Monday, July 18, 2011

Jobs - The Plural Form of Job

It's been quiet here on the blog front. The reason is 2-fold. Firstly, the garden is going gangbusters and I've got a lot of work keeping up with it.
Secondly my primary-paycheck job has been busy. And I've finally rounded up a secondary job in this new town. Which brings me to today's musing.

I've been working two jobs since I was legal to work. When I was in high school, I wanted to go on an honor choir tour of Europe. I worked at a Maidrite and at a PakMail in addition to school and extracurriculars to earn the ticket fare and program costs. In college I worked at another sandwich shop, plus did campus tours for prospective students. That transitioned into sandwich shop/modeling, and so on.
As with the other plurals in my life, there is a primary and secondary. The primary job pays most of the bills/food/rent/savings. The secondary job pays for fun things, hobbies, and entertainment. For the past 5 years my second job has been very different from my first job. I find it's more interesting that way. But, there is something to be said for secondary jobs that occasionally add value to the primary job.
Really, I think it doesn't matter so much, *what* the job is, as much as it matters that you *have* a second job. If you're like me, you primary job makes a fairly set amount of money. You can count on x dollars every week, balanced out by (hopefully) less than x in bills. There's savings in there, of course, (you do save, right?) but what if you need 2x one week for car repair or dental bills? That's where a second job can come in handy, something that you can schedule a few more hours with and pull in some more cash. This could be work out of your home, sewing clothing or work at the nearby minimum wage shop. Anything that can flex to accommodate the primary job, and if it brings in freebies that's even better. (The sandwich shop would give us a free sandwich for shifts over 5 hours in length, the modeling gigs would get me occasional free passes into art exhibit openings.) Online work can be nice, as that isn't bound by location and can help ease the transition when moving long distances for the primary job.

I know I can't live off of the secondary job, but I know they can expand to fill gaps, which often can't be said of my primary job. By diversifying I keep more options open. Options that are important when unemployment rates are skyrocketing and government safety nets are being slashed.

I find that organization is key when you enter the realm of multiple jobs. Most people can handle it, we organize more than that on a daily basis. But, I find that calendars and planners (I'm a paper sort of gal, but go digital if that's better for you) are essential. I have to keep track of my work load and manage expectations from multiple bosses, including myself and my spouse. It's worth keeping in mind how you'll deal with the job come April 15th. Is it a contractor/independent worker type of thing where you'll be on the hook for all the taxes? Or is it a paycheck type gig where the employer takes care of withholding every week?

I know people that can't even keep 1 job. I don't understand that at all. Jobs that I could hold down in my free time with one hand tied behind my back, are routinely walked away from because the person in question found an aspect of it not to their liking. I get anxious when I'm only working 1 job, I can't imagine being totally without. I imagine I'd start a home based business that day and carry on from there. I think it's just not in my nature to sit around and wait for the safety net to catch me. I don't have any answers for those of you dealing with a no-job situation. My belief is that everyone has the tools and the abilities to do *something.* If you can't "find" a job, quit looking for one, and just do your work from home, and find someone who's interested in paying you for it.

If you're intrigued, and want to try a secondary job, take stock of what time you have available, be realistic, and start putting out feelers. Whether it's 2 hours a week of home daycare or weekend dog walking, it can add up and it can make a difference. Don't put too many pre-suppositions on the search, be open to new opportunities, even if it's something very different from what you normally do. It may surprise you!

"I live to fulfill my purpose in life, it is a daily struggle."

1 comment:

Jon Lorisen said...

I've worked 2 jobs for the last 6 years or so and periodically before that. Doing something completely dissimilar from my main job makes it feel less like work and the extra money has been quite essential. My wife is only working part time right now, there isn't much work in town. The loss of her full time income hurt us severely but it would have been a lot worse without the extra money I bring in.