Money Talks, So Should You

How to cope when you have two jobs

Working more than one job this summer? That demands some thinking ahead.

Kathryn Tuggle
by Kathryn Tuggle, Contributor (@KathrynLizbeth)

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Summertime is here, and while some folks are enjoying lazy days by the pool and beach vacations, others are working — sometimes more than one job. Although the idea of two salaries may sound great, keep in mind you'll have two bosses to please, two schedules to coordinate, and finding any solitude — or vacation time — may be next to impossible.

If you're juggling more than one job this summer, time management is the key to your success. We checked in with experts for tips on how to survive the months ahead.

READ: What to consider when changing jobs

Plan ahead

With two part-time jobs, it can be difficult to strike the right balance between work and play, especially during the summer months, says Amanda Augustine, job search expert for TheLadders.

If there's a particular event or mini-getaway you want to fit into your calendar before fall, don't wait — put it on your calendar now, Augustine says.

"Depending on the roles you hold, it may be difficult to take time off if someone else is out at the same time. Request a couple days off towards the second half of the summer. While it may seem slow now, I can guarantee you'll enjoy a random day off here and there to catch up on your to-do list or just relax without any set agenda," she says.

Put in your requests as soon as possible so you'll get the time off when you want it, because everyone needs downtime to refresh and focus on personal wellness and family, says Ted Karkus, CEO of Prophase Labs and founder of management consulting firm Forrester Financial.

"I am 100 percent committed to my work at all times, but family time is essential," Karkus says. "You've heard the mantra 'work hard, play hard,' and I think it rings true."

Make a list of priorities and get a calendar

"Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize!" says Uva Coles, vice president of student services at Peirce College in Philadelphia. "You cannot do it all, but you can do the most important things well. It's critical that you review your responsibilities in order of importance and move accordingly."

When you're juggling multiple priorities, your calendar becomes your new best friend, Augustine says.

READ: What you wear makes a difference at the office

"Find one calendar to use — I recommend one that is synchronized with your smartphone or tablet — and carry it with you wherever you go. Find a way to distinguish different activities on your calendar so you can keep it all straight. This could include color-coding your different work schedules, family obligations and down time, or assigning different sounds when appoint reminders pop up on your smart device," Augustine says.

By prioritizing goals, it should be easier balancing your personal with your business life, Kirkus says.

"If I know one of my kids has an event and need to leave early, I stay a little later in the office other days to compensate," he says. "Plan ahead, and try your best to always be prepared for any last minute curveballs that are thrown your way."

Remember you can't keep everyone happy

Rather than trying to keep everyone at your jobs happy, try instead to focus on what's best for your health, your income and your relationships, Cole says.

"Slow down and be intentional about your time," she says. "Take care of your needs first so that you may have the mental, physical and emotional capacity to take care of others after."

Unfortunately, feeling the need to keep everyone happy doesn't end at work. Two jobs can also mean more pressure at home.

"Your kids rarely understand when you have to work more hours and are away from them more than you would like to be," Kirkus says."I do my best to explain the realities of life to my kids, and when I am home they come first."

READ: How are you perceived at work?

Manage expectations

Find out company policies on time off and if you are expected to be 'on call' or responsive via email when you're not physically working in the building, Augustine suggests.

"For instance, if your boss sends off a request on a Friday evening, are you expected to respond right away, the next morning or on Monday when you're back on the clock? Additionally, clearly communicate when you will be unavailable to work — this will help cut down on scheduling conflicts," she says.

Also, don't be afraid to re-evaluate and be honest with your boss once you are a few weeks into your new working life.

"It's easy to think you can handle both jobs, but once you start working both, you may find you become physically exhausted and mentally drained," says Heather R. Huhman, founder and president of Come Recommended, a consultancy for job search and human resources technologies.

"To prevent yourself from losing one of your jobs, you must be honest with yourself and your supervisors about your abilities and the moments when you become overwhelmed at work," Huhman says.

Get sleep and exercise when you can

To manage your sanity, you've got to dedicate time for exercise and sleep, Huhman says.

READ: What to do when you have to call in sick

"While it may seem impossible to have a consistent exercise routine when working more than 40 hours a week, if you can budget even 15 minutes a day doing some type of physical activity, you will feel more refreshed and focused for work," she says.

Although it may be tempting to sacrifice your sleep, when you deprive yourself of sleep you will be prone to stress and your immune system will become weaker, Huhman says.

"Even if getting more sleep means pushing your emails to the next morning, make sure you are getting enough rest to get you through each day."

 

Kathryn Elizabeth Tuggle is a seasoned New York-based personal finance editor and writer who adores saving, investing and thrift store shopping. After getting her start writing about small businesses for the Inc. 500 at Inc. Magazine, Kathryn learned her way around the NYSE and NASDAQ while working at the The Financial Times. In 2007, Kathryn joined the Fox Business Network before its inception and was instrumental in launching the company's small business and personal finance sites. Obsessed with all things spending, saving and social media, you can find Kathryn tweeting her latest adventures with Dimespring at @KathrynLizbeth.