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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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41 Comments on "Comment of the week: “Get two jobs”"

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Katie
Katie
7 years 8 months ago
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.… Read more »
Andy
Andy
7 years 8 months ago
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.
Julia
Julia
7 years 8 months ago
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… Read more »
Moneymonk
7 years 8 months ago

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”

Nathan
Nathan
7 years 8 months ago
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… Read more »
Ted
Ted
7 years 8 months ago

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.

Ben
Ben
7 years 8 months ago
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… Read more »
Kat
Kat
7 years 8 months ago
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.… Read more »
richerandslimmer.com
7 years 8 months ago

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.

loveners
loveners
7 years 8 months ago

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.

phillygrrl
7 years 8 months ago

Trying to get my third job at the moment. Sigh. Thanks for the encouragement, Ramit!

jay
jay
7 years 8 months ago
I have had 2 jobs for about the last 13 years, and never really think about it any more. I don’t really enjoy either of them, but I do enjoy the “disposable” income that the second job provides. And that’s really the only reason I have it; to spend money on stuff I want and like without guilt. And now that I’m (recently) married, I split that “disposable” money evenly with my wife. Pretty much everyone (except my wife, now) thinks I’m stupid for holding on to the second job. But whatever. I like having the $.
Diversity is Key
Diversity is Key
7 years 8 months ago
I believe in diversity. I have a “real” job I have been at for 9+ years (great benefits – retirement, fully paid medical for myself and family, dental, advanced training, two weeks paid vacation, and great pay (30+/hr) to boot). I have worked my way up. I am also in the Air National Guard (1 weekend / month – two weeks a year), again great benefits (retirement, medical/dental coverage at reduced prices, training, 100 tuition paid at State colleges) and decent pay (approx $10K/year). I can retire in 4 years. Again, I have worked my way up. My wife and… Read more »
Todd Borst
7 years 8 months ago

Because time is more important to me than money. Hell, I’ve even quite my first job already so I can have more time. There are several ways to make money. I’m glad I got out of the time-for-money trade and found something else. (Click my name for my blog).

Amy
Amy
7 years 8 months ago

Getting a second job doesn’t have to mean getting another job just like your primary one. For instance, I have a normal 40hr/wk job, but during the spring and fall I coach lacrosse. I certainly don’t consider spending a few hours a week outside playing a drain on time I’d otherwise spend on my ass at home.

Ben Bleikamp
7 years 8 months ago

I enjoy my job and make plenty of money, but in my free time I also do consulting and freelance work because it is money that goes straight to my savings account. Is it technically two jobs? No. Is it the same amount of time? Yes.

Steve.
Steve.
7 years 8 months ago
I worked multiple jobs at a time while in college and the habit did not wear off once I graduated. I was not making much money after graduation so I found a 2nd job at night doing data entry and was able to use that money for vacations and staying out of debt. I did that for about 2 years. 7 years later I was facing a layoff and so I found another similar job working a few hours at night each week. Within a year I was able to pay off my car loan and have about 6 months… Read more »
stephanie
7 years 8 months ago
I understand feeling frustration about not being able to have a second job – as I mentioned in the “What do you do” post, I have a full-time job in residence life which requires me to live on campus and prohibits other jobs. However, there are always things anyone can be doing to line up plans for the future – in my free time, I’ve found volunteer opportunities and other activities to participate in that are expanding my network and providing opportunities to learn new skills. Although I’m not benefiting from them financially at the moment, if I were to… Read more »
The Personal Finance Playbook
7 years 8 months ago

My career takes up most of my time. If I have a second job, it’s blogging (though I could make a lot more money spending the time doing something else). I’m a government attorney, and we’re not allowed to freelance/moonlight because of conflicts.

One second job some people might be interested in on a freelance basis that’s coming up is tax preparation. Of course, it’s more competitive than it used to be because the job market isn’t strong. I have more than one friend that has done this from time to time.

Pooja
Pooja
7 years 8 months ago

Everyone wants or has a certain lifestyle. If you like how yours is–awesome.
If you don’t like your lifestyle then get off your a** and get a second job/income without complaining. It’s all about doing something. If you’re trying, good for you but just complaining does NOT help.

Cyn94601
Cyn94601
7 years 8 months ago
The summer I was sixteen I had three jobs. One during the day at a title insurance company, one at a restaurant week nights and at a kids amusement park on the weekends. I loved it! I felt so useful and alive. I’ve never again had three jobs, but certainly had two very often. I’m a director at a software company and often do freelance projects. It’s often a way to pay for extras and to stay connected in the event that my job disappears. I will say that I often lived by the concept of money shortages mean you… Read more »
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[…] it to take 2-3 years to be debt-free, you see I’m sort of impatient. So I did what one of Ramit’s readers recommended recently, I got another […]

andy
7 years 7 months ago

I have just picked up my third job; I am 31, I have an energy conservation company which performs energy audits and install energy efficient upgrades. I work for a builder as a project manager negotiating contracts, supervising field employees building new energy effieicent homes. And I just started a third job on weekends I was a nurse in my previous life and just started again to save money to invest in multifamilies.

M
M
7 years 7 months ago

I had three jobs last year, which enabled me to pay off my credit card debt. Currently, I only have one job, and I feel like I could be doing more. It helps that my “real job” is only 9 to 5!

