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How to Avoid the Second Job Syndrome

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Many employees are still reeling from being unemployed for a time or from losses when the market first tanked in 2008. Now, people get their feet back on the ground and COVID-19 hits, plummeting millions into the throws of unemployment and joblessness. Debt snowballs fast, and with looming debts, many employees are looking to apply for a second job to make ends meet or pay past debt payments.

Guidelines for Second Job Hunting

Here are a few guidelines to follow when thinking about getting a second job.

1.  Talk to your employer. First and foremost, talk to your current employer. Is there any opportunity for overtime, weekend or night work, or extra projects that need completing? If you can earn extra money while staying in your current position – that is the best way to avoid scheduling issues and other problems that may arise when trying to juggle two different jobs.

2.  Avoid scheduling conflicts. If that’s not an option, and you’re going to look outside for additional work, make sure that the position won’t conflict with the job you already have. Many companies have conflict-of-interest or non-compete policies about employees—even part-timers or freelancers—working for others within the same industry. It would be best to make sure that taking on additional work won’t hurt your performance with your primary employer.

3.  Freelance opportunities. On your search, you may find the most luck with smaller companies, especially those that advertise jobs with phrases like “self-starter” or “freelance.” Such jobs typically mean you will have the opportunity to explore and develop various skills with a flexible schedule. Also, tap friends and family members or your college alumni network to learn about potential job openings.

4.  Complementary employment fields. Ideally, you want something that will complement what you already are doing—if you’re working in your chosen field. For instance, if you work part-time as a teacher, try working at a nighttime or weekend tutoring program. Or, if you work in a medical lab, try a medical transcriber position to expand your skillset within your profession.

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