Is it possible to undertake parallel careers?
Holding down one job may be difficult enough, but have you ever considered taking on a second career? How do you find the time, and can it be done successfully?
Having a second job naturally lends itself to part-timers and freelancers who are generally used to working in a more flexible way.
If you don't think there's time for another job on top of your current 9-5 permanent role, don't forget that evenings and weekends don't have to be spent lazing on the sofa, and that a job doesn't have to be see seen as a chore. Work-life balance is essential for your general wellbeing, so be flexible and find a better balance.
Reasons for parallel careers
Having one job and being committed to it is no bad thing, but there are plenty of reasons why it can be an excellent idea to run a parallel career.
Doing something you love
It's unfortunate, but not everyone can earn enough to pay their bills by following their passion. However, a second career as a yoga teacher or film reviewer could give you a chance to fulfil your ambitions on a part time basis.
Prospects of greater earnings
Money makes the world go round, and a second career will give you an extra stream of income. If you're saving for something special or struggling financially, two jobs are better than one.
If one job is taken away, you'll find your earnings drop, but you'll still have the second job providing you some income until you find a new job.
A sense of independence
When someone becomes part of a company they can soon become engrossed in their work, with their boss seeming like their divine leader. A second job will help you focus on yourself, and what it is you want to get out of each role.
A better use of time
Many people feel like they don't make use of their spare time, so some join a club, some take up a hobby, and some take on a parallel career.
Meeting new people
If your main job doesn't offer much of an opportunity to interact with others, a job behind a bar or volunteering at a care home might be a good second job option.
Sitting behind a desk all day doesn't do you much good, so consider a job as a DIY assistant or gardener to get some blood running through your veins.
To gather different experiences
There are an increasing number of people who don't know what career they want, so are trying a few out for size. Two part time careers can let you discover the elements of work that really motivate you, so you can find the right career path without having to constantly switch jobs.
Making a second career work
Finding a second career can be difficult, but like anything, if you set your mind to it you can achieve anything you want. Here are some tips for making it work:
- Always have a goal to work towards
- Try to do one of your jobs close to home to cut travel time and cost
- Try to do two jobs that are completely different
- Give each job the time it requires
To some employers, having a second job is seen as 'moonlighting', but technically this is only the case when you do your second job on company time. Don't cheat your current employer by working in their time as you could be in breach of your contract and in serious trouble. Always check with your current company and contract.
Flexibility is a key part of success in parallel careers. You need to know when one role requires a bit more of your attention and arrange your time accordingly. You don't want to jeopardise either career by letting your focus slip, but you also don't want to be in a situation where you can't tilt the balance and put in extra effort when required.
If you find that a second job is having a negative impact on other areas of your life, do a thorough assessment of your time, your goals and your financial situation to see the areas which could be tweaked. There's no point taking on a second career if it alienates your family or your fitness.
If you're doing two jobs, you should still aim to take holidays and build in the work-life priorities. With careful planning and application, having two careers can actually make you happier, and more positive.
You will have given yourself a degree of control and discipline and you could be pleasantly surprised how much time there is in your life.