The Second Job Syndrome


How many jobs are you working?

I ask that because I was in an all day training yesterday, part of which focused on time management. More than one person who was not me talked about their second job or their desire to have a second job. I didn’t speak up, but I also could have talked about my second (and third) job(s).

I work full time for the state, write anywhere from 10-30 hours per week and take acting jobs when I can.

I am not alone.

Reasons for second jobs vary. For most people it’s an income thing. The one full time job doesn’t pay the bills, or doesn’t provide the lifestyle one might want. The only solution is to bring in more money.

That’s part of the reason I work the extra hours. It’s not been the easiest of years. But the bigger picture for me is building the next full time job.

Unfortunately for us, the economy, and a government that’s more interested in taking us to war with Syria, isn’t helping our home economy getting any better.

Working the extra hours takes a toll on the family life . “I can’t go out tonight, I have to write,” or “I won’t be home for dinner, I have a rehearsal.”

It’s become so much of a pattern for me that I feel guilty if I take the time off to read or watch television. While my list of “must see” shows is pretty small, I still watch TV with my phone, a notebook, a script or my sketchpad in hand.” After all the next great idea might come during a commerical.

Have second jobs become a way of life for most Americans? Think about it. How many people you know who pull those extra shifts or work those extra hours just to get by?

Is there relief in sight? Or will two jobs for everyone be the new “normal?”

Now, I understand while writing this that there are those who have no job. I think it’s all part of the same problem.

The economy. It stinketh.

But here’s the thing. We can’t control what those idiots in Washington are doing to our country and our economy. That, by the way, is a bipartisan statement. I don’t trust any of them anymore. I do believe we can work harder to clean the House, and the Senate and the White House. But that’s a different article and I’m not sure I want that job anymore.

No, we have to play the hand that has been dealt us. If prices go up and income goes down, we have to spend less and find a way to make more. For me, and for many of you, that’s a second job.

My favorite quote from Lord of the Rings is when Frodo says to Gandalf, “I wish none of this had happened.”

Gandalf replies, “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

So, we have to decide. We can’t control the circumstances. But we can control how we respond to them and how we face the challenges.

For me, today anyway, that means posting this article, heading to the gym and then to the day job. Then home again it’s dinner, a meeting and home to work on the second job.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

And, oh yeah, fill out that sweepstakes entry.

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