A Second Job Can Open Doors

When struggling to make ends meet many people decide to try taking on a second job to boost their monthly income. This is probably the most common reason why people seek additional employment to supplement a primary "day job".

The extra pay is definitely a benefit, however, there are also some other advantages that can come with taking a second job. These benefits not only help increase household income or quality of life, but also could help further a career. Second jobs may offer an opportunity for fringe benefits, professional development, additional job experience or training, and networking capabilities.

Computer keyboard
Credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Computer_keyboard.gif (Public Domain)

1. Fringe Benefits

Sometimes a secondary employer can offer benefits such as health insurance, life insurance, pension plan, paying for school or other tangible benefits. This is where an extra job can really pay off. Many people might  prefer their primary job due to the kind of work they do and/or may be in it for the higher pay. However, other important items may be lacking. 

For instance, if the primary employer does not offer benefits, such as a good healthcare plan or a means for retirement, a second job often helps fill this void; a very good reason for seeking additional employment. I know a lot of people that maintain a low-paying job just to have good insurance. These types of benefits augment the lower salary making it worthwhile.

2. Professional Development

A second job can offer a unique opportunity to grow a professional career. For example, if the primary job pays well but it is a dead-end job, an additional one could provide the ability to climb the proverbial corporate ladder.

In addition to diversifying professional skills, the extra job may be a great way to enhance a resume. Often distinctive and unique skills obtained in a secondary job may give a resume a much needed boost and provide the opportunity to be able to include additional skills, talents and experience on a resume.

3. Experience and Training

Pursuing a "moonlighting" position provides the opportunity to gain additional experience and training. If your primary job doesn't allow you to grow and gain additional experience and knowledge in order to further your career, a second one may very well provide the opportunity. The ability to stretch your career legs and look to newer and better prospects may be a great benefit to a second job.

woman using computer
Credit: F Delventhal (krossbow on Flickr)/CC by 2.0 with Attribution

4. Networking

The ability to network with colleagues, managers, vendors or even customers at a secondary place of employment significantly increases your networking potential. With two positions, you increase your chances of meeting more people, expanding your professional network. Through increased networking, this can lead to better career or business opportunities.

Working for two employers is often a difficult balance, but when the benefits outweigh the drawbacks it may be worth the effort. For many people the health insurance or retirement benefits are the deal breaker, for others the career opportunities that can arise as the result of taking on an additional job.

The decision to work two jobs is a very personal choice and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Before taking on the burden, it is always a good idea to weigh the benefits and drawbacks to decide if it is the right move for you. Sometimes an extra job is not all its cracked up to be. Think about what sacrifices will need to be made and then decide if the net benefit is worth the time and energy invested.

If, in the long run, the extra work will pay off and enhance quality of life, it might be worth pursuing.