As my wife and I work towards our dream of purchasing a home together, I’ve taken on a second job to help pay down our debt. I’d love your suggestions on the etiquette of having a second job. Not that I have anything to hide, but I’m wondering if/how I should share the change with my coworkers. Also, I’m occasionally invited to have a cocktail with the team when we complete end of month reporting or a big project, and am fairly certain I’ll have to skip for a while. Thanks in advance for your advice! – David R.
Kudos to you for taking steps to one day soon have a beautiful new home! Great job on managing your schedule so that your part-time work doesn’t conflict with your existing job. Regarding the etiquette of how to balance a second job, here are my thoughts:
- Make rest a top priority. Even though the scheduling doesn’t conflict between the two jobs, you are likely going to need to be more intentional about a healthy sleep schedule, tweaking areas of your routine that aren’t essential. Even a simple change, like incorporating 10 minutes of yoga or stretching at the end of a long day, may help you fall asleep easier and faster. You’ll want to feel as refreshed as possible before your traditional day at the office begins so that the quality of your work remains top notch.
- Share with discretion. As you mentioned, having a second job isn’t something you want to necessarily hide, however, it also doesn’t need to be a topic of regular conversation at your primary job. Your focus should be laser sharp when in the office, always being professional and prepared. If you are asked about how you’re spending your time outside of the office, use your best judgment when answering. Most who inquire may just be genuinely curious as they’ve noticed you’re more committed to leaving by a certain time each day. You may consider responding with something along the lines of: “Sarah and I are working away at our new home project…we can’t wait to reach this big step!” Or, if you’d rather be direct, “My evening schedule will be full for just a little while with part-time work until we buy a home.” As for the occasional after-hours meet up, it’s perfectly fine to miss a few: “I hate that I have to pass this month, but hope that my schedule will be clear next go-round. Have a great time!”
- Evaluate your organizing skills. Don’t rely on your memory to stay on top of work tasks, especially now that you’ll have more on your mind. How are you tracking ongoing projects and obligations in the office? Carve out a solid block of time to get serious about managing your day, utilizing familiar tools and a few new strategies to be even more efficient. You’ll benefit from the tweaks long after your second job is just a memory.
I’m confident you’ll find a healthy balance and will reach your goals in the very near future!