The Rise of The Second Job

With the cost of living rising, many Australians are now turning to side hustles to make ends meet. A record number of us hold multiple jobs – 867,000, according to new data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. That figure is 180,000 people higher than it was five years ago. The number of people moonlighting in a second job has been growing at a faster rate than the growth in primary jobs.

Impact Economics and Police lead economist Angela Jackson said the increasing number of Australians working multiple jobs suggested more people were probably struggling to find secure, full-time work.

This phenomenon is also a function of many families needing to supplement their primary income because of low wage growth, the boom in flexible jobs as part of the “sharing” economy and the ease in starting your own part-time business.

Just think about the friends and family driving an Uber for extra cash or delivering food or selling goods online. That Australian entrepreneurial spirit and passion for hard work is alive as well. That extra income is not only invaluable to balancing the family budget but also provides a great training ground to establish future businesses.

While the extra cash from either a second job, or a business on the side, can be welcome, don’t underestimate the commitment and the discipline you need to make it work. Some points to consider include:

Be upfront with your employer: Tell them you have another job and they may be more willing to work with your schedule. Remember, it is important you leave enough time for your family as well as for periods of rest.

A second job is only temporary for most people: Generally speaking, the majority of people who take on a second position do so because they have financial goals they are trying to reach. Remembering your employment is only temporary will make the situation much more bearable.

Chase jobs that offer a unique experience: Rather than opt for a position similar to your primary job, look for something that will spice things up a bit. Even if the job does not appear exciting on the surface, a change in scenery and responsibility can make things easier on you.

Your second job should align with the rest of your life and goals: If your primary job requires you to work 9—5, you need to find a position that can be scheduled around this. Maybe you could work 6—10 in the evening? Or on the weekend. Be open to all possibilities, but again, don’t choose a set up that will destroy your lifestyle.

If your second job comes from starting a business on the side, there are an additional set of considerations to tackle:

Talk to the family: It’s essential you have the support of your family before starting a part-time venture. Discuss the idea with them and explain the pressures it will create on family life and free time.

Be a time manager: Juggling the hours in the day for full-time work and a part-time dream means you have to take advantage of every minute of the day. Use lunch hours and free time to work on the business but do it in a disciplined way.

Don’t let the day job slip: The performance at your full-time job is critical. It must not deteriorate. Remember that job is providing the all-important financial security to try a new business.

Never compete with your boss: Apart from being unethical, you can be accused of fraud by pinching ideas and systems. Start a totally different business or a separate niche.

If a second career is something you may be considering, but you’re unsure how to approach it, we offer a range of services that can assist with the transition including resume and cover letter writing, interview coaching and career coaching.

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