The Benefits of Working a Second Job, Part 1

By: Marie Donlon

According to a number of studies, working a second job can come with perks beyond the financial. Of course, the reason most employees pursue a second job is financially inspired, usually to make ends meet, to catch up on bills or to save for a trip or some other expense outside of what they can comfortably afford working one job alone.

What follows is a list of benefits from working a second job or career.

Helps Pay the Bills

One of the most obvious reasons for working a second job is to catch up on bills. Are you trying to pay off your college loans faster? Maybe you have gotten behind on credit card or car payments? Regardless, there is no better way to earn more than to take on additional work.

Helps Pay for Vacation

Vacations can be costly expenditures that are often unaffordable on one job alone. As such, most people forgo them, opting instead to stay home and save money. However, in a number of studies, experts suggest that leaving home for even a long weekend is beneficial to mental health and productivity. Yet, saving for a vacation at your current rate of pay may be impossible. As such, working for a short period, with the sole intention of saving for vacation, may result in your eventually returning from a vacation refreshed and ready for increased productivity at your primary job.

Helps Build Skills and Resume

Employees, particularly those fresh out of college, are generally not guaranteed their dream job the moment they graduate from college or graduate school. In fact, new grads are often forced to take jobs that aren’t necessarily in their field for any number of reasons. If employees can’t find work in the field of their choice, maybe a second job in that industry can help employees earn their stripes. Whether they are turned away due to lack of experience or lack of availability in the industry, taking on part-time work will help employees land, at the very least, a foothold in the industry.

This advice works for folks considering a mid-career change as well. Taking on a second job in a new field will help earn the experience required for making the ultimate career transition.

Likewise, having real-world experience in the field you are considering a transition to can also be helpful in terms of forming an impression of the industry. Perhaps after your foray into the second career, you discover you are not suited to it. Instead of hastily making the transition and quitting your primary job, working that second job may, in the long run, save you valuable time and from making a potentially catastrophic professional mistake.

Perhaps a second job gives you the chance to use a skill set or other talents that aren’t in demand in your day job. A second job could potentially give you the chance to hone those skills.

Additionally, a second job may offer a chance to network with others in an industry you hope to pursue a career in, as well as a chance to gather valuable contacts for future opportunities, references or both.

Check back next week for Part 2.