5 reasons to work a second job

Second Job - Chef pointing at a piece of French bread.
Image courtesy of stockimages/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We all know that no job is forever.

That’s why taking a second job may be a wise idea, even if you already work full-time.

Regardless if you own your own company or work in a successful one, the cold, hard reality is that sometimes things beyond your control may ultimately dictate your future.

With the US economy in a constant state of instability and a record number of middle class Americans now living in their cars or motels, the time to prepare for the worst is NOW:


Companies close.

Ownership sells.

Mergers lead to redundancies.

Economic factors lead to the elimination of your full-time job.

Unfortunately, these are very real possibilities that we all need to take into account when we think seriously about our livelihood and how we will support ourselves and our loved ones.

That’s why a second job (usually done on a part-time basis) may be a good option for people depending on their current life situation.

Of course it is not feasible for certain workers to take a second job, especially if their current full-time jobs require long hours.

This is a reality, but that doesn’t mean it is not possible.

People who work a lot of hours, such as small business owners, doctors, chefs, etc. have an obligation to be at their jobs for the long haul.

However, even people in these positions might be able to devote at least a few hours a week or month to certain part-time roles that could benefit their career in the long-run, such as:

  • Freelance consulting
  • Serving as a board member
  • Mentoring
  • Investing in real estate
  • Leading a networking association or trade group
  • Participating in local government

Regardless of the work, the opportunities and additional income (or potential for additional income) of taking a second job may contribute to your overall long-term financial sustainability and success.

Here are 5 reasons to work a second job (even if you already work full-time):

5. Earn extra money

Second Job - Woman holding a chainsaw
Image courtesy of Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Having a second job may bring an influx of cash that will allow you to build up your savings, start a rainy day fund, or pay down debts and loans faster.

However, many part-time opportunities may be unpaid, but may still offer good value for your time and effort. For example, you can volunteer to coach your kid’s soccer team, which might earn you a discount on your child’s league fees. Plus, you will get to spend more quality time with your kid.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to take just ANY part-time job. In fact, it might be detrimental to your health and your career if you take a stressful part-time job that you hate.

That’s why it makes sense to choose a part-time job that you might be interested in and actually enjoy. If you’re going to put in the hours, then it might as well be something enjoyable.

4. Learn additional skills

Second Job - Construction worker raising his arms in victory.
Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Every new opportunity you undertake will teach you something new.

Working a second job that is completely different from your regular job could be a fun way to learn new skills that you would not have the opportunity to learn in your main place of employment.

If your dream is to own your own restaurant, but you currently sell insurance, then taking a part-time server or line cook job is a reasonable method for learning behind-the-scene knowledge on how a successful restaurant operates.

Plus, you’ll learn invaluable lessons in communication, teamwork, leadership, and food that you can take with you for the rest of your life.

3. A second job will grow your network

Social media has made it easier to keep tabs on your professional network and maintain connections.

However, nothing beats an actual face-to-face conversation when it comes to building relationships that may lead to your future success.

A second job, particularly one that requires you to communicate with others, can be a effective way to expand and strengthen the relationships you have within your network.

2. See firsthand how to successfully operate a business…or how NOT to run a business!

As we all know, some of the best lessons we’ll ever learn were not taught in a classroom.

Instead they were taught in real life, where we have an opportunity to see with our own eyes how certain decisions lead to certain outcomes.

It’s one thing to read about business in a book, but it’s another thing to actively play a role in a successful business.

And what better way to learn all this stuff than by doing all this stuff?

A second job may also open your eyes to how not to run a business.

Sometimes seeing the WRONG way to run things is more valuable than learning the right way. Why? Because we learn more from failures than successes.

The more you learn, the more you will be able to apply to your OWN business if you decided to start one.

1. Get closer to achieving your dream

Second Job - Office workers celebrating
Image courtesy of Ambro/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Think about your dream career and life.

In order to achieve your dream career and life, what will you have to do?

  • Gain experience?
  • Make more money?
  • Pay off debts?

Taking a second job that is related to your dream is a very big step towards achieving that dream.


I know what many of you may be thinking.

I already work 40+ hours, have kids, responsibilities, and a personal life. How the heck could I fit a second part-time job into my already busy schedule!?

If that’s the case, then maybe this article was not useful to you.

However, if you’re like me and always try to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best, then maybe you see the value in working a second part-time job and how it can benefit your career and life.

Chances are, if you’re willing to work a full-time job in addition to a second part-time job and forsake sleep, time with friends and family, and other perks, then you have the discipline and drive to work hard and achieve what you want to do in life.

Even if the main reason why you work part-time in addition to full-time is to make ends and feed your family, that is extremely admirable. Believe me, I have the utmost respect for anybody hustling at the Grind.

Personally, I’ve always enjoyed working and earning compensation for my efforts.

That’s why, in addition to running my social media consulting and Web content writing business, I also work part-time at a restaurant. And lastly, I earn passive income from the affiliate marketing ads that I place on this website.

I know that not all of you have enough time in the day to take a second job. However, I also know first-hand how quickly the economy and business can shift and eliminate your job in the blink of an eye.

By having a second job, you can grow an expansive professional network, learn new skills, and create more opportunities for sustainable future income streams and long-term financial success.

Do you have a second job?

What are you doing to prepare for the uncertain economic future?

If you lost your current full-time job, would you have something else to fall back on?

James K. Kim About James K. Kim
James K. Kim (Jim) is a commercial real estate advisor with Pyramid Brokerage Company of Albany, Inc. in the Capital Region of New York, specializing in helping business owners expand into new locations or sell/lease a commercial retail, office, industrial, or investment property.

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