8 tips for juggling part-time jobs
Hear what career experts, as well as people who’ve dealt with such a work schedule, have to say about how best to juggle multiple jobs.
Today’s workforce is evolving in many ways. For example, many workers – particularly those newer to the workforce – are choosing a bunch of side hustles over one full-time job. Others find themselves working several jobs involuntarily out of financial necessity; according to the latest BLS jobs report, 4.6 million people were employed part-time for economic reasons.
Whatever the reason, finding a way to juggle more than one job and be successful while doing so can pose challenges. Hear what career experts, as well as people who’ve dealt with such a work schedule, have to say about how best to juggle multiple jobs.
1. Manage expectations
“The first [tip] is to manage expectations by ensuring each employer is fully aware of your availability and commitments,” says Ben Taylor, founder of www.homeworkingclub.com and a “serial solopreneur” who’s been juggling multiple commitments since 2004. “While it’s great to be flexible, overcommitting yourself can eventually lead to you either letting one of your employers down or losing all semblance of work-life balance.”
2. Get organized
Taylor says it’s also important to get – and stay – organized to keep your sanity and your ability to do the jobs well. He suggests using a software tool to do just that. “This only needs to be something like Microsoft Outlook or an Apple Calendar, but by linking it to your smartphone and ensuring it’s constantly up to date, you can ensure you don’t drop the ball and are always able to quickly check your availability.”
3. Adopt a schedule
“Parkinson’s Law says that work expands to fill the space it is given. That means the schedule you make – whether it is what days or hours to work, days you are going to complete major projects, or days to take off – is critical to your long-term success,” says Conor Richardson, CPA, author of “Millennial Money Makeover: Escape Debt, Save For Your Future, and Live the Rich Life Now” and founder of MillennialMoneyMakeover.com. “Be realistic with how much you want and need to work. Once you finalize your schedule, you will become remarkably accustomed to the routine, and success will follow.”
4. Don’t take on more than you can handle
Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation.com, says that when juggling multiple part-time jobs, it’s important not to bite off more than you can chew. “Do not try to take on so much work that the jobs start crashing into one another or pose a conflict of interest. Work hard, but know your limits to avoid burning out and gradually becoming less productive.”
5. Keep every commitment
At the same time, if you say “yes” to a job, you should see it through. “Juggling part-time jobs requires dedication and discipline. The important thing here is keeping every commitment,” says Christopher K. Lee, founder and career consultant at PurposeRedeemed.com. “If you find that you're often late or scrambling, take a step back. Evaluate your priorities and determine what you may want to cut back. Focus on excelling at a smaller number of activities. Those successes will take you further in your career than a bunch of mediocre performances.”
6. Limit your commute
“If you want to work multiple jobs with equal focus and attention, limiting your commute time should be your first priority,” says Ketan Kapoor, CEO and co-founder of online assessment platform Mettl. “Try to stay close to your job location and make sure every job you work is at a nearby location to each other, so you kill less time commuting and [spend] more time working. It can be a few blocks away, but shouldn’t require you to commute from one corner of the city to the other. Following this approach can also help you keep your energy levels in check.”
7. Choose jobs that use different strengths
Kapoor also suggests choosing jobs that are different in nature from each other. “Even when you work multiple jobs, your different employers won’t be very considerate about that fact,” Kapoor says. “In other words, you can’t compromise on any crucial aspects required to excel at that job. Therefore, you must keep the job nature different from one another. For instance, if one requires extensive mental inputs; the other one can be a bit mechanized in nature with some degree of physical activity.”
8. Give yourself a break
“Resting is a vital part of success. Scientific literature tells us that employees need vacations to recharge and be at their best when they are in the office,” Richardson says. “This is especially true for someone juggling different workplace dynamics and environments. The key is to understand the benefit, mentally and physically, that you gain from taking the time to wind down, assess and recover. You will thank yourself later.”