How-To Make a Second Job Work

by Jeffrey Kosola on May 19, 2010

I get asked all the time how I can work two jobs and still have a family life. 

Anyone who is interested in destroying their debt by getting a second job needs to understand one thing, it’s not easy.  There is no magic pill, there is no easy way. 

It will take sacrifice and dedication to do it, but if you want something bad enough things can happen.  I want to be debt free more than anything else right now.  In the grand scheme of life, this short period will be worth the effort.

Follow the link below to see a video post I made on my thoughts about making it all work.  I can’t use Vimeo or YouTube from work so couldn’t embed it here. 

I’ve never done a video post before so please forgive me if it doesn’t work right.  I’ll get a YouTube feed started if you’d like to continue to see/hear me.  If you are repulsed please leave a comment and I’ll either put some makeup on or stop doing video.

HowToMakeASecondJobWork (Click me, I’m a video)


If you are married or have a close partner, you need to be on the same page.  If one person is focused on saving and earning money while the other is focused on spending it, then you are doomed to failure.  The two of you need to set up your roles and work hard to perform them.

In my family, my wife has the hardest job.  Her roles include; caring for the kids, taking care of the house, being the point person for everything in the family, and being a great role model for the little ones. 

My roles include working the two jobs, blogging as a third job, bathing the kids, cooking half the meals, relieving my wife after work, playing and reading with the kids, and being emotional available to my family at all times.

Our family would fall apart if we didn’t have our roles.  There is almost no arguing, and working through our debt has brought my wife and me closer than ever before.  Who would have thought being away so much would have brought us so close.  I love it.

Setting Boundaries

You need to establish some type of boundary system to effectively manage all the different roles required in the family.  My day job requires me to be on call, meaning that I can be contacted anytime to “take care of business.”  I have a work phone and a personal phone. 

The boundary I’ve established with my off shift supervisors is quite simple.  Unless you have exhausted EVERY other possible option, I’m not to be contacted.  The people who work for me are very smart and capable, empowering them to make their own decisions has allowed me to relax when away from job #1.  Sometimes you have to let go in order to get ahead.

The second and most important boundary I have is the NO blogging at home while the kids are awake.  I usually take this a step further and don’t use twitter or email either.  This allows me to focus on my time to enjoy the kids.  They are growing up so quickly I can’t imagine NOT spending all my free time with them.

Don’t Waste Time

There is only 24 hours in a day and wasting time doing non-value added activities doesn’t make since if you are trying to balance work and family.  Sitting on the couch watching TV can erase a valuable chunk of time that can be spent doing better things. 

I get sick of people saying that they don’t have time to do this or that, but they can watch 2-3 hours of TV a night.  They call it there time to “relax”.  I call it an excuse to not make their dreams happen.

The only shows I will make time to watch are Lost, 30 Rock, The Office, and Modern Family.  All are DVRed and watched after the kids are asleep.  The total time investment in these shows is just over 2 hours per week.

Video games are another HUGE time waster that should be avoided if you are working a second job.  The point I’m trying to make is that you can do a lot and still have a life while working your butt off.  You just need to budget time like you budget money.

Use Technology

I love technology and use it as much as I can to help me get everything done.  My Sprint Hero is one of my best friends.  I use Google Talk to chat with my wife throughout the day. 

I monitor Twitter on it as well as use Google Reader to scan all the blogs I subscribe to.  I use Evernote to capture my reminders and thoughts, and Thinking Space to mindmap my blogging activates.  Oh yeah, I’ve used the smart phone to even make a phone call before.

I’m a mobile person and I’m required to be away from a desk 90% of the time for job #1 and 100% of the time for job #2.  Using the cool gadgets can really improve your ability to get everything done, as long as you don’t make them a time waster.

Thank you

I just want to take a minute and thank you.  Thank you for reading DeliverAwayDebt.  Thank you for writing comments and interacting with me.  Thank you for helping me with all your support and kind words.  This would be a boring place without.

Please offer up some advice for my video is you’d had time to view it.  I’ve been starting work at 2am this week and the video was taken at 1:50 this morning before I started, please forget the tired look :-)