This is the second post in a series examining ways to generate a second income. To see the initial post, which explains the project and lists the opportunities we will be covering, click here.
The most basic, but often overlooked way to gain a second income is to have two jobs. Though having a second job definitely can have a negative impact on an individual’s quality of life, it is also extremely low risk and guarantees income. Unless you are making a massive commute or have to pay for lots of childcare, there isn’t much of a chance that you will lose money working a second part-time job.
Another advantage of a second job is that you can learn a new skill while being paid. You can then use the new skill to advance in your primary job, switch careers, or start a business. Though some jobs have
education requirements, savvy employers realize that real world experience is far more valuable. In contrast to higher education, which is shockingly expensive (I certainly have personal experience), learning skills on the job actually generates income. If the career you wish to transition to isn’t one that requires licensing (doctor, lawyer, accountant, nurse), on the job experience may be the best way to go.
An additional reason to take on a second job is to get your foot in the door at an institution that you hope to work for in the future. If you currently work in a factory, but have always dreamed of working at a zoo, taking on a part-time job at the zoo on the weekends is probably the best way to make the transition.
In contrast to most sources of an additional income, most second jobs pay you to learn how to earn extra income. This can’t be said for many other options that can take months or years of educating yourself for free (or at a cost) to climb steep learning curves.
The last advantage is that you may find a second job you enjoy. Everyone is different and just because an activity pays, does not mean it isn’t enjoyable. I know people who do landscaping, childcare and bartending and enjoy their job. If you can find a job that is a good fit for you, this is also a good option.
From a strictly financial standpoint, this option is probably most attractive to people who are fairly low wage earners at their primary job, those who have limited cash-flow, and those who are so deep in debt that they need to do anything they can to make some money and work towards freedom.
Though there are exceptions, most part-time jobs will pay significantly less than full-time jobs. This is especially true for professionals. It hardly makes sense for a doctor to pick up a job at McDonalds or Wal-Mart to supplement their income.
Moreover, adding a second job can really cut into your most precious resource, time. Taking a vacation may become impossible when you have to coordinate with both of your jobs. Lastly, second jobs aren’t scalable and will never become passive.
In sum, second jobs are low risk low reward when it comes to a second income. They are great for those who are in dire straights and need a temporary fix.
Ratings (out of 10)
Start up Cost: 1 – It costs almost no money to get a second job.
Internal Risk: 1 – It’s really hard to lose money with a second job.
External Risk: 3 – Your boss could fire you or the company could shut down. Not likely, but a possibility.
Scalability: 1 – You are selling your time, you will run out of it pretty fast.
Learning Curve: 3 – You many have to learn new skills, but you will get paid to do so.
Profit Potential: 5 – A second job can make you a lot of money depending on your skills.
Location Independent: 2 – Few second jobs allow for remote working.
Extrinsic Benefits: 4 – A second job can be in a field you enjoy and you may learn new skills to apply to your primary job. There is also potential for your second job to become your first.
Links to help you find a second job
Photo credit dave_mcmt