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Juggling Freelance Work with Your Day Job

woman juggling

Working freelance might be the trend nowadays, but pairing it with a regular day job has also become quite common. In fact, as of January 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 5 percent of the labor force holds multiple jobs.

See Also: Career Opportunities for Freelance Writers Worldwide

Money plays a huge factor in wanting to get a second source of income (either through freelancing or part-time work). Add the unstable nature of the economy, ever-increasing prices of goods and commodities, plus the still high unemployment rate, it’s no wonder this concept has become widely-accepted over the years.

If you or someone you know has ever done two jobs (or more), you understand that it’s no walk in the park. Even with home-based assignments, work could still take its toll on every aspect of your life. But it’s not always stress and deadlinesWondering how to cope with that 9 to 5 on top of your lifestyle blogging stint? Interested in taking on additional work with flexible hours? Here’s how to deal.

Benefits of Working Multiple Jobs

Freelancing while working full time includes several benefits that go beyond that extra paycheck.

  • Juggling multiple jobscreates a “portfolio” lifestyle. Similar to an investment portfolio, the different roles you take on ultimately gives you a sense of what you really want in terms of a career, as well as enhances your overall view of life because of varied experiences.
  • Having a list of freelancing jobs available to you gives you a fallback, if worst comes to worst.
  • If you’re still holding out for the career you really want, having multiple jobs is a fun way to make yourself professionally visible.
  • Aside from networking, imagine all the new skills you’ll develop while doing several tasks. From blogging, web design, sales, to customer service, juggling jobs will make you a versatile worker.
  • While doing freelancing jobs, you may discover that you have a knack for business. Are you currently using your passion for writing by editing articles for an online magazine? Or maybe your years as manager have given you the chance to be hired as a consultant?  Once you start finding ways to solve problems and feel the need to grow your ideas, those could be signs that you’re ready to shift from freelancer to business owner.

Reminding yourself WHY you’re working as hard as you are now can be a great motivator to help you stay on track. 

But what if that doesn’t work?

Coping with Working Two Jobs

On those days when the zeroes on your paycheck is not enough to make you get out of bed, here are six suggestions to make freelancing while working full time less painful.

Carefully plan your schedule. Juliet Obodo, who worked five jobs in 2013, is a good example of an extreme hustler. In an interview with Yahoo Finance reporter, Mandi Woodruff, she admits that time-management is the biggest drawback to juggling multiple jobs. Knowing exactly what your priorities are could mean the difference between enjoying what you do and just caving in to pressure.

Once she decided that she wanted to focus more on her lifestyle blogging gigs, she allotted two days to carefully plan out her entire year.

If you don’t have the luxury of time similar to Obodo, take at least five to ten minutes each night to plan for the day ahead. Do what works for you: pick up a planner, write on Post-It notes, or use a mobile app.

Don’t overwhelm yourself with work. Being in dire need of money can push you to take on more work than you really need. But even if you’re not in this kind of situation, it can be tempting to accept projects left and right just because it sounds exciting. However, don’t fall into this trap! Remember: you still have a day job. You don’t want to appear unprofessional by being late or falling asleep at your desk.

Focus on the freelancing projects that pay well or those that give you an opportunity to practice your skills. Learn to say no to offers that don’t suit you. Then go back to tip #1 and plan how you will budget your earnings until your next paycheck.

Leave work on time as much as possible. Overtime work with pay is definitely alluring, especially if you’re confident as your freelance work is on weekends (or at night). But be warned: doing so constantly could lead to work burnout! By the time you’ve realized this, you could have compromised on a steady stream of income.

It’s not always easy for managers or business owners to agree to their staff taking on extra work – so don’t take your regular tasks for granted. Work efficiently and accurately from 9 to 5, then leave. Unless it’s mandatory, you don’t need to feel obligated about overtime work.

Invest in necessary tools and knowledge. Once you discover how much you love your freelancing jobs, you may think about signing up to classes. If you have set aside a budget for that, go for it! Remember Juliet Obodo? She invested on classes for photography and web design because it’s directly related to her freelancing project. Even though she has a day job, she’s confident to live the lifestyle she chose thanks to her multiple income streams.

Aside from skills and knowledge, you can also invest on tools. Things like a good laptop, an online app service, or basically anything that makes freelancing fun and easy for you is a good betIf you plan on juggling jobs for a long time, why not spend money on investments that pay for themselves?

Clear some days for personal time. Even though being busy is second nature to you, NEVER forget to carve time for yourself and your loved ones. The last thing you need is to be grumpy at work because you weren’t able to sleep well. As much as you need to bring home the bacon, learn to unwind. This goes back to tip #1. Once you’ve mastered the art of properly managing your time, you’ll find that you can definitely have one or two days off just to have fun.

If you’re struggling between your multiple jobs right now, this is perhaps the best thing you can do for yourself. Step back, breathe in, and do something you enjoy. Not only will you feel better, you’ll find that you’re more effective at your tasks.

Ask for help. Who says you need to do this alone? Again: don’t burn yourself out by taking on everything at once. If you’re currently living with someone, compromise with them on who does the chores on which day. For those with children, ask relatives or friends to babysit if you can’t make it (as long as they’re free). Feeling worn out, exhausted, or de-motivated? Talk to a friend or a professional about it. Avoid keeping problems to yourself.

See Also: Top 10 Websites to Find Freelance Work

Freelancing while working full time is not for everyone – but anybody can try it. Think of it not only as an additional means of income, but also as an avenue to learn, explore, and get to know yourself. This option is no longer just for those with years of experience in the labor market. Today, even if you just graduated, you can make a name for yourself by juggling multiple roles.

It’s just a matter of finding what work best for you.

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