How to Avoid Burnout When Working Two Jobs

Written by: Zabrina Way

Maybe you’re already working two jobs (or more!), or maybe you’re considering it. Either way, you probably know that working multiple jobs is a quick path to burnout if you aren’t careful. This can be avoided, however, and you might even find yourself enjoying having multiple jobs if you go about it the right way.

If you aren’t in a desperate need for immediate cash, consider whether it’s worth looking for a higher-paying main job rather than trying to supplement it with a second. Often, it’s worth the effort of a job search! If this isn’t an option, try to get more hours at your current job if it’s one you enjoy. This eliminates a lot of hassles up-front.

Sometimes you can’t look for a single better-paying job for any number of reasons, and more hours at your current job aren’t available, or you hate it and don’t want to work there more than you have to. If this is the case, look for a temporary, contract, or freelance job over a permanent one if possible. You may find that the extra money is not worth it, and it’s easier to get out of a temporary job than another permanent position. Also, freelancing has the advantage of flexible hours that can fit around your first job’s hours.

Try to look for a low-stress job you enjoy, in a nearby area. If your first job is high-stress, adding another high-stress job on will only make it more likely that you experience the symptoms of burnout quickly. Someone who works in a fast-paced environment all day might enjoy the slower pace of tutoring older kids or working in a small, quiet store, for example. Also, the longer the commute time, the more likely you are to add stress and dissatisfaction to your life.

If it’s too late and you’re already working two jobs since you’re desperate for the money, all is not lost; you can still try to avoid burnout for as long as possible. Relaxation on the go is attainable with a little effort. This can include learning stress management, meditation techniques, playing relaxing music in the car on the way to work, and learning to say “no” to your boss and coworkers.

Perhaps most importantly, and supported by sleep researchers, enough sleep will help you manage high levels of stress. Also, try to take time off, where you don’t think about work or anything else stressful; this might mean a bubble bath, a movie with a friend, or a walk in a nearby park. Anything that gets your brain distracted and active is a good thing!

Try to make plans for the future. Even if you are stressed and feel like you are beginning to burn out, but you have no other options, having an escape plan or a plan for what you will do in a year, two years, or five years from now can help keep you calm in the present.

Working two jobs, while unfortunately necessary sometimes, can be very stressful. Try to do all you can for yourself to reduce the stress, and you will reduce the chances of burning out.


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