Working two jobs — how’s it going?

So I have these two jobs. It’s 60 hours a week between the two and that’s fine by me. On Sundays I work 4 hours. On Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays I work 12 hours. On Fridays I work 8 hours. On Saturdays I’m off. I’m not going to say that this is the perfect situation but it is doable and sustainable. The church job feeds my soul and will earn enough for us to pay the monthly rent and one other bill. The printing job pays all the rest of bills, feeds the family and provides me with healthcare.

For a while I felt bad that I couldn’t support my family on the income of one job. I felt that I had somehow failed because I wasn’t earning enough money. I was even a bit embarrassed that I had to seek a second job. However as I talked to more and more people about the subject of work, I was surprised to find out how many people are working two jobs and more. I learned that, as my niece might say, “This is a thing.”

I’m scarcely unusual. Many people are doing multiple incomes in order to support a decent lifestyle, not for extravagance. From what I can gather, estimates are that between 6.5 and 7.8 million people in America are working two or more jobs. I have a lot of company on the more-than-one-job bus.

The practice of working two or more jobs used to be called moonlighting and it was done secretively. Nowadays many are calling it the “job juggle.” It’s not a thing that is looked down upon. It’s now just a part of daily life for oh so many of us.

The differences between my two jobs are critical to supporting the doability of this work schedule. My church jobs primarily works my soul and my brain, whereas the printing job mostly works my brain and my body. Even though both jobs work my brain, they require a different type of brain work. The printing job calls on me to solve immediate short-term problems quickly, on my own and then move on. My church job calls on me to do long term planning and to solve complex, interrelated problems in a collaborative manner. Because the two jobs require different skill sets, neither job gets stale nor do I feel burned out.

Furthermore I’m blessed in that both of my jobs have some flexibility built into them. I can adjust my hours and my days a little bit. I know that many of my multi-job peers don’t have this flexibility. This has allowed me to pivot slightly as each job’s demands wax and wane.

For me the biggest challenge around working two jobs has been maintaining my health. Physically I’ve dealt with two significant colds, a recurring GI issue, lower body pain, increased weight, decreased sleep, and poor nutrition. Mentally I’ve noticed a growing tendency toward forgetfulness, marked decline in reading and writing time and a dip in my level of concentration. Spiritually my spiritual disciplines have suffered and that is hurting my life with God. I’m not doing much reflection at all. Emotionally–one word: stress.

This is what my daily existence looks like these days: opportunities and challenges. Ah well, such is life.

challenge-opportunity

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