What to Know Before Getting a Second Job

What to Know Before Getting a Second Job

In an increasingly dynamic economy, many individuals find themselves considering the option of taking on a second job or side hustle to supplement their income and achieve greater financial stability. While the decision to pursue a second job should not be taken lightly, it can provide a viable solution for various financial goals.

Why Get A Second Job?

Let’s explore the rationale for taking on a second job, and provide tips on how people can mentally prepare themselves and balance the demands of multiple jobs while still focusing on their primary work.

Financial Security and Stability

One of the most common reasons for seeking a second job is to improve financial security. Rising living costs, debts, and unforeseen expenses can place a strain on finances, making additional income essential to meet basic needs and build a safety net. The Labour Account Australia multiple job-holders report for September 2023 recorded 955,600 people taking on at least one job, or 6.6 per cent of employed people in Australia. The number is a slight dip from the 962,900 recorded for June 2023 at 6.7 per cent.

The ABS said recent RBA interest hikes and higher mortgage interest have affected the cost-of-living, forcing people to consider applying for side jobs.  

Paying Off Debt

Taking on a second job can expedite the process of paying off debts, such as student loans, credit card bills, or mortgages. The extra income can be directed towards clearing outstanding balances and reducing interest payments. However, it’s important to consider the tax implications of a second job. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has a tax-free threshold of the first $18,200 you earn in every fiscal year, but you must claim it through your primary employer.

Building Savings and Investments

For those aspiring to create wealth and financial independence, a second job can facilitate regular savings and investments. The additional income can be channelled towards building an emergency fund or contributing to long-term investment portfolios.

Pursuing Personal Goals

A second job may be taken on to fund personal passions, such as travelling, starting a business, or pursuing further education. This additional income can turn aspirations into reality without straining the individual’s primary finances.

Career Development

In some cases, individuals take on a second job to gain experience in a different field or to advance their career prospects. The extra job can provide valuable skills and networks that complement their primary profession. Writing for HR Leader, ASPL Group CEO Kris Grant said more casual job opportunities are emerging, with sectors such as hospitality and tourism needing all the casual help they can get.

Focus on the Day Job, Prepare for a Second Job

While an extra job may be a chance to increase your income flow, there’s much homework to be done before you can take it on

Assess Personal Commitments

Before committing to a second job, assess your existing responsibilities and commitments. Consider family time, social activities, and personal well-being to ensure you have enough time and energy to manage additional work.

Seek a Flexible Second Job

Opt for a second job that offers flexibility in terms of working hours and location. This will allow you to better balance both jobs and reduce the risk of burnout. One person interviewed for the Sydney Morning Herald, speech pathologist and The Balance Theory author Natasha Piccolo said she and her husband were forced to take extra work to cover their housing and parental expenses. In addition to her practice, she also runs a gelato-based catering business.  

Plan a Realistic Schedule

Create a well-structured schedule that accommodates both your primary job and second job. Allocate time for rest, relaxation, and quality time with loved ones to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Time Management

Efficient time management is crucial when juggling multiple jobs. Use tools like calendars, to-do lists, and productivity apps to stay organised and focused on tasks.

Communicate with Employers

If you are considering a second job while employed, ensure you are familiar with your current employer’s policies regarding moonlighting or engaging in a side hustle. You need to discuss your intentions openly and transparently.

As an added measure, you must commit to NOT taking any calls from side job clients during your official business hours, to avoid potential disciplinary action from HR, and make sure that the entity you took up a second job for is not a competitor or a company client. Grant said that HR departments may need to watch out for more employees taking on side jobs and closely monitor their performance.

Maintain Mental and Physical Health

Taking on a second job can be mentally and physically demanding. Prioritise self-care, engage in regular exercise, and get enough sleep to stay energised and focused.

Be Realistic About Expectations

Set realistic expectations for yourself and the income you expect to earn from the second job. Avoid overextending yourself, as burnout can hinder productivity in both jobs.

Build a Support Network

Lean on friends and family for support during this period. Having a strong support network can ease the stress of managing multiple job responsibilities.


Taking on a second job or side hustle can be a practical solution to achieve financial goals, pay off debt, and pursue personal aspirations. However, careful consideration and preparation are necessary to ensure that you maintain a balanced and manageable workload. With a well-planned approach, individuals can navigate the challenges of working multiple jobs and achieve their financial objectives with confidence.

DISCLAIMER:  This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute official career advice. 2 Ezi has no relationships with any company or organisation mentioned. Please consult a career counsellor and your employer’s HR department.

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