Robin
Robin
7 years 7 months ago
I think a lot of people don’t get a second job because the types of jobs that are typically “second” jobs have odd hour requirements. I’ve worked several jobs at once before (I worked 4 once for 4 months or so, it was awful) and it always turns out terribly because the schedule isn’t regular. Jobs like waiting tables or retail schedule you hours and you’re expected to work them, and the hours aren’t always the same. I was once even threated to lose one of my jobs because I was trying to juggle several and when they tried to… Read more »
Alberto
Alberto
7 years 7 months ago

I think a second job works for people who have predictable hours in their primary job.

I work for a consulting firm and sometimes I must work 60+ hours a week when critical projects are on the line (I typically work about 50). A second job would interfere with my ability to work at my primary job.

Jenn
Jenn
7 years 7 months ago

I think it depends on what you mean by “job” or “consulting gig.” Working two corporate jobs? I don’t think so.

Modeling or acting on the side? Awesome. Freelance writing in your spare time? Great. Teaching a class? Wonderful. Running your own odd jobs business or Etsy store? Fun. Being a personal trainer? Exciting. Running a poker den? Hmmm . . .

Two corporate jobs? You may as well start selling blood.

Adventurous Wench women's travel

Well if you are really determined in being financial free then you won’t really mind having 2-3 jobs even when job that is not “professional.” i think it is more important to get a second job that excites you and is in line with your passion. That way, the stress levels becomes more bearable.

Rob
7 years 7 months ago

I think it’s a social stigma. People don’t want to take a second job because it could be looked down on in their circle of friends. I think this could especially be true for recent grads who are all starting out on a somewhat level income, but who compete for braggings rights (I make $xx,xxx per year now!).

Of course, few people ever got ahead (and rich) by caving into social pressure and doing what everyone else was doing.

Luci
Luci
7 years 7 months ago

A couple years ago, I wound up working three part-time jobs while attending school full-time so that I could afford to study abroad. The year that I did it in really sucked, but the home-stay experience in Mexico was more than worth it. After working that much, I think taking on two jobs would be more than feasible.

Pev
7 years 7 months ago

I’d say, instead of getting two jobs – just don’t work at all!!! Focus on building up your skills and talent and the money will soon follow. But I guess I’m not one to speak since I’m not in that type of situation. Here is an article I read about debt that is something to enjoy 🙂 4 Gutsy Ways To Get Out of Debt I think we all need a little laughter, even if our situations aren’t very great.

Saleem
7 years 7 months ago
I once saved a lot of money by having a two-hour job on Friday nights from 7-9:30. Why: It kept me from going out in the early part of the night on Friday. I made like 40 bucks, but had the multiplier effect of forcing me to miss the most expensive part of a night out. And I could still meet up with a friend afterward if I felt like it, so I didn’t feel like I was missing my weekend. If you asked around, I bet lots of places are looking for help at those times just because it’s… Read more »
pat
pat
7 years 7 months ago
I don’t have a job. I’ve been off work for 7 months, hangin with my son, spending time doing things I want to do. I’ll probably have to find another job eventually, but I’ve got a few more months/years to find something that I’ll like (I hope). But, it’s not like I’m a bum. I paid my dues with 30 years of corporate life. Some was good, some sucked. Never did a good job of “playing the game”, but always made myself valuable enough to not get laid off in 30 years. I have no desire to get back into… Read more »
Marie Kat
Marie Kat
7 years 7 months ago

Congratulations on that Pat. I wish I could do what your doing, but you know what you paid your do’s so you should be enjoying life. But how do you pay for everything now? have you saved money? and if so where how, I’m so bad at saving but I’m trying to learn, I wish that in 30 years I can stop working and still be able to maintain a happy lifestyle

Altestjem
7 years 7 months ago

Interesting and communicative, but would be suffering with something more on this topic?

Mindy
Mindy
7 years 7 months ago
Mentally, I understand the idea that working *more* is a very hard thing to do. However, with that said, it all comes down to what it takes to survive. After my ex left and saddled me with a mortgage, I cut expenses to the bone (peanut butter and crackers anyone?) and then got 2nd, 3rd, or 4th jobs. I did a lot of stuff on the side, even while going to school, to make ends meet. I babysat (sometimes up to 3 times a week, every week for months on end), I did transcription, I did house-sitting, I did pet-sitting,… Read more »
Cheska
7 years 6 months ago
I have been working 2 jobs since September 2008. Initially, my motivation wasn’t really money.. A few months before starting working part-time in retail, I had applied for an entry-level merchandising position and the feedback that I got was that I had no retail experience.. So I thought.. hmm.. Why not get a part-time job to get retail experience? I’ve been juggling my 40 hrs/week day job at a non-profit and a part-time job at the mall since then.. My paycheck at the part-time job is direct deposited to my retirement account.. 🙂 Retail is a little hard at times… Read more »
Suman Roy
3 months 24 days ago

Thank You for you share us the great information. I think this information very help full for lots of people.

Suman Roy
3 months 15 days ago

Hello, This is a great news for us. Your second job news nice but job time very high, otherwise all of very good. Thanks, you sharing a great news with us.

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1 month 12 days ago

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