Friday, March 30, 2007

How to Make a Part-Time Job Work: Tips From My Dad

Many of us work part-time jobs in order to pay bills, cut debt or to build up savings accounts. -Last week, I wrote about different part-time jobs. But working extra hours is a really chore if you also have other careers and competing commitments.

Here are a few tips about fitting part-time jobs into a full schedule.

My Dad, for example, worked full-time as a teacher and school administrator during the day. At night he worked different jobs in restaurants, a store and even on a ship dock unloading cargo.
He used these strategies to make his second job work:

1. Keep track of the uniform. Most second jobs involve a uniform or some kind of dress code that is very different from our 9-to- 5 wardrobe. My Dad kept his waiter's uniform in the car or in his locker during the school week. This strategy made it easier for him to make a quick change with minimal effort. Time was a precious commodity because after the school bell rang, my Dad worked until midnight several days a week.

2. Arrive at the second job a little early, my Dad advises. Getting to work ahead of time gave him a little time to freshen up, change and relax.

He's right. I learned that lesson the hard way. During my first year in New York, I worked at Editor & Publisher magazine from 9 to 5. In the evenings, I worked in a restaurant until 11 pm.
After leaving the magazine, I would stretch out at home as long as possible: Bad move. That stay-at-home until the-last-second plan was not relaxing. I was always scrambling and harried.

3. Remain focused on financial goals. Working a second job is easier if you constantly remember your financial goals, such as paying off debt or saving for a house, my Dad says.

The extra job "was just something that had to be done," he says. "I was just determined and put my mind to it."

4. Take care of yourself. "You must mentally prepare yourself and get as much rest as you can," my Dad says.

In future posts, I will provide tips about working a part-time job while attending school and tips about saving the extra paycheck.


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