When British athlete Roger Skedd has revealed that he moonlighted as a naked butler in 2011, there were gasps all round. An athlete? With a second job? But why?
His predicament will have resonated with almost 100,000 people in the UK who have also sought a second income. Whether for the money, or just the love of it, here are some things to consider when taking on a second job.
If you plan on working two jobs at the same time, you need to have an end goal in mind to see you through the tough times when you’re shattered and want to go home and put your feet up.
Laura Iorfino, 33, had a career as an executive assistant at Barclays. However, she needed to earn extra pennies to travel around Europe.
So, most nights of the week, Laura would head to the Shepherd’s Bush Walkabout where she worked as a bartender. “I would literally schedule myself just enough time between jobs to get changed and run to the next job,” she says, who has since returned to her native Australia.
“Once you’re on the go, it’s easy. It’s when you slow down that everything catches up with you.
“I was always saving to go on a big trip somewhere and one job just didn’t cut it. Also, there was the social aspect. I spent so much time at the Walkabout anyway, I thought why not work there and make money at the same time?”
The hard work paid off. Laura saved enough to pay off a car loan, travel around Europe for two months and to fly back to Australia a few times.
Make it legal
For many of us, our day job takes up enough of our waking hours, but if a second income has become a necessity – whether to maintain a standard of living or to achieve a particular goal – check your employment contract first as many firms have clauses that set out rules for extra work.
For example, it may outline the hours and locations you have to be available to work, which could limit your ability to take on other roles. There is also an implied duty of ‘mutual trust and confidence’ which could scupper your attempts.
Ben Willmott, head of public policy at the Chartered Institute of Personnel, says: “You can’t take up a second job that might bring your employer into disrepute, or put you in a position where you would be breaching confidentiality of company information,” he explains.
“Working for a competitor, for example, might do that. So if there’s any ambiguity you should check with your employers.” Once you’ve cleared any potential conflicts, make sure you are up to the physical challenge.
“There is no question working two jobs will take a toll on you, so monitor your work-life balance, because if you overstretch, then you’re not useful to anyone,” Willmott says.
It’s also wise to set goals. When you meet them, the grind will feel more worthwhile. And your motivation doesn’t need to be cash-related. Often second-jobbers want to learn new skills to broaden their horizons.
Keep in mind that after the taxman has had his share of your extra cash, you might go home with less money than you’d hoped.
Pay as you earn (PAYE) is designed around you holding down one job, so your tax-free allowance (£7,475 a year) won’t apply to your second job. See visit hmrc.gov.uk.
The top five second jobs:
Medical transcriber: Transcribe doctors’ audio recordings into readable reports.
Telemarketing: If you enjoy a chat and can deal with the odd grumpy customer, do this job in the evening,
Social care work: Help out some vulnerable people on weekends.
Virtual assistant: Do research for a project or organise someone’s diary from the comfort of home.
Retail: With Christmas almost upon us, shops are advertising now for seasonsal staff.
Get more info: totaljobs.com, bestadminjobs.co.uk, communitycare.co.uk. justlondonjobs.co.uk