I hate to say it, but I always (until now) had an “elitist” view of what it meant to be a person who had a second job. In my mind it meant that you were not skilled enough to have one single job to provide for all your needs and wants or that you had hit some rough luck and with the economy the way it is, you couldn’t find a job that matched your skill level. I’m embarrassed to write this because now I know people have multiple jobs for reasons other than just to make ends meet.
I recently was lucky enough to get a second job to add income to my current job that already pays above average. Like many in my age group I have student loans. Almost $500 a month is taken out of my paychecks to pay them down and even after paying for almost 7 years, it feels like I’ll be paying them even after I’m dead. But like so many I have goals far beyond simply making ends meet or living comfortably or being able to retired before I’m 80. I don’t want the debt I incurred to “better” myself to hold me back from pursuing my dreams and aspirations.
While my “9-5” provides for all my bills and gives me a bit of “fun money” and a little bit more to add to savings, I had been thinking how I could expedite the process of paying down debts and saving money. My regular job is fairly all consuming. I usually work 60-80 hour weeks as I have an international role and am “on call” almost always. I started planning several months ago to make a large change in my life around this time next year and with that I began thinking of ways to increase my income.
I have a graphic design background but there are WAY better designers out there than me. I can write pretty well (in my opinion) but only in a fictitious or journalistic manner. I’ve done photography all my life but I’ve never been able to sell a photo (and I honestly hate shooting people, I’ve had way too many bad experiences.) Doing anything on Fiverr just really didn’t seem like an option. I had loads of really expensive stuff I could sell and was planning on that route until I got scammed out of a sale that would have made me close to $1000 dollars. After that I realized there was only one option. GET A SEOND JOB.
So while all my friends work one job and are content (buying houses, having kids etc), I wanted more. Maybe that makes me greedy but I see it in a different light. I see taking on the endeavor of working 19 extra hours a week to pay down my debts, increase my saving and work toward my goals of moving abroad in a year as many different things not least of which has been attitude altering.
Is working between 80 and 100 hours a week exhausting? Absolutely. Do I at times want to just say screw it and sleep in on the weekends when I have to be at my second job at 9am? Definitely. Is being both mentally and physically taxed all the time something I enjoy? Not really. But through all these emotions and thoughts has come a renewed epiphany- life is what you make it, and if I want things to go a certain way, every decision I make will either take me closer or further away from the end game.
So while I sit here and attempt to write this, mind fatigued after working a full 9 hour day at my day job and then another 4 hours at my second job, exhausted both mentally and physically, I know without a doubt that getting a second job is so much more than just the money I will make. It like travel has opened my eyes to the reality of so many and made me rethink how I view people with multiple jobs. Having one job that can take care of you needs and your hopes and dreams doesn’t make you any better than people who have multiple jobs. It just makes you very lucky or blessed , whichever you subscribe to. Everyone who gives up what little free time they have to work more towards a goal, whatever that may be, has my upmost respect. They understand the concept of hustle, and finally I do too.