If you google “average salary for millennials” you’re in for a cruel surprise. According to the Fed’s Survey of Consumer Finances the median earnings for those of us under the age of 35 is only $37,600. Scary, right? Do you know what’s even scarier? The average student loan debt currently is $30,000 according to New America. Between low salaries and debt, it’s no surprise that more and more people are taking a second job. One paycheck isn’t enough anymore. It’s nothing to be ashamed about and, in fact, is becoming even more common.
Here is some advice from others who work more than one job.
“As much as I love working in the nonprofit world, you go into it knowing that you will not be making the big bucks. Knowing this, as well as realizing that I did miss writing, is what inspired me to take writing opportunities. I can write on my lunch break, in PJs while still in bed, or even at night when I can’t sleep. Being able to write about my personal experiences, while (hopefully!) inspiring people and earning extra spending money was perfect for me. My bank account’s happy, and I still get to help people! If you need extra money, look at freelance opportunities. Freelancing is becoming more popular, and encompasses many different areas. I guarantee you can find something in your field.” —Michelle, 24
Where to start: There are many places online, but Upwork is a great place to begin your search.
“I was already helping out with planning trips for free, so why not find a way to make money from it? I liked the idea of having a fall-back skill set in case, God forbid, something happened to my full-time job. I did a lot of research, and realized that being a travel agent is something that allows you to decide how much time you want to put in, which was perfect for me. Pick something you know you’re good at, and see if there’s a way to make it a bit lucrative, without detracting from your primary job. In the internet age, there are so many opportunities to make some side money without having to leave your home! Make sure it’s not the kind of responsibility you dread — it should feel more like a hobby.” —Katerina, 24
Where to start: Outside Agents
“I’ve had two jobs since I graduated in 2013, both for monetary reasons and for career-growth reasons. It comes down to making the most of your experiences and seeing if it could lead to the next logical step for your career. My advice is to find the right balance of patience at your job, but also hunger to get to your goal, both of job and salary. —Mark, 24
Where to start: Job search websites such as LinkedIn are the most helpful.
“Teaching is one of the best jobs because you end before 4 pm every day and you get the summers off