8 tips for juggling part-time jobs

Juggling 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.

Working any type of schedule can require some juggling between your job and your other personal or professional commitments. This is especially true for workers who are employed in multiple part-time jobs. Not only do they have to balance work with their personal life, but they have to manage and coordinate various workloads and schedules.

Some workers take on multiple part-time jobs by choice; they like the variety and the idea that no day is ever the same. Others find themselves working several jobs out of financial necessity.

Whatever the reason, finding a way to juggle each 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. Stay local
Isaura Gonzalez, licensed clinical psychologist, board certified coach and CEO of Hudson Psychological in Staten Island, NY, says that if you need to work multiple jobs, try to stay within an easy commute when possible. “It helps reduce stress, frustration and maximizes the amount of time you are using.”

2. Maintain a schedule
“Maintaining a schedule is crucial when multitasking or multi-working, Gonzalez says. “When [and] where you have to be becomes a blur and confusing when you are bouncing around from location to location.” Gonzalez suggests using a weekly appointment calendar with 15 minute time slots. “Using highlighters to mark different locations [and] jobs helps tremendously [in] keeping things organized.”

3. Make a checklist
Another helpful organizing tool is as easy as having a pen and pad of paper. “Balancing two or more jobs gets distracting, which can make it easy to forget tasks,” says Erik Episcopo, a career adviser and resume expert at Resume Genius. “Organization is key to successfully juggling part-time jobs. Begin each day by writing a checklist of things that need to get done for each job.”

4. Choose jobs strategically

Molly Celaschi, executive director at Malena Public Relations, says, “Keep various jobs different if you get bored easily, need a challenge, want a varied skill set or are considering a career change. Or, keep the jobs in the same field if you want to specialize in one field and gain experience and knowledge the fastest.”

5. Communicate effectively
If you’re working in a consulting or freelancing role and are juggling multiple clients, you may want to make it seem as though each client is the only one that’s getting your attention. But, you’re usually better off being transparent, so you can manage expectations as needed. “I think the most important part of balancing multiple jobs is being communicative with your clients [and] employers,” says Lynn Maleh, writer, editor and creative consultant. “Make sure they know you have other projects going on, and always give yourself more time than you think you need for completing projects. I prefer to undershoot than overshoot.”

6. Resist overlap

“Eliminate overlap,” Celaschi recommends. “Do not work two jobs at the same time, i.e., be logged in
online to a telecommuting job while sitting in the office for another position. It's not in the company's best interest, or yours. You'll mix projects and make errors.”

7. Take breaks
“Ending a shift just to start another right after can be demoralizing,” Episcopo says. “That's why it’s important to schedule a three or four hour period between shifts to allow you some time to take a breather, get something to eat or even take a reenergizing nap.”

8. Set limits
You may think that the more jobs you take on, the better off you’ll be, but if you stretch yourself too thin, you’ll end up burning out and may even jeopardize the quality of the work you produce. So, it’s important to set some boundaries. “Set limits often and redefine as necessary. Otherwise, you will be overextended on your time, leaving you open to frustration and stress,” Gonzalez says.