For about a year, I had two full time jobs. It wasn’t intentional, if I’m being completely honest. It’s just what happened as my blog and writing business grew over time.
Every day I’d get up and go to my 9-5 job. I enjoyed my job very much. I was an instructor for a pre-med writing course, and I had a really interesting and diverse group of talented students. It was stressful at times when there was lots of grading, but ultimately I could see myself doing a similar job for a very long time.
The challenge came in because I really liked freelance writing too. On a typical day, I would come home and make dinner and then spend a few more hours working online. It was not unusual for me to go to bed at midnight or 1 in the morning. Sometimes people at work would comment on how tired I looked, and sometimes I felt like I was way in over my head.
At times, I wondered if it was even worth it. Lots of my friends spend their weekends at the beach, while I spend a lot of weekends doing laundry, cleaning my house, and trying to squeeze in an extra blog post or two to get the week started off right.
I estimate that I probably worked about 80 hours a week on both jobs together with very little breaks. The blogging didn’t really feel like work at the time though because it was enjoyable, and it filled my time. With a medical school student for a husband who had 15-18 hour days himself, it was a productive thing for me to do while he sat at the kitchen table and studied.
So, if you are interested in doing something similar whether you want to try out a new career field or to try to build a side business, I would think very carefully about the time commitment and the dedication required to make it happen.
Here are some things you want to think about:
1. Your Other Half
If you don’t have a significant other, then the sky is the limit in terms of how much time you can devote to a second full time job. If you do have one, you have to consider their schedule and their feelings. Many, many people feel neglected when their spouses start to work crazy hours, and nothing is more important than your relationship so be sure to cherish it.
2. Your Kids
If you have kids, choosing to work 80 hours a week might not be the wisest choice or at least, it won’t be sustainable for long. With that type of schedule, you are bound to miss activities and important moments, which no parent wants to do.
3. Your Health
I worked like crazy for about a year, and I knew towards the end that there was no way I could keep it up forever. There just comes a time where you have to choose one or the other, and hopefully you are happy with your decision. If you have two full time jobs, there is very little time to exercise and you are constantly eating on the go, so health-wise it’s not sustainable for the long term.
Ultimately, I wouldn’t change a thing about my journey, and I’m happy that all of that hard work did eventually lead to something. I wouldn’t want to do it again anytime soon, but it was definitely a way to transition to self-employment without too much financial strife.
Have you ever worked two jobs? Do you currently have a side hustle?
Catherine Alford is a personal finance freelance writer who received a B.A. from The College of William and Mary and an M.A. from Virginia Tech.