/life balance. So, make sure to work in some quality time on your calendar to nurture the relationships in your life and accomplish normal day-to-day activities and responsibilities.

Health — Working two jobs can create more than a strain on your friends and family. It can also cause problems with your mental and physical health. The tension of having to work long hours at two different jobs can increase stress levels and high blood pressure, exhaustion and even depression. So, seriously take your health into consideration when contemplating a second job option.

Focus — Another negative attribute of having two jobs is the inability to focus well on both. The stress associated with having two jobs often causes people to lose the concentration needed to adequately and properly do each job. This can cause issues in both your workplaces and create trouble with your employers.

Having two jobs does have its positives, but just like with most decisions in life, it also comes with its challenges. So, when deciding whether a second job is right for you, carefully weigh the pros and cons and make the choice that works best for you.

If you have questions about your job search or want to start the search for a second job, contact the Santa Barbara Express Employment Professionals office today and let us assist you in your search.

— Karen Dwyer is owner of Express Employment Professionals, 9 W. Figueroa St. Click here to contact her or call 805.965.6900.

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