This post was most recently updated on August 14th, 2023
[A collaboration post – all thoughts are my own.]
Are you currently working two jobs? Are they both full-time or part-time? Juggling two or more jobs requires more time, so balancing your time is really important.
In 2019, I had two jobs: as a full-time assistant manager and as an online story translator. As an assistant manager, my daily tasks start with sending emails, contacting clients, coordinating with managers, making work schedules, controlling employee performance, and sometimes taking care of social media. And there are still many other small tasks that I should even do after work.
And as a translator for Webnovel, I have a deadline to translate at least 100 chapters per month. It’s not much if I can take the time to translate 3-4 chapters (with 500-600 words/per chapter) per day. But I was so bad at managing time at that time. The work as an assistant manager really took my time, and besides that, I felt very tired going home to work. As a result, I sometimes skip a few days not to translate until my editor must always remind me.
In the end, I received a reprimand from the representative manager in my country. From then on I began to learn to manage my time. I translated more chapters when I wasn’t busy or on weekends. Even though I feel tired, I keep trying to translate at least 4 chapters per day so as not to accumulate at the end of the month. After that, I can translate more than a monthly deadline and also focus on work as an assistant manager. Something was so embarrassing and still, I remember even until our contract was over!
I was 24 at that time and having a second job is a lifesaver for lots of people, especially fresh graduates or young professionals who can’t find full-time employment, or are under-employed.
Of course, juggling two or more jobs requires more time. That’s time you can’t take back and time you won’t get to spend with your family and friends or on your personal needs. I went to the office at 8 a.m. and arrived home at 6 p.m., then worked at home until 10 or 11 p.m. for two years.
Balance is important. Working 100 hours a week is overkill, but juggling two jobs at 60 to 70 hours a week won’t kill you. As long as you manage your time and obligations wisely, that is.
Why do you need working two jobs?
I actually don’t plan to have two jobs. While waiting for an answer to my job application, I saw advertisements on social media – looking for translators who like to read the story. I sent my resume and was then given a test. I thought I would not be accepted because it was more than 2 weeks after I sent my test.
When my application as an assistant manager was accepted, a week later I got an answer also from this translator’s job stating I was accepted! A thing that really is out of control, but I really thankful for it. More jobs, more income!
Extra income from a second job can help you save money or pay off your debt. It also protects you from the risk of losing your primary income source. If you lose one of your two jobs, you’ll still have a part of your income to tide you over. That was what happened when the company had to close because of a pandemic. I still have income until the end of 2020 from my job as a translator.
Some people work two jobs out of choice, like a full-time web developer who is also a coding instructor to help the community. Others might find their 9 to 5 job boring or unfulfilling, so they look for ways to have fun while earning, such as tour guides who spend their weekends touring with foreigners who came to Bali.
In most cases though, lack of full-time employment and low hourly wages are the main motivators. Because when you can no longer cut back on your spending, a second job can push you from breaking to making ends meet in a few months. Even if you’re bad at budgeting, and can’t stop using your credit cards because your salary isn’t enough, at least you can get a second job.
If you’re a linguist graduate, you can work as a professional translator or over-the-phone interpreter. Those careers are considered freelance jobs and can be done from home as your second job – something that I enjoy the most as a homebody.
The best thing about freelance jobs is you can do most of them at home, or anywhere you have a stable internet connection. Most freelance jobs also have a flexible schedule, so you can adjust it to fit your current routine.
How to manage working two jobs
There are multiple benefits to working two jobs. In addition to an increased income, you’ll acquire new skills, broaden your social network and make new work contacts. However, working two jobs also introduces challenges, such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle and having time for yourself, friends, and family despite working long hours.
Here are a few key points that will help you navigate working two jobs successfully while also maintaining a balanced lifestyle.
Choose your second job carefully
If you have decided to take on a second job, you should think carefully about what kind of job you’re willing to commit to. Consider the following:
Some people want to take on a second job because of financial concerns. If this is your reason, you might be able to monetize your current skills for a second job. For instance, a teacher can offer private lessons or online tutoring, or a journalist can work as a freelance writer. If you apply your current skills to a second job, chances are you will earn more than if you start a job with no previous experience.
Your motivation for getting a second job may be to learn new skills. If so, choose a second job that fits one of your interests and will help you learn a new skill set that could lead to new opportunities. When applying as an assistant manager, they’re looking for someone who can speak English, have a basic knowledge of social media, know about Bali, can work as a translator, etc. In the end, I got a lot of new skills while working as an assistant manager for two years.
Consider choosing a second job that is located in your neighborhood or close to your day job to prevent costly and time-consuming commuting.
Manage your time
Effective time management may be the most important component of successfully working two jobs. To help manage your time, you should:
Invest in a day planner
Writing daily tasks is essential if you are working two jobs. Invest in a day planner so you can plan your task and manage your time in detail. It’s recommended to plan your week ahead of time, so you can identify possible conflicts and deal with them proactively.
Make to-do lists
You may need to prioritize your tasks and simplify everyday tasks as much as possible when working two jobs. Keep a to-do list at each job, and check off tasks as you complete them to prevent confusing tasks between jobs or procrastinating because you aren’t organized.
Manage your money
When you’re earning extra money, aim to spend it wisely. Plan your budget in which you note extra expenses you are incurring because of your second job, such as commuting costs, extra take-out meals, or taxes, and subtract that from your extra income.
Apply the balance directly to the debt you are paying off or the financial goals you are working toward. This way, you will both achieve your goals and be able to see your hard work paying off.
Take care of yourself and your loved ones
Taking on a second job and maintaining a balanced lifestyle require discipline. To maintain your busy schedule, you need to ensure that you stay healthy.
It’s important to eat nutritious food, especially if you need to maintain your energy while working two jobs. If possible, take at least one day a week off work to rest your body and mind. Switch off your phone, stay away from social media, and try not to think of work at all during that time. Get enough rest if you want to be successful at maintaining two jobs. Rather than spending your relaxing time with a book or Netflix, try to get at least seven hours of sleep a night.
Even if you have a busy schedule, aim to make time for friends and family. I meet up with my close friend twice a week and sometimes go out with my mom to nearby places on the weekend. In the end, a happy and balanced life involves a strong support network and healthy relationships.
Protect your first job
Don’t let your second job bring damage to your performance and relationships at your first job. Take care that your quality of work at your main job is of a high standard and that your level of commitment remains the same. Until you decide to change your career elsewhere, your main job should remain your first priority.
Balancing two jobs or more complicates things like your schedule and leaves. But this also diversifies your income source and skill set.
Are you currently looking for a second job? Or perhaps, working on two jobs? Let me know your thoughts below!