Leading a double life might sound impossibly cool, but plenty of people are juggling two careers these days, helping them earn more money, gather more skills and realise their dreams. 

Money, money, money

When considering the perks of having two jobs, John Cusack as Joey Coyle shagging his girlfriend on a big pile of wonga in Money For Nothing springs to mind. But even if you don’t get to cash-mattress levels, you could potentially more than double your income. 

At the least, having two jobs gives you added security in case you’re made redundant from one of your roles and you need something to fall back on. 

“I will always have two options of careers in my life,” says Joe Morell, 25, of Pinner in north east London. He works for global PR agency Weber Shandwick by day and (with a little abracadabra) becomes a pro magician by night, having set up his company, Joe’s Magicwhen he was 15.

“If I decide to go down one route for a while, it’s always nice to know that, if times get hard, I have another option financially.” 

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Working magic: Joe Morell

Alternatively, it may be that you have a dream you want to fulfill, but can’t afford it. Taking up one job to fund another, or at least the training, is a canny answer.

Two jobs are better than one 

If you have a hobby or ambition that you want to pursue professionally, it is a good idea to lay the groundwork alongside your full-time job, so you can test the waters before diving in. 

“Most of my clients who have two sources of income are a little bit entrepreneurial, and enjoy dipping their toes in the waters of ‘running my own business’, but with a secure job behind them,” explains Ros Toynbee, director at The Career Coach

Morell says having his extra skillset has been a huge help. “I’ve been able to use magic at various stages of my life, such as when I was away on my gap year and I taught and performed for under-privileged children; also when I was at uni, when I performed at the annual society dinners.”

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Lyrical lawyer: Bowie Jane

To be considered

How you go about having two jobs depends on whether the roles are complementary or not. If the jobs clash, you will need to keep them separate and not let one affect the other. 

A brilliant example of this is Aussie lawyer/pop singer, Bowie Jane: “I’ve always kept my two jobs very separate, because it’s not very ‘pop’ to be a lawyer and it’s not very ‘lawyer’ to be pop,” she says. “I literally run from court, get changed in the toilet, and run on stage. Most people wouldn’t realise because I’m a completely different personality on stage.”

If your roles coincide, you can be open with your employer – they may even help you out.

“The PR agency I work for are very supportive of my other career and have even got me bookings,” Morell says. Toynbee adds if you’re keen to work in a charitable sector, you may be able to through your employer’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

At the end of the day, it’s worth a go. As Toynbee says, “If it gets too overwhelming, it’s OK to go back to one career. You’ll have had the satisfaction that you gave it a good shot and your CV will look better for it.”


Fitting it all in

• Don’t try to cram two full-time jobs into one week. One needs to fit into only your ‘spare’ hours, usually evenings and weekends.• Go freelance – this way you can say ‘no’ to a job if necessary. 

• Be organised. To-do lists and phone diaries are your best friends.  

• If you make a personal commitment, stick to it. Don’t lose family contacts or friends over work.

• Talk to your boss about reducing your hours – you may be surprised at how accommodating they are.

• Know you will make sacrifices. It’s unavoidable, but the benefits should override them. If not, quit!