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 Tips for Those Seeking a 2nd Job

By Joe Stein

In what seems like greater numbers than ever, gainfully employed Western New York citizens are seeking a job beyond their primary core position.   The specific reasons may vary, but they almost always correspond to a desire to supplement his or her current income.
Finding and keeping this desired 2nd job, however, can prove to be quite challenging. Searching for any job takes time and (in this situation) you are already currently working, creating a very limited window each day for your job hunt.
All is not lost; however, as finding that 2nd job can happen. Let’s examine some important items to consider when contemplating or seeking a 2nd job.
Questions to Consider Prior to that 2nd Job:
·         Can You Handle It Personally? – If you are currently employed, a 2nd job could result in very long workdays or weeks without a day off. Are you in a position to maintain that personal lifestyle? An item to consider is whether you have the personal energy to absorb the type of workdays/weeks that will be required. You may be taking a real step backward if you negatively impact your health due to your 2nd job.
·         Do You Have the Support of Others? - A key is to ensure that your friends and family understand what you are planning on doing and why. By working a 2nd job, you may risk alienating your friends and negatively impacting your family due to your absence. You will want their support and understanding as you try to juggle two jobs and all of your other responsibilities.
·         Will You Be Able Keep From Impacting Your Core Job? – Long-term, your plan will backfire if you cause harm to your core job due to working a 2nd job. You do not want to create a performance issue due to your juggling of two jobs. Do not allow the other position to create a scheduling issue with your core job; no primary employer wants to review requests to accommodate another company. You also will not want fatigue to cause a decline in your productivity, or affect how you interact with customers or co-workers in your core job. You may want to consider being upfront with your current employer and inform your supervisor of your plans (I am assuming they do not have a “no moonlighting” policy). This will allow you to ensure him or her of your commitment to your current job and reiterate how you will not allow this 2nd job impact the company. Better to hear it directly from you right away than via the grapevine. You can assist the situation by assuring them that you will not work for a competitor.
Tips When Looking for That 2nd Job:
·         Know When You Can Work – Your 2nd job will probably be in an environment that maintains primarily part-time employees, such as retail. These types of locations are used to juggling schedules with employees, either due to school or another job. You should determine ahead of time what time you cannot work, so that you can quickly determine with the Hiring Manager whether the situation will work. You will want to ensure the Hiring Manager that you will not be pulled away by your core job and will be able to work the agreed upon schedule.
·         Determine Comfort Level Regarding Why You Are Looking – Everyone has a reason why they are seeking a 2nd job. What will you share when asked? You will want to provide an answer that is based on truth, but places you in an acceptable light. You can share the need for additional income for a new car, or due to a situation with your (or your spouse’s) current job. What you don’t want to do is express a situation so dire, that a Hiring Manager may be concerned that you will be a risk for theft. Your answer may not be money-related, as I have known people who took 2nd jobs because they had the time and wanted to put it to use. Due to the current economic situation many people are in, this question will not have the focus on it as much as perhaps previous times would have warranted.
·         Determine Prospective Companies - In many situations, retail is going to be your primary option. You can give yourself a competitive advantage (and enjoy the job more) if you determine what retail sites you have an interest in. For example, if you love to read, an area bookstore may be just what you are looking for. In comparison, if you are very handy and a “do-it-your-selfer”, an area hardware/home improvement store may be a perfect fit. The prospective employer may be very interested in the knowledge you would bring to the position immediately.
·         Pound the Pavement – Once you have determined what places you are focusing on, you will want to speak to the right person. Determine who that person is and find out when they are working. The plan should then be to go to the location when that person is working. This can be done with a little effort by calling the site or by making an initial trip. Make it clear that you are there for a job, so they do not conclude it is for stalking purposes.
Many WNY’ers are successfully juggling two positions as they right a difficult economic situation, or just fill downtime in their personal schedule. It does take some effort and strategy to find and maintain a 2nd job while remaining successful in your current core position. Prior to seeking your additional job, ask yourself the questions above and then review the tips provided in order to be a savvy Job Seeker.
As always, best of luck in your job search!