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Comment of the week: “Get two jobs”

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Two comments had a great back-and-forth on this post (“What would you tell the 30-year-old divorcee with 30k of debt?”):

Danielle: “Uhhh I’d tell them life isnt so bad. Im 23, attached and have 85k in school loans and I cant get a job more than 14 bucks an hour. Whats my advice?”

Boomer: “Danielle – Get two jobs.”

It’s a little more nuanced, but not by much. Yes, sometimes you just need to earn more money. No, it’s not always easy. But few of us think about getting two jobs, when it’s almost always a very clear way to earn more money.

Wondering how to get a second job (even a consulting gig)? Read this: Earn money using your god-given skills.

Why do so few of us think about getting a second job?

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  1. Ramit, you have about 20 jobs, and you seem to love all of them so it stands to reason that it’s not immediately apparent to you why most people don’t think to get a second job.

    More people don’t think about getting two jobs because *sometimes* work just plain sucks. And if you’re already working 8 (or more?) hours per day at your first full time job, the thought of going to another craptastic job and giving up your video games/time with your family/will to live is too much. Not everyone lives to work.

    AND not everyone hates their job. But not everyone loves it. With the economy the way it is, we can’t all be choosers. And, if you have a ton of debt and its crushing you, it very well might be time to suck it up and get a second job. If that’s the case, and you also hate that job, my recommendation is to learn some buddhist philosophy about impermanence, suffering and mindfulness because you will need to adjust your mental approach until it becomes possible to change jobs.

    But I’m pretty sure that’s why most people don’t want to get a second job.

  2. I’ve thought about getting a part-time job in addition to my full-time job. The thing is I’d have to work nights or weekends. This would mean not getting to drive down and visit my folks when I want to, and giving control over my time to another boss, when I already have to schedule days off ahead of time in my current job. In light of this, I’d much rather make a little supplemental income by donating plasma or selling stuff on eBay. It still takes time, but I get to choose if I want to take the time.

  3. I know a lot of people are reluctant about second jobs because they do tend to cut into one’s time.

    It all depends, but for a lot of people cutting back and making sacrifices financially may have benefits like having more time for your family or time to research possibilities for financial gain, even if immediate gain is available in the form of a random second job.

    Of course, keep in mind I’m a teacher. We have jobs that go far beyond 40 hours a week even if we only get paid for the 40. So that may be a factor for a lot of people putting in “overtime” but not actually getting paid for it…

  4. I think because a second job is dreadful. Once you leave a 8 hour job, it becomes hard to go to another location and work more, bottom line we get lazy and in our comfort zone.

    She cannot afford to cut expenses therefore she has to go in the direction of “earning more”

  5. As mentioned, a second job implies something rigid and inflexible that inherently involves more travel, etc. It’s not the work from the second job I oppose, or even the rate of pay, but the fact I am unwilling to schedule myself for 15+ hours away from home everyday. I might not be unwilling to work that much, but I’m certainly unwilling to have it scheduled and have people depending on me to be a specific place that amount of time with regularity.

    Other side jobs, consulting, web design, what have you, can be done from home and with some degree of flexible hours. “Get a second job” has only negative connotations.

  6. By looking at all the comments on your recent post asking what people do for a living, it looks like a large portion of your readers do have (at least) two jobs.

  7. Almost everyone has time for a second job. The problem is that most people feel it is beneath them to get a second job that is not “professional”. I see this behaviour a lot among my recently college graduated friends.
    “I’m having problems paying the bills on my income”
    “Ok, well have you considered getting a serving position on nights and/or weekends?”
    “Oh, I wouldn’t do that, I’m not in high school anymore!”

    Excuse me? So I guess it is better struggling to make ends meet than to swallow your pride a little and have some wiggle room. Another problem that arises in this situation is when the sh*t finally hits the fan these kids have discovered how to juggle credit card debt to “prevent” the need for extra income. And you can imagine where that leads….

  8. Some people can’t get a second job at places most people recommend, such as waiting tables, like Ben suggested.

    I applied for retail before the holidays for seasonal work and was denied at all 6 places who were hiring. I went back in and realized most of the hires were either high school or early college. Stores aren’t looking for college educated professionals.

    Waiting tables in my area is also out(So. Cal). So many places are going under or just barely hanging on. I know people who get checks and are told not to cash them for another 5 days. How is that helping you out? You could work an extra 20 hours and then not even get paid. Or just be told not to come in.

    With the economy right now, people are having a hard enough time finding one job, let alone a second.
    So getting a second job isn’t as easy as people think.

  9. Because my first job sometimes takes 12 hours a day, and during those times, going to a second job will be impossible. Also my employer has moon lighting and non-compete clauses that makes it hard to get another job.

  10. The thought of getting a second job overwhelms me. I already work 70 hrs a week (despite only getting paid for 40), as well as being obligated to respond to my blackberry at other times.

    I’m already struggling to maintain any kind of balance and would rather spend my meagre amount of spare time with the people I love.

    Even if I managed to somehow reduce my regular job hours, my job is a reasonably high profile one with semi-regular media spots and it could potentially impact on my regular employer as well.