Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Second Jobs - Are They Worth It?

In this economy, a lot of young professionals (and older professionals) are taking on side jobs - these jobs help to pay off loans and make living a post-student lifestyle easier. In my own workplace I know a few women, of varying career levels, who go to work after work; it's hard!

For two years now I have been a part of an organization that works with exchange students. I even talked about how hard it can be over here. The extra money isn't much, but I have to admit that it was very helpful during the unemployed times. But I recently realized that with the new job, the new commute, and the new marriage, the extra money is just not worth the time sink that this side job has become. For my own sanity I have to let it go. 

I think it's important to evaluate how important free time is to you when considering whether or not to take on a second job (this is assuming that a second job isn't a necessity for you). I hate to quit mid-year but my priorities are 1) staying sane 2) staying fit and 3) staying happy and right now the second job doesn't help me to achieve any of those things.

There are definitely young professionals out there who disagree with my stance on this, seeing a second job as a necessity for getting ahead. I understand their points too:

  • A second job can help bridge your experience gap, allowing you to jump to your next, more desirable position, more easily
  • More $$$$
  • You may be more appealing to hiring managers because you've shown you take you can juggle many responsibilities. 

But it's all about priorities and if you can handle a second job and want to handle a second job, more power to you. 


Michelle P said...

Great post because this is what I've been thinking about. I've been thinking about a second job forever but I just don't think I have time.

Anna said...

Thanks Michelle - I knew you were thinking about it so I hope this was kind of helpful?? Like I said, it's a big time commitment and the payoff is only worth it if your values and priorities line up.

AndrewHerrera said...

Anna, this is something I have been contemplating as well. My long-term thoughts are that the second job helps to pay off loans more quickly and therefore less interest is paid, freeing up dinero for other priorities sooner. Another hope is that "juggling many responsibilities" by working a second job today will also prepare me for the inevitable increase of responsibilities that comes in life (family, volunteering, running the UN :), etc.).

Thanks for your thoughts and perspective.

Anna said...

Andrew, amazing to hear from you and thanks for reading. I absolutely think it's smart to think about the long-run when it comes to this stuff. Paying of loans is such a HUGE issue for so many of us and I absolutely weighed that when making my choice (freakin' loans). I guess for me I'm at the point where I'm already juggling oodles of stuff and I just needed to dump something off my plate (and I couldn't choose my husband for that!).

Looking forward to seeing you run the UN!