The days of a single career path are seemingly far behind us. Everyone from freelancers, part-time and casual workers to small business owners are taking on more than one career at a time. You could be a lawyer who is also a florist or a retail store owner who takes wedding photos on the weekends. And then there’s the working mums and dads who juggle their careers with the joyous job of raising a family. So if we’re all doing it nowadays, how can we do it well? Here’s how you can find balance in more than one job.
Remember to put your health first
Working constantly can put a lot of strain on your health. You run out of time to eat healthily, exercise and get proper sleep. But these things should really be your top priority. Keeping healthy will give you the energy you need to stay on top of your demanding schedule. So sign up for a meal service, join a 24-hr gym and force yourself to bed for your regular 8-hours sleep. Basically, do whatever it takes to stay on top of your health because a sick day is the last thing you need to take.
Sync your calendars
Organisation is the main skill you need to stay focused on more than one career. Skip the manual calendars for a tech-savvy one that syncs across all your devices. This way no matter what you’re working with (phone, computer, tablet) you’ll only have to update your schedule once.
Be realistic about your schedule
No matter how neatly you schedule your day, it will only last 24 hours. Working every hour to achieve the maximum in both your jobs will only lead to burnout. Set realistic goals for your time instead and remember you don’t have to accept every opportunity. Politely informing them you’re too busy right now but would love to revisit the idea in future is all it takes.
Never work a 7-day week
Just as working all day will lead to burnout, so will working all week. Sunday is the day of rest but we don’t all take it off from work. If your jobs are best done over the weekend, such as wedding photographers and event planners, then pick a day during the week to swap with your regular weekend. When you reach your day off, especially if it’s only one, don’t waste it on work thoughts. Shut off your business brain and do something nice for yourself. You could try a monthly spa day, fortnightly visit to the movies or weekly baking. Whatever you find relaxing is how you should be spending your precious day off.
Organise your home to avoid extra housework
Your mind is already working hard on your jobs so give it a break at home. A place for everything and everything in its place is an oldie but a goodie. Cleaning the house is much faster and less challenging when you already know where things belong. Max out your storage possibilities so that it takes 10 minutes daily to stay tidy, rather than letting the mess get out of control. Gather electronics and books together in a neat entertainment unit instead of splaying them across the coffee table. Or increase your bedroom storage with a classy ottoman at the end of your bed for things like bed linens, Winter blankets and decorative throws or cushions.
Choose your work wisely
Ask yourself why you’re working multiple jobs and if the answer is unsatisfactory, ask again if it’s worth the effort. If money is the end goal then decide if working more than one job is the best way to get it? However, if you’re advancing your career, starting a new business or building skills in a new area while at your current position then multiple jobs may be inevitable.
Travelling long distances to get to work is only going to put you in a bad mood once you get there. The ideal scenario is either a) both jobs are close to home or b) both jobs are close together. This way you can cut down on travel time and maximise the hours you commit to both workplaces.
What if you were forced to choose?
Maintaining a high standard of work for more than one job is easier said than done. And there may come a time when you can’t keep up with both ventures. Ask yourself the tough questions like if you were forced to choose between your jobs which would it be? Factor in financial security, stress levels and career advancement. The job you love may not be the one you’d keep but knowing this will help you decide between them both when the inevitable overlap in commitments arises.
Juggling multiple jobs is hardly easy but it can be rewarding. Whether you’re a professional with a side venture or a working parent just trying to balance work and family, you’ve got what it takes to succeed at both.