12 Tips for Working Two Full-Time Jobs Successfully
Updated July 4, 2023
If you're looking for extra income or want to develop new skills, you may decide to have two full-time jobs. Taking on the varying responsibilities that come with multiple jobs can alter your work-life balance. Understanding your options and reviewing techniques to help manage your time can help you determine if this is the right choice for you and your professional goals.
In this article, we provide 12 tips that can help you handle working two full-time jobs effectively.
Tips for working two full-time jobs
If you decide to take on two full-time jobs, here are 10 tips that can help you manage the situation more effectively:
1. Keep your schedules separate
Make sure to avoid overlap between your roles so you can give your full attention to each position and its responsibilities. Otherwise, you may impact your productivity if you spend a portion of your time at one job performing or thinking about the work of the other. If possible, try to find options that provide different days off. For example, one job schedules you to work Monday through Friday while the other schedule runs Saturday through Wednesday. Having alternating periods of time off gives you some additional recovery time during the week.
2. Carefully consider your second job
When taking on another full-time job, choose one that best suits your needs, interests or goals. To keep up your morale, look for jobs that you enjoy doing or can benefit from in some way. When reviewing your options, first consider your goals or priorities. For example, you may want to save up money for a specific purpose, or you may want a job where you build particular skills that can provide more career opportunities in the future.
You also want to consider specific aspects of your options that may make it easier to manage more than one full-time job. These considerations can include:
Assess whether you can handle the combined mental or physical requirements of both jobs. For example, if one requires you to spend eight hours on your feet, consider if you're able to go to your next job that requires another eight hours of physical work. If possible, try to create a balance between the two, where one job requires more mental energy and the other more physical. Otherwise, you may find your energy gets depleted much sooner.
Choose jobs that require little travel time between them. The less you have to travel, the more time and money you save. It also reduces the stress of having to rush from one job to the other or worrying about being late.
If you find two jobs that require similar dress codes, you do not necessarily have to worry about completely changing your outfit when moving between them. If one job requires a specific uniform, you may require carrying it with you to your other job, along with finding the time and proper location to change.
Related: 10 Tips To Help You Get a Second Job
3. Look for flexibility
Try to find job options that offer a more flexible schedule, or discuss these possibilities with your employers. For example, you might ask if you can have the flexibility to choose your hours or work longer hours but fewer days during the week. Having flexible hours can help you manage your time more effectively between two jobs.
You could also seek options that enable you to work from home or on a freelance basis. Working from home can give you additional time during the day because it reduces your commute. It may also provide a more comfortable environment to work in and add to your work-life balance. Working freelance might require negotiating with your employer, but you can ask to work and receive payment on a per-project basis rather than sticking to a strict eight-hour schedule. As a freelancer, you can still work full-time hours throughout the week but at your discretion.
4. Follow a consistent schedule
Once you have your work schedules sorted, take the time to schedule for your personal needs. A consistent sleep schedule, for example, ensures you get enough rest to wake up refreshed and ready to perform your jobs. You also want to schedule regular intervals for breaks or meals to keep your energy up during the day.
One helpful technique to maintain a schedule is the use of a daily planner to map out each part of your day. This tool can help you avoid missing any appointments or other scheduled plans. You can also use it to avoid over-scheduling yourself, which ensures that you have personal time to relax and rest.
5. Create daily to-do lists
When working two jobs, you have a variety of responsibilities and tasks to manage. To balance these more effectively, take about 15 minutes each day to write a to-do list. As you complete tasks throughout the day, you can check them off. Staying organized is essential when working two jobs because you want to avoid confusion over what tasks and deadlines you want to prioritize within each role. Implementing a checklist format also provides assurance at the end of the day that you have gotten everything done.
6. Use your time efficiently
Having two full-time jobs can take up a significant portion of your days and weeks, so you use your free time as efficiently as possible. For example, if you commute to your job, consider taking public transportation if possible. The ride gives you extra time to rest or complete tasks, which you would not get when driving yourself. Similarly, you can use lunch breaks to handle non-work-related tasks or fit in some brief exercise, such as a walk.
You can also improve efficiency by simplifying your usual tasks. For example, rather than cooking meals each day, spend your free time preparing meals for the week. Or you can start a meal in a slow cooker at the start of your day, which is then ready to eat when you get home. Implementing simple strategies like these can help you feel less overwhelmed and allows you to focus on your work responsibilities.
7. Review your employment contracts
There are no legal restrictions on how many jobs you are allowed to work at one time. If you already have a full-time job and want to take on a second one, check your current employment contract or talk to human resources so you have a clear understanding of a company's expectations. Some contracts contain language, such as a non-compete clause, that prohibits you from working a second job. If you violate those terms, it could harm your relationship with that employer and potentially lead you to lose that job.
If the contract terms don't prevent you from taking on an additional job, they may prohibit working with a competitor. In that situation, avoid work that creates a conflict of interest. Doing this demonstrates respect and helps maintain a positive relationship with your employer. Even if they do not have rules about external employment, you may want to inform them of your decision. This communication can maintain trust and provide insights into your situation. Depending on your position or relationship, your supervisor may be willing to create a schedule that fits your goals and priorities.
8. Ask for support
Working two full-time jobs can mean working 80 hours a week or atypical schedules, such as nights and weekends. As a result, you may have less time for some of your personal responsibilities, interests and hobbies. While two jobs allow you to earn a double income, it can put a strain on you both physically and emotionally.
If you find yourself requiring extra support, ask friends or family. For example, you may require help with preparing meals or transporting children to and from school. Knowing that you have assistance available can help you stay focused on your roles and support your mental health.
9. Have a clear goal
You likely have a specific reason behind your decision to work two full-time jobs. For example, having two full-time jobs might allow you to earn or save up money toward a financial goal. Or you may be working full-time on starting your own business, then take on a full-time job while you determine whether your own business is viable.
Whatever your reasoning, keep it in mind as you manage each role. Working two full-time jobs can take up significant time and energy, but having a specific goal to accomplish can help you stay focused on your growth and development. Once you hit that goal, you can reassess whether you want to continue working both jobs.
Related: Setting Goals To Improve Your Career
10. Take time for yourself
It's important to give yourself breaks and allow yourself to disconnect from work. The amount of free time you have varies depending on your schedule, but if you have the flexibility to take at least one day off a week, use it. Whether it is a day or just a few hours, use that time to stop thinking about your professional responsibilities and instead do the activities you enjoy most. Taking on two jobs also might mean you see your friends and family less, so you can use your time off to reconnect with your loved ones.
Taking the time to relax and focus on the things you love can help you reduce stress and boost your morale before returning to work. If you schedule plans in advance, they can also serve as motivation during your workday. Having something to look forward to can boost your morale and make you want to work harder so you can complete your tasks sooner.
Related: 13 Careers With the Most Time Off
11. Consider two remote-jobs
One way to handle working two full-time positions successfully is to have two remote jobs allowing you to complete all of your job duties from a home office. This can help you balance your tasks and save time you may otherwise have spent commuting to and from your workplace. If both employers allow you to have flexible hours, you may decide to split your days completing assignments for one position in the morning and for the other in the afternoon and evening.
Related: How To Find a Remote Job
12. Request compressed workweeks
When you have two full-time jobs simultaneously, you may want to consider asking your employers if you can have compressed workweeks. This means you may complete your 40 hours of work within three or four days rather than having a typical five-day schedule with eight hours of scheduled time a day. This may allow you to spend three days a week with one employer and three days a week with another, while still having one day a week off from both positions.
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