Second Job Doesn’t Have to be Just About the Money

Posted By Kine' Corder on January 2, 2017 at 7:05 pm
Second Job Doesn’t Have to be Just About the Money

Finding a career that is gratifying and fulfilling can be more important to millennials then it has been to past generations. But there are financial considerations, too. That’s largely the reason that more than 8.1 million Americans held multiple jobs in November, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Doing work that brings a sense of meaning and connection to the greater good can add more value to life than money alone, of course. Conflicting thoughts about owning a business, having a six-figure salary and adding value to the world can leave one unsettled. With a little creativity and time management, one can have it all.

Even high-paying jobs may not give millennials or other workers the satisfaction they seek. For entrepreneurs, building a successful business can take time and the uncertainty of success can make it feel like an impossibility. Reasons for having a side hustle are plenty and quite personal.

But many experts warn that if the biggest reason for seeking additional employment is that a person doesn’t earning enough on his or her current job, addressing that issue is the first order of business before preparing for a side hustle.

Finding the right second job

If owning a business is the ultimate goal but living a cushy life is most important right now, try adding a side hustle that connects and fits into your free time. For example, if you love planning parties, then maybe a side business as a party planner is ideal.

Digital marketing analyst Christina Oswald likes her side job because it doesn’t generally intrude on her life. “My second job is as a bartender. It’s a job with very little work stress, when you hang your wine key up for the night you walk away from the night with no unfinished tasks or lingering deadlines.”

Unfortunately, her bartender life isn’t always separate from her analyst life. “The harder part where they cross is seeing clients while working the bar. It’s not a job people respect, I think it discredits some of the work I do. But hey I make an extra 25K a year working 3 nights a week,” Oswald says.

But even when the second job is enjoyable, it’s important to have to set some rules. Daffnee Cohen, an entrepreneur and online marketing expert, gives some simple but vital tips for managing a second job:

  • Time management/organization. “Get a calendar – keep your phone calendar updated.”
  • Say no. “Know when to say no and DONT commit to things you cannot do.”
  • Rest. “Take time for yourself – you need rest, exercise and veggies!”
  • Ask yourself if it’s permanent? “If not, set your deadline!”

That last tip is particularly important. Measurements that can be used to determine when it’s time to leave one of your jobs are income, time, mental capacity, and quality of life. When you can no longer mentally support both jobs and when you determine that your quality of life would be better without both, it may be time to exit. If the side hustle can support you, you might not want that to be the job you discard.

Should you start a business as your second job?

Of course, the dream for many is to start their own business. For some, that stab at entrepreneurship starts as a side gig. Ben Eshaghian, one of the founders of IV Coffee Co. in Culver City, CA, considers himself a serial entrepreneur. “I’m always looking for new ways to express my creativity and new opportunities. Over the past three years, I’ve created two companies while managing a full time position as Marketing Director at a medical startup.”

Being an entrepreneur sounds attractive, of course, but it isn’t the life for everyone, Eshaghian explains. “The first piece of advice I would offer anyone looking to live this double life is to learn to manage their mental health. One of my partners did not and suffered from depression a year into the venture.”

Similarly, those who start companies must keep tabs on their physical health. “While developing my first startup, I ended up gaining 20 pounds since I had no time to exercise and took too many smoking breaks with the development team. Now that I’m onto my second venture, I learned from both experiences and make a point to hit the gym between my two jobs.” Even in the gym, Eshaghian likes to multi-task. “I use this time to set the agenda for the second venture, re-energize and socialize.”

It all works better, he says, if both jobs have confluence. “Use experiences in one venture to grow into the other one. Today’s business world is ever more interconnected and fast moving. One lesson learned in a field can easily be transposed into another one. That way, both jobs benefit from your newly acquired expertise and will balance the certain lack of energy or focus you may have at times.”

Sterling Graham, owner of style and fitness website, says time management is critical to long-term happiness in a second job. “It’s all about managing your time wisely, there is nothing you can do to make there be more hours in a day so make the ones you got count. As an example I write articles as my second job so during my lunch break on my first job I will use it to write in between eating.”

More on forming an exit strategy

A financial plan for knowing the right time to leave the current job can be motivating. Determine the amount of money needed to replace the regular salary, add in perks that come with owning a business, subtract expenses for not having a job, and count all the costs. This is not an exact formula, but it can help you create a number that you feel comfortable with.

Also, consider saving up at least six months of expenses to make it through the unforeseen once you commit full-time to what started as a side hustle. Once the second job begins to make money, save it for your exit strategy.

To determine how much time you have to commit to your side hustle, try this out.  Start by calculating your “You Formula.” This is the activity that makes up your lifestyle. Add up the things you do and find out where you have free time. Figure out what you can cut from your life.  Once you have the calculation and you have created more time by cutting unnecessary activity, fill that space with activities that will build your said hustle into a thriving business – and a career that fulfills you in multiple ways.

Kine' Corder
Kiné has 13 years of experience in the financial services industry and is a member of the Financial Therapy Association.

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