When Money's Tight: Second-Job Tips

part time jobWhether for money or experience, 17 percent of Americans work more than one job. There is much to be gained from taking on a second job. Besides the obvious monetary rewards, second jobs can boost your credentials and possibly lead you down the path to a new career.

A Church Position Can Fill Many Voids

Larry is a fifth grade teacher at a parochial school. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Larry also plays the piano during school masses each week, accompanies students during musical competitions and directs the school talent show. Larry also holds a second job as the director of music at a local church. "I play the organ and direct the adult, children and hand bell choirs as well as the creative worship planning," Larry says.

His second job is a natural fit since both positions involve playing music and providing instruction. While he enjoys teaching, music is important to him and his second job allows him to tap into his creative, musical side.

The money also is nice. "My second job encompasses between 10 and 15 hours per week, but accounts for over 40 percent of my income," Larry notes.

But the benefits reach beyond monetary. "Having two jobs provides me with two differing creative outlets which enables me to remain fresh and not burned out. It also has given me spiritual renewal and allows me to provide a service to the community by enriching their spirituality with music."<

Try Retail's Flexible Hours on for Size

Mary was looking for a way to add a little extra income to the household budget to help defray her son's college costs. Mary already worked for the local school district during the day, so like many, she turned to retail where she could work evening and weekend hours.

She came to retail mainly for the extra money and flexible hours, but the store's discount was a bonus. "The discount can be a good lure, especially if it's at a store where the entire family shops and would benefit," said Mary. The job also helped her hone her customer service skills, an important tool that helps her in her day job.

Priceless Experience Can Be Gained Through an Internship

Juanita works for the Chicago Department of Health and is completing the last few classes of her Broadcast Journalism degree. To supplement her career experience and expertise, Juanita also interns at a Chicago television station.

While it's her Department of Health job that pays the bills, Juanita's internship truly is a second job that will enhance her resume and help her achieve her long-term career goals of working in television production.

Some Tips for Getting a Second Job

  • Make sure your current employer has no policies against moonlighting and that your second employer understands you also are working at another full-time job.
  • Be sure you understand exactly what hours you will be working and what responsibilities you will have. You don't want to sign on for a 6-9 p.m. shift only to find out that you really won't be getting out until after 11 p.m.
  • Don't let work take over your life -- you'll burn out fast. Taking on extra hours or covering someone's shift occasionally is fine. But if you overschedule yourself, your performance at your primary position will suffer.

Copyright 2006 CareerBuilder.com

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