I currently work two jobs and have done so for almost two years now.
The decision to work two jobs was primarily due to the fact that we lost nearly $1,900 a month over a two year period. I am grateful for the Social Security payments we received over the years after my husband died, but certainly wish the benefits could have continued through their college years. Living expenses don’t stop if the kids go on to college.
Our financial situation is certainly not uncommon in today’s times though and it’s not limited to only single-parent homes. I don’t know too many people that could easily survive on one income in today’s environment. One solution to ease the financial burden, regardless of whether you’re a single parent or a dual-income family struggling to meet your financial responsibilities, is to find a part-time job.
What type of part-time job should you pick though? Here are three things to consider when starting your job search.
Flexibility of Hours
The first thing you should consider is when you’re available to work. If you’re currently working a full-time job then you should look for positions with hours available outside your normal schedule. The same applies if you’re in school. Part-time jobs should not interfere with your main income or education.
In my case, my job is generally a Monday-Friday, 8-5pm (well, more like 5:30-6pm-ish most days to be honest). I was looking for a position that would let me work in the evenings on weekdays or on the weekend.
Will you need someone to watch your kids while you work the extra hours? You’ll also need to consider this because paying for childcare might negate the benefit of working extra hours. Try to schedule around your spouse/partner’s hours or find a friend or relative who could help out with watching the kids.
What type of job are you looking for? Do you want to do something similar to what you’re already doing in your full-time position? Want to try something totally different? Feeling a little bored/burnt out in your current job? Look for a position in a different field so you can “test out” the job and see if it might be a good fit for you down the road.
My day job is in accounting and I work for a small medical equipment supplier. I work 40 plus hours at that job so I wanted something a little different for my second job. I’ve worked for an apartment leasing office in the past and currently am working at a friend’s Dairy Queen on the weekend. I like the variety, although to be completely honest working at Dairy Queen is much harder at 44-years-old then it was when I worked there years earlier as a 17-year-old. My old knees and back remind me of this after an 8-hour shift.
Location should be another important consideration. You’re already taking additional time away from your family. I would suggest something with a limited commute time. Another consideration would be to find a position that allows you to work from home. It will probably take a bit of research but there are companies out there that have customer service positions that allow you to work from home and they are generally flexible with hours since you would be most likely talking to customers in various time zones.
Restaurants and even grocery stores are frequently hiring for delivery drivers now. Uber and Lyft are two other companies that are often hiring. You will want to think about wear and tear on your car and whether you need additional insurance in considering a delivery position though.
You could also work from home in a freelance position if you are a writer or graphic designer, or have another skill similar to these that you could market to a business. I’m attempting this on the side as well through my blog. I’ll warn you that it’s a slow process to develop a blog into a income stream so I wouldn’t choose this route if you’re looking for immediate income.
Final Thoughts on Part-Time Jobs
Whatever your goal is with working the second job, be sure to take care of yourself while you’re working the extra hours. Don’t neglect your relationship with friends and family either. Also, remember, for most people a part-time job is a fairly short-term venture so stay focused on your financial goals!
How would you use the extra funds that come with a part-time job? Do you need the funds to make sure your standard bills are paid? Need the money to help get ahead on bills? Padding your emergency fund? Saving for a nice vacation next summer?