Things to Consider Before Taking a Second Job

The following is a guest post

With few well-paying fulltime jobs going around, plenty of part time jobs are up for grabs to anyone willing to take them. More and more people have been picking up second jobs to supplement their income since the global credit crunch kicked in, and for those who work freelance having a secondary job can almost be a necessity. You should think carefully before taking the plunge into a second job though and there are a number of elements you should take into consideration.

Before you even consider looking for another job, you should first check your contract for any existing employment. Many contracts have clauses that may prevent you from taking a second job with anyone who could be seen as a competitor or might require you to receive written permission from your current employer.

Once you’re sure of your position with your current employer, you might want to take some time to consider just how lucrative a second job might be for you. Many people forget to take tax into account when chasing a second job and are disappointed with the size of their paychecks as a result. Taking a second job might even push you into the next tax bracket, which could actually bring your overall take home pay down. You will also need to be careful that you don’t overpay tax if you don’t fall into the next tax bracket – merely having a second job can make the tax office whack emergency codes on your tax account and the money lost to this can be difficult to recoup. If you are in receipt of working tax credits or child tax credits you may lose these if you take a second job, so weigh up the costs and benefits carefully.

If you have a family you should also take the time to consider how you taking a second job is going to affect them. Does this mean you won’t be able to see children as much, or take them to afterschool clubs and activities? Will your relationship with your spouse suffer? Unless you have no choice but to take a second job, you might find that there is a richer reward to be found in investing in your family than in another job.

A second job can bring massive rewards and can make a huge difference to you and your family’s lives, but take care to consider all your options before jumping in head first.


  1. says

    I agree with you, that we should consider all the possibilities, options and outcomes if we grab a second job. Putting into consideration especially for the working moms out there, that if you chose to have a second will you still be able to manage your time with your family. Weigh wisely and go for whatever is best.

  2. says

    Great information – taking a second job is difficult if done hastily. having a second job while attending college was doable, if not optimal. However, taking a second job now with a baby is not feasible.

    For me, if another source of income was needed, I’d sell stuff we don’t use on eBay/Craigslist.

  3. says

    This is great information. I’ve been working a part-time job for 3 years now and with a small child, it’s exhausting! I’m fortunate in that it’s on online teaching job so I can do it on my own schedule from anywhere I have Internet access. No babysitter necessary and it doesn’t interfere with anything else.

    Any downfalls of my second job are greatly outweighed by the positives because if I didn’t have this job, our debt would not be almost gone.

  4. Philip says

    “Taking a second job might even push you into the next tax bracket, which could actually bring your overall take home pay down.”

    This does not happen. The increased pay may be taxed at a higher rate but the money you currently make will not be taxed higher and therefore end up paying more overall on what you were making.

  5. says

    Thanks for that post… I was thinking upon leaving my current for the next one. You gave nice food for thought. Thanks once again. You’ve summarized it very well.

  6. says

    I started substitute teaching after our youngest started first grade. It didn’t pay that great, but I saw it as a stepping stone to a full-time teaching job. Only after 7 years of being one of the “in-demand subs” did I realize I would never be hired full-time. A school board meeting on tv included the tidbit that they only hired new college graduates in order to keep their health care costs down. After subbing all day I was usually too exhausted to make dinner or to help our kids with their homework. I’m sorry to say that we often went out to eat on those nights & we actually lost money as we spent more than I’d made that day. It was a big lose-lose-lose for our family. Of course if I’d gotten a full-time job teaching it could have been different.

    • says

      I agree the same could be said for two parent working families. By the time you consider the increase in taxes, the day care, cost of gas, and other costs since parents are short on time now to consider other cost saving strategies–it just might not be worth the couple of extra thousands of dollars.

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