Avoiding burnout whilst working two jobs
November 8, 2022
With the cost of living rising, and the onset of winter only bringing additional financial pressure, many are looking at how they are going to be able to manage the added demands on their wallet.
While some are able to utilise savings to meet any shortfall between income and outgoings, many do not have a financial safety net. The Island Global Research 2022 Cost of Living Survey found 14% would not be able to afford an unexpected but necessary expense of £100 and 37% would struggle to afford a £100 per month increase in living expenses.
In response to this added pressure, an increasing number of individuals are looking at taking on a second job. The Office for National Statistics suggests 1.2 million workers in the UK have a second job, while research by The Royal London puts the numbers even higher, finding that 16% of workers surveyed have taken on a second job (a total figure of 5.2 million if true across the UK). All evidence suggests the figure is only going to rise, with Royal London estimating a further 30% would be looking for an additional role to support their income if living costs continue to rise. On the Island, many are taking on second jobs in the hospitality and retail sectors which are facing staff shortages.
Taking on a second job may bring in much needed income, but with many already working long hours, this extra pressure could compromise our mental health and wellbeing. Having quality interactions with friends and family, time for exercise, getting good sleep and finding opportunities for self-care are all important elements of maintaining good mental health. When our time is pressured, looking after our wellbeing is often the first thing that we let go.
If you are one of the growing number working more than one job, here are some key tips to help manage your stress levels and prevent burnout
- Maximise your time – Look at opportunities to manage your time more efficiently, making use of those little lost moments in the day. For example, if you use public transport for your commute, this could be a chance to enjoy a good book for some escapism, or catch up on your personal emails.
- Set time aside for self-care – Make sure you are diarising regular time for breaks away from work, and be strict about protecting this time. So if you need to leave the office at 5 to get to that exercise class, do it – stepping away from work will mean you are more productive when you get back to it.
- Have a plan – A weekly plan with your shifts/work pattern, when you are going to get chores done, your yoga class, your meal plan etc. helps you stay in control. Sharing the plan with other members of your household also ensures that everyone is on the same page.
- Be aware – If you are taking on an additional paid job, there may be requirements you need to follow in terms of informing your employer, or there might be an impact on your tax or benefits. Make sure you are on top of these so there isn’t an issue in the long run.
- Ask for help – Use your support network to help with some of your time pressures. For example, sharing school pick-up and drop-offs with other parents might allow you to be more flexible on some days.
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