A recent Side Hustle survey by Bankrate showed that 45% of Americans surveyed work another gig outside their primary job to make ends meet. If you are considering a second or third job, consider important factors before making this additional step.
Are Multiple Jobs Necessary?
Think about the reasons you need or want additional work. Do you need more money to make ends meet? Are you looking to fill your time? Consider the reasons before you are trying to obtain additional employment before you start.
If you are barely making ends meet, a second job might be what you need to be more financially secure. Working additional jobs is a great way to occupy your time and make money doing it. Some people need to have extra stimulation, learn new things, or engage in something vital. In this case, a second position might be for you.
However, keep in mind that a second job might be draining your bank account more than it is filling it. Long commutes, gas money, wear and tear on your car, and being overworked can cost more in the long run.
Balancing Multiple Jobs
If you are working multiple jobs, you will need to balance them. These tips can help:
- Get organized. Organization is essential when balancing multiple jobs. You will be balancing numerous schedules, dates, times, locations, tasks, and external commitments. Consider using an online calendar that you can access from anywhere so you can quickly check your schedule.
- Stay consistent. If you are trying to juggle multiple jobs, consistency is critical. Try to ensure your schedules stay the same so that you can manage your time better. Ensuring consistency also allows you to fit things into the time slots you know will be free.
- Make yourself a priority. There are many reasons why you need to juggle more than one job, but you will not be able to work if you are unwell or having a breakdown. Make sure that your schedule gives you an appropriate amount of time to care for yourself, take breaks, and not be overworked. By overworking, you will not only burn yourself out, but it can begin to affect additional aspects of your life, such as your relationships with family and friends.
- Set expectations. Create expectations for your supervisors by talking to them about working multiple jobs. Develop your expectations and try to meet them halfway. While you may need the money, overworking can lead to issues. Set expectations that you will work a certain number of hours a week and that your other commitments are clear. Clear expectations on both sides will lead to good communication and a healthy work-life balance.
- Know your limits. As with expectations, one to set is your limits. For instance, if you work 8 hours on your feet at one job, consider not doing the same for your second job. Setting boundaries will help you balance multiple positions as well as prioritizing yourself.
- Choose a job where you can use your strengths. Sadly, sometimes we have to take jobs that pay the bills rather than jobs focusing on our strengths and interests. If you are looking for additional work, perhaps now is the time to use your strengths. Take a part-time job doing something you are good at and love doing. As the old saying goes, "If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life."
- Consider gig work rather than multiple jobs. Many sites advertise "gig work." With this, you are working on specific projects; however, the work is temporary, which means you can be more flexible. While the jobs can be hit or miss, it allows you the flexibility to make your schedule and select the work you want.
- How Multiple Jobs Affect Taxes. The best part about working second jobs is obtaining more pay. But part of that is paying more taxes, especially if that second job brings you up to the next tax bracket. Keep in mind that different positions have different tax rules. For instance, if you are working gigs, you are responsible for paying your taxes rather than an employer that takes them out of your check. Additionally, you may lose some additional tax breaks and credits you were previously eligible for if you move between tax brackets. To be sure, you might want to check with an accountant before filing.
If you think that it will affect the amount of taxes you pay, ensure you have the most taxes taken out of your check to reduce how much you have to pay to the IRS in April. If you are unsure what you should claim, try using the IRS withholding calculator. Keep in mind that working a second job may push you to a higher tax bracket, based on your overall income. Standard W-4 deductions for each job might not account for your overall higher income.
Taking additional work may be the right thing for you if you need the extra income. If you can balance more than one job and retain a healthy work-life balance, multiple jobs might be for you. With planning, you may be able to make it work in your life. However, think long and hard about the pros and cons of making an informed decision about additional work since it can dramatically affect your life, time, health, and finances.