I’m Working Three Jobs and Plumping up My Emergency Fund

The company I work for is no longer standing on stable ground. At this point it’s hard to say which groups within the organization will be cut, but it’s clear that a good number of employees will eventually be shown the door. Although no one can say for certain, it seems lay-offs will occur either late in December or early next year. If the company methodically picks and chooses who stays then I should be safe. I’m one of the hardest working developers in my organization and I have knowledge of quite a few systems. On the other hand, if cuts are based solely on the bottom line, my coworkers and I may be the first to go. Unfortunately, the software we write simply doesn’t bring in much money for the company.

In an effort to hedge my bets I’m building a little nest egg to fall back on. I began working 10 to 15 hours a week, at night and on the weekends, for my husband’s employer. This is the third time I’ve worked for the company. The two previous times I also worked 10-15 hours in addition to my day job. I am grateful for the opportunity and happy to add a little more cash to our reserve. Although money is my primary reason for taking on extra work, it’s also been fun to flex my brain cells on a new project.

I thought my primary job would be a bit calmer at this time of year, but my team is shrinking by the minute and I’ve found myself working late quite a few times lately. Of course, that’s the nature of a technical job, sometimes there isn’t any work to do at all and other times there is more work than a group of developers can handle. Since I receive a salary I know I should quit my full time job when the clock strikes five, but it’s just not in my nature to leave tasks waiting for tomorrow. Of course, when I work late at my full time job it means I’ll be working even later on my part time one.

I need to relax. I get very stressed under these types of conditions. I really admire those people who work two to three jobs to support their family. My job isn’t physical in anyway. I can literally sit in front of a computer for hours, but I feel unbelievably stressed and exhausted. My husband keeps laughing and telling me to take it easy. He tells me that things will get done or they won’t, but the world won’t end if I don’t accomplish everything on my to-do list. Although I know this is true, I struggle to convince my type-A personality.

Luckily the part-time project ends in December. By then I hope to have a better idea of my work prospects and my new-year work load. It’s too bad I can’t work part-time at both jobs. I need the first job for the benefits, but the second job pays much better.

In addition to working two jobs I’ve also been writing articles to boost my husband’s new hobby. Yesterday I completed my fifth article. I have much to learn about journalism, but I’m having an amazing time coming up to speed in the process.

I think the next five weeks will be tremendously busy, but when it’s all said and done the extra work will be worth it. I’ve been working at the same job for nine years and it’s nice to explore new projects and do something different. The extra cash won’t be half bad either.

5 thoughts on “I’m Working Three Jobs and Plumping up My Emergency Fund”

  1. I feel your pain. I work in the real estate industry and have decided that with things the way they are, it makes sense to diversify my income and work on a safety net. So I’ve taken on a second job, like yours about 15 hours a week. And I also have a couple freelance projects going on. We lost several employees at my primary job recently (due to maternity and medical leave – not layoffs yet), and we can’t afford or justify hiring replacements, since things are so slow at the moment. But even with the slower market, we’re all having to pick up the slack from the lost employees, which means we all are learning new tasks and have a bit more on our plate than we’re used to. Combine that with my after-hours work, and it’s definitely stressful. Like you, none of my work is physically demanding, but at the end of the day, I feel mentally tired and always feeling like I have things hanging over my head. The unfortunate downside is that the stress and busyness is really cramping my creativity, which is essential for my marketing projects. Just breathe, I tell myself. So yeah, you’re not alone.

  2. Good for you! I hope the added stress is worth it. I mean that sincerely – I realize it may sound sarcastic. If the stress gets to be too much though, do cut back. Not worth damaging your health for a few more bucks.s

  3. I too can relate to your stress.

    I worked 3 jobs in order to pay my way through school. They aren’t my fondest memories but I learned a lot about how my actions affect my health ie. to watch how I’m sleeping and eating as an indicator of how I’m doing.

    If I’m not sleeping well or eating well, then I’m going down a not so good path.

    Good luck!

  4. You all raise excellent points. I already have significant health issues and I am concerned about causing more damage by working too many hours each week. It is difficult to balance exercise and healthy eating habits with so many activities, but I will not forgo good health for money. I know how important good health is and I will not risk losing it for an extra cash cushion.


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