Making a Second Job Work for You

Tue, Aug 28, 2012

Financial Advice

If you are strapped for cash and have built up too much debt, you may be in a position where you need to take on a second job temporarily, in order to get your finances back under control. It can be both physically and emotionally draining to work a second job, and you need to make sure that the extra time and effort you are putting into it are actually worth it. A budget and a specific purpose for your extra cash will make it easier to work your second job. If you want to avoid taking on a second job you could ask to work overtime or ask your manager for a raise. Another option is to find out what your coworkers are doing for example. Here are a few more suggestions to consider:

Find a Job that Pays Well

One of the first things you can do is to find a second job that makes the extra time you work, worth it. It does not make sense to work a second job for minimum wage if you have your college degree and a good skill set. Put the skills you use at your day job to work at your second job. For example if you are an accountant, you can take on a few private clients or small business owners and do their books for them or you can work as a tax preparer for extra cash. A teacher can tutor and often earn between $20.00 to $50.00 an hour. You can freelance as a graphic designer, computer programmer or writer. Before you take on a second job you do need to make sure that you did not sign a policy with your current job not to work in a specific field or at all. Some employers will not allow you to do this. If this is not an option consider getting a job where you can make tips as a waitress or delivery driver, which can push your wage above minimum wage and make the time worth it.

Consider Working at Home

There are a wide variety of jobs you can do at home in the evening or early morning hours. This means that you can work once your children are asleep and save on additional daycare costs. Some common jobs are working as a call center representative for companies, working as a search engine evaluator or as a database entry person. You can look online directly with companies such as Lionbridge or Leapforce to find search engine evaluator jobs. Call center companies you can work for include Alpine Access, West at Home and Verafast. Sometimes local medical offices need a transcriptionist that will work evenings to complete the notes for the day and this can be done from home. You may also have local companies that need data entry. Working at home can save you money and energy since you do not need to work at multiple places in order to complete the jobs.

Stick to Your Budget

Before you take on a second job you should set a specific goal and work towards it. The money you make at your second job should all go towards that goal. Watch to make sure that your second job is not costing you more money in costs like transportation, eating out or those great discounts at the store you are working at. Sometimes the second job will eat up too much of your time and negatively affect your relationships. You do not want this to hurt you in the long run. Sticking to your budget will limit how long you have to work the second job and make it easier to get through. You may want to cut back on your unnecessary expenses and downgrade your cell phone and cable packages before you take on a second job. If you can see progress towards your goal each month, it is easier to continue to push yourself to work hard.

Consider Other Solutions

As you work to fix your current financial situation, you need to determine if you just need more income for a short period of time or if you need it in the long-term. If you need a long-term solution, you should consider going back to school or getting additional training so you can qualify for a higher paying job. You need to enjoy a certain quality of life that you cannot achieve if you are working all of the time. Making the sacrifice to go back to school to earn more is often worth it.

Lisa Shoreland is currently a resident blogger at, where recently she’s been researching college tuition grants and federal pell grants. In her spare time, she enjoys creative writing and hogging her boyfriend’s PlayStation 3. To keep her sanity she enjoys practicing martial arts and bringing home abandon animals.

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