21st Century Dad
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Is Working a Second Job Right For You?

April 3rd, 2008 . by 21st Century Dad
Photo: Valentin Mosichev, iStockphoto.com

Many people have worked two jobs to help make ends meet. Mike at From Mike.com contemplated it for a while. My buddy Joe currently works two jobs. It’s a popular ingredient in many triumph over adversity stories. Sometimes it’s a necessity, but let’s explore possible alternatives.

Let’s talk about Joe first. He has a beautiful baby girl that he doesn’t get to see as often as he should. He works two jobs and has an insane commute to both of them. I admire his fortitude, but it must put a big strain on him and his family. His wife works full time and cares for their toddler too.

Joe works about 20 hours a week at his 2nd job, which is about 50 miles from his home. His main job is about 30 miles away. That’s a lot of time in the car each day.

He justifies it by saying it’s another $12,000 a year. Okay, you’ve got me there Joe. I’d love to have $1000 more each month, but at what cost?


When I studied computer programming, I had one teacher that would never give a grade of 100% on an assignment if it was a computer program. He reasoned that you can always write the program better. I’ve always believed that all processes are subject to improvement. Income generation is definitely worthy of putting under this microscope. I don’t want Joe’s life, and Joe probably doesn’t want it either.

Spend Less Money – Frugal Dad takes this approach. Spend less and you’ll have more money. His blog serves up real advice that really works toward that end. Cut out unnecessary spending, and hundreds of dollars appear in your bank account every month! The much vilified daily latte is only the beginning. You can then use that money to pay down your credit card debt you racked up trying to keep up with consumerism!

Look for Work-at-Home Opportunities – Guys like Bob at Operation Bob chronicle such money making opportunities for the work-at-home-parent. If you’re already blogging, consider monetizing it. When you enter the blogosphere, there are literally hundreds of “make money online” offers out there. I’m skeptical of most, but Bob continues to expose the ones that are worthwhile.

Build Multiple Small Streams of IncomeSteve Pavlina advocates this in his article and podcast, 10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job. One thing he talks about is cultivating multiple streams of income. If one dries up, it’s not a big deal. You can shift your energy to another one and make up the slack. If you get fired from your job, you’re screwed (at least temporarily). Your one and only source of income is suddenly shut off.

Leverage One Of Your Hobbies – I already mentioned blogging. You can participate in Google AdSense and hope to convert clicks. Do you enjoy photography and own a DSLR? Become a contributing photographer on one or more stock photography sites.

Creating My Multiple Streams

I just recently started a full-time job. A large chunk of my time is traded away for money. I’m still adjusting to this schedule and slowly implementing some time management tactics. Last night, it was already 10pm before I sat down at the computer.

As an avid photographer, I am exploring the stock photography route. I made a half-hearted attempt last year, but it’s time to revisit and beef up the portfolio. I also need to start marketing myself as a freelance photographer too.

This blog is picking up momentum, despite my abbreviated posting schedule. I employ contextual advertising, affiliate promotions, and I ask for donations. Turning in my 2-week’s notice is just a matter of building traffic now.

Why am I doing this? The extra money would really help out. 🙂 A part time job with set hours will take me away from my family longer than I need to be. It’s a lot of time to trade away for only a few precious dollars. It costs money to go to work. Joe spends a good portion of his earnings on gas. There is little to no potential for that job to be intellectually stimulating.

The initiatives I have in place are scalable, can eventually replace and exceed my job income, and can be done on my own time. My chosen activities are things I enjoy too. It’s bad enough to be working for someone else for 40 hours a week. A part time job would still pay more than my current efforts, but my earnings here are only a matter of devoting some more time and waiting for seeds to sprout.

2 Responses to “Is Working a Second Job Right For You?”

  1. comment number 1 by: Stacey Derbinshire

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

    Stacey Derbinshire

  2. comment number 2 by: Frugal Dad

    Thanks for the reference. Part time jobs are tough because they take you away from family. I decided not to go that route late last year and started up Frugal Dad as an alternative. The jury is still out on whether that was the right move financially, but it is much better than being away from my wife and kids four or five nights a week.

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