Is Working Two Jobs Worth It?

by Broke Grad on June 16, 2009

Whether you’re looking to earn some extra spending money or you’re just trying to make ends meet, many of us have taken on more than one job at some point in our lives. When I was a broke college student, working two jobs was a popular choice within my circle of broke college friends. Back then, I was so eager to get work experience for my resume that you didn’t even have to pay me.

One summer I managed to land a full-time job as well as a part-time unpaid internship. As if juggling two schedules isn’t tricky enough on its own, I worked the graveyard shift for the full-time job. Fortunately, I only had to go in a couple times each week for the part-time gig, and since they weren’t paying me, they were flexible with the scheduling. Getting off at 7 AM from my full-time job turned out to be pretty convenient for making it to morning meetings for the internship.

Even though I’m done with college and grad school now, the broke student mentality has stuck around. I have an awesome full-time job with normal work hours, but I still do work on the side. I’m not struggling to make ends meet, and I don’t really need extra spending money. So why am I working two jobs? Because I enjoy it.

My second job is part-time independent contract work for a company that I worked for one summer during college. Since it’s not related to my full-time job, my second job gives me an opportunity to develop and improve my skills and knowledge in areas that I don’t use in my other job.

One could also argue that this blog is my third job. It’s yet another job, completely unrelated to the other two jobs I have, so I get to explore even more realms of knowledge. I think that’s why I like it so much.

The only downside I can think of to all of this is that there are only 24 hours in a day, so you have to give up some of the time you could have used to do other important things, such as spend time with your friends and family. Like most things in life, the challenge is finding balance.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ibrahim | ZenCollegeLife.com June 16, 2009 at 9:44 am

At one point I had worked 2 part time jobs while attending college. It was pretty rough, and I did nothing but work and study the entire time. I had extra money, but no time to spend it.

I decided to quit one of the jobs and just focus on school. It turned out to be a great decision.

Now I run 3 different websites, have a part time job on campus, volunteer in a neuroscience lab, and shadow a doctor. And I still find time to spend with family and friends, and even travel a bit.

It really goes to show that when you enjoy doing something, it doesn’t matter how much commitment it takes. We find a way to do the things we want to do.

2 Doctor S June 16, 2009 at 10:53 am

I worked 1 part time job in college, looking back, I could have definitely done more. Now I work a normal 9 to 5 job and then am a basketball referee during the week as well. There are busy times and dead times, but when I am busy it is great. Nothing like a secondary income stream in life to help create a buffer zone and/or create other sources to pay down bad decisions!

3 Jeff@StretchyDollar June 16, 2009 at 6:26 pm

I’m working two part time jobs right now, and it’s tough. Luckily I was able to spread them out on different days over the course of a week, but I can’t get wait to get back to only one!

4 Kristy @ Master Your Card June 16, 2009 at 8:06 pm

I think from an income standpoint two jobs can definitely be worth it. I’ve done it before as a means of survival, but it’s not something I really enjoy doing. Being stressed out and having no time for anything else makes getting a second job seem frustrating to me. Then again, I guess you could call MYC a second job for me. Still, I love writing, so I enjoy MYC. But, there are pros and cons to working more than one job, so my advice is to consider the reason behind picking up a second job and weigh it out with what’s most important in life.

5 Stefan | StudySuccessful.com June 17, 2009 at 1:45 am

I’m having two jobs now, but I don’t work at them both during one day.
One is in the hospital, and it’s an on-call job, so I don’t have many hours always. Besides it, I work in the supermarket for a couple of hours in the week, so I have always a steady income!

6 Chris June 17, 2009 at 7:08 am

I work to jobs right now and attend school as well. I work 60 hours a week and also take close to a full course load. Its tough sometimes but when I see things like your last post I am reminded that it is totally worth it to be able to pay for school and not get into thousands of dollars worth of debt. The only thing that is really hard is to try and find time for a social life as well.

7 VTAMethodman June 18, 2009 at 8:38 am

I was a TA through most of my college life. For students who want to get ahead both economically and academically it is in my opinion the best job you can take on during your school years. You get paid a reasonable wage, you get a free office on campus, you in essence make your own hours in terms of office hours and marking and you get to interact with professors and learn how tests and papers are put together.

Furthermore, when I took on a job as a TA my marks actually went up!

8 Jerry June 19, 2009 at 1:05 pm

A second job can lead to more money, sure, but I think that the true test of whether it is worthwhile or not (aside from the seriousness of your financial circumstances, of course) is whether or not you enjoy it! One response above mentions officiating sports as a second gig… that is better than cleaning a big insurance office building, which is what I did one year as a second job. I hated it, and the money probably wasn’t worth it.
Jerry

9 J. Money June 20, 2009 at 8:21 am

Totally worth having any amount of “jobs” if you enjoy it! one of my dreams is to blog full-time and then work part-time at both a local bank & a coffee shop :) none of which would be mostly for the money either – they just all excite me and would be more like hobbies.

10 Liza June 22, 2009 at 10:44 am

I’m currently working 3 jobs. I work full-tim, teach privately one night a week (degree being put to use:)) and then I babysit every other weekend. In all honestly, the babysitting is $$ for savings. I save some from my full-time job, but I have goals to pay for a car in cash next summer and the only way to do that is to save as much as possible.

I’ve already decided that I’ll quit my other jobs once I make the difference at my full-time job. But then again, it is just more money coming it. So we’ll see.

11 Kate June 22, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Well, you know what they say, “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life!” And I think it’s totally true. If you love it, than the extra work isn’t really work. However, if you hate it, then it’s not worth it unless you really need the money. Overworking yourself can really be a detriment. That’s why I’ve adopted a “Power of Small” type philosophy in my life. I found out about it from a blog that is sort of like Zen Habits, only IMHO more realistic (www.thepowerofsmallbook.com/index.php/pos/blog). Ultimately, if you try to do too much all at once, it backfires. So, only do the multiple jobs if you can do it without burning out!

12 Jaremy July 14, 2009 at 10:14 am

It’s always important to stay ambitious and hard-working. The only problem with working multiple shifts is it makes you divert your focus. If you’re just working a second job in a field you’ll likely never pursue, it’s not worth it. Make sure to maximize your time and performance.

13 Sara July 17, 2009 at 6:02 am

One summer in college I worked 3 jobs – 1 full time and 2 part time. I worked from 7am-12pm at Barnes and Noble 5 days a week, 1pm to 9pm canvassing for PIRG 5 days a week, and at least 8 hours a weekend temping for offices that needed weekend help.

Verdict? Wasn’t worth it.

14 JP July 17, 2009 at 6:03 pm

Seriously, just be a foot model. Gay guys pay big bucks for straight guy’s feet. Likewise, straight guys pay big bucks for…well, women in general. :)

And the best part is, all you have to do is sit down and model!

15 Alisha November 3, 2009 at 11:23 am

I am going crazy working 5 part time jobs right now!! Some how I am able to juggle everything but I feel with the holidays approaching the stress level will hit an extreme! The sad part is even with 5 jobs I still struggle to make ends meet. any suggestions or words of encouragement are appreciated!

16 A December 8, 2009 at 6:01 pm

So, I am currently working 2 full-time jobs, and attending school full-time online. I only wish there were more than 24 hours in a day. That would be so lovely! Did I mention I am also a mother of an 11 year old boy. I am super thankful that my boyfriend is taking care of him while I am away (I accquired the 2nd job because he has been looking for months and simply cannot get a job). I am also thankful for technology. If it wasn’t for this, I wouldn’t have ever been able to make it. It’s tough, but we all have to do what we have to do.

17 Bidet August 2, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Its very hard managing two jobs, but it also means double the money. You might not have time with 2 jobs but if you schedule it right, you can find the right balance of work and fun. But not everyone can do it.

18 Anthony November 7, 2011 at 11:06 am

I am currently working 32 plus hours at jc penny and just got offered a full time position over night at toys r us and am kind of having second thoughts to whether or not I should take it. Need some advice

19 Kristi June 26, 2012 at 6:14 pm

I’ve been working full-time on the graveyard shift for awhile and am getting ready to start a part-time job in a few weeks. Also, I start grad school online in the fall, but have decided to go part-time. I’ve been having some doubts, but this post and all the comments have made me feel better. I’ve always been someone that likes to stay busy, so I know with my time management skills and a little more confidence in myself I will be able to succeed. Thanks for the encouraging words!

20 Exceptional Sea January 19, 2013 at 6:54 am

i am also working 2 jobs – 1 full time and the other part time – while i take classes (i’m going for a grad program in the fall, need a couple pre-requisites before they let me in). it sounds awful but if you plan your day right it’s not too bad. my full time job is normal work hours – 9-5. i’ve scheduled it right and worked it out with my boss to take an extra long lunch the days i have class and not taking a lunch on the days i don’t. i then work 2 nights a week as a waitress,(surprisingly, i make more per hour doing that than i do in my office job!) this leaves me with only 1 day off a week from my hectic schedule, but having that one day off really makes a world of difference.

and as crazy as it sounds, i kind of like it. i love that i’m constantly around different people all the time, i love that i can’t procrastinate (because i know if i don’t do something now i won’t have any other time to do it), and i use my waitressing job as my weekly exercise (5+ hours walking briskly non stop, going up and down stairs, and lifting heavy racks and trays). it’s nice to read/hear about other people with 2 jobs and know i’m not the only crazy one!

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