3 Reasons why you shouldn't take a Second Job!
The biggest mistake that you can make is to believe that you are working for somebody else. Job security is gone. The driving force of a career must come from the individual. Remember: Jobs are owned by the company, you own your career!
– Earl Nightingale
With my new book, Your Midlife Side Hustle launching very soon, and the evening news footage painting an increasingly bleak picture economically, I am more passionate than ever to offer HOPE, by encouraging women to start a side hustle that is passion-fuelled, purposeful and of course, Profitable!
Unfortunately though, when feeling the pinch financially, our first thought is often to take a second job to help make ends meet. This might be fine when you are relatively commitment free in your 20s, but when you are a midlifer, you might find that you are only increasing your problems, not solving them.
If you are toying with the idea of taking a second job, and you are in your midlife season, read on, or tune in to hear 3 reasons why I don’t think this is such a good idea, and what I DO recommend instead!
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3 Reasons why you shouldn’t take a Second Job, (and what I think you should do instead!)
When times get tough, often the knee jerk reaction is to race out and find another job. Now while this may help bring some money in relatively quickly, it may not be the best move in the long run. Juggling two jobs alongside family commitments can be a recipe for burnout.
It’s one thing to race from job to job when you are young with no real responsibilities bar getting yourself up and out the door on time. It’s another all together in your midlife years, when you are worried about if you are going to make the school run in time, get to little Johnny’s soccer game, taxi your elderly mother to her doctor check up and try to keep a marriage alive with a partner you sleep next to, but barely see in daylight hours.
There has to be a better way–right?
It’s no secret that I advocate starting a side hustle, but before I tell you why I think this is the best option, (in my humble opinion) read on for 3 reasons why I think taking a second job is NOT a great idea at midlife!
#1 You’ll have double the work stress
When you take a second job, that second boss will not go easy on you simply because your role is “job number 2!” While getting that second job might feel like an immediate way to get more money in the door, the reality is that you are signing up for another company’s rules, hours and most importantly – expectations.
Think you are stressed already, trying to make the most of your midlife season around the job you have before you head into your senior years? Think how much more that stress will increase when you add the pressure of another job’s workload. Having held down part-time jobs in my past, I can assure you that it is a very rare part-time role that doesn’t eventually have full-time expectations.
Want a recipe for burnout and frustration? Take that second job!
#2 You’ll have no time
This next reason is really a no brainer, but it’s worth remembering when the temptation to get a second job is especially strong. Taking on a second job isn’t just a matter of factoring in an extra 10 – 20 odd working hours each week. There’s the extra time taken up with the commuting, the extra time packing food and work gear in the morning, the extra laundry if you need to wear different clothes and the extra time needed to plan or complete tasks in your own time depending on the kind of role you hold.
And all of this is before planning how you’ll get to spend time with your partner, your children and possibly your grandchildren. How about the elderly parents you are caring for or the friends you used to love spending time with?
Taking that second job might bring in the dollars relatively quickly, but you’ll potentially be paying a high price time-wise to do so.
#3 You’ll miss your family
Following on from #2, not only will you sacrifice time to take on a second job, you’ll be sacrificing time with your family and friends. If you are blessed to still have your parents alive during your midlife season, how will it feel to not have any time available to spend with them? As someone whose parents live in another country meaning that I was unable to visit them due to border closures over the past few years, I am acutely aware more than ever that time is fleeting.
Likewise, what about your children, your grandchildren, your nieces and nephews, your siblings and friends? Taking on a second job with all it entails, (extra hours at work, more time spent commuting, more time taken in preparation or on work-related tasks at home) comes with a cost, and that will probably be your relationships.
Is a second job worth that price?
So what do I suggest instead?
If you’re in your midlife season and feeling the financial squeeze, maybe you should consider creating a side hustle to supplement your income. Why should you go this route instead of just getting a second job? Let me give you some things to think about:
- Side hustles usually offer more flexibility in terms of scheduling. You can work on your side project in the evenings or on weekends, without the rigid structure and set hours of a traditional job and potentially without any extra hours wasted due to commuting.
- Side hustles often allow for creative expression and personal fulfillment, something that might be lacking in a standard nine-to-five job. This is possibly one of my favourite wins in regards to starting a midlife side hustle. Want to reinvent who you are in your 40s, 50s or 60s? A side hustle can be both profitable AND purposeful and fulfilling.
- With the rise of the gig economy and increased opportunities for remote work, there are plenty of options for side hustles that can be managed from anywhere with an internet connection. Want to travel? Want to be able to spend time with loved ones overseas? Take your side hustle with you! Onviously, this mainly works for online side hustles, but imagine having the ability to chose where you work, rather than being locked into another on-site work environment.
So there you have it. 3 reasons why you shouldn’t take a second job – and what I think you should do instead. Why not mix things up and add some extra cash to your monthly income by starting a side hustle? It might not have the immediacy of a paycheck from a second job, however I truly believe that the benefits outweigh the alternative. If you have the ability to hang on financially for a few more months with just the one job, you may well find that allowing yourself the time to create, launch and grow your own side hustle might be exactly what you need to navigate midlife with stability and fulfilment.
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Hi Cat, I tried doing two jobs for about a year, and though the hours were not impossible, it was emotionally exhausting. When I quit one of those jobs, I started blogging instead, and that has been a much more joyful experience. xo Nipa
Thank you for illustrating my point Nipa! I’m so glad that you allowed yourself to step out of one of those jobs and start your blogging adventure.
Great advice. I can’t imagine taking a second job… money is important but not at the expense of my health and relationships. Thanks for shining some light on this.
Thanks Jack, and you are so right – if you compromise your health in order to earn, there is no benefit at all.
Great and insightful post. With the economy turning (I manage retail stores) I started looking into a second job a few months ago. Since I work a lot of hours, I needed something flexible. So, that’s how I found blogging and also opened an Etsy shop recently. Your post is great!
Thanks so much Debbie, and I’m so glad that you caught yourself before getting that second job and instead, created a flexible side hustle!
Excellent advice on how to manage economic ups and downs.
Great points-all of them. The stress alone wouldn’t be worth it to me. Stress can destroy so much.
Excited for you on your upcoming book!
Thanks Melanie. It’s almost a no brainer when you consider the stress factor!
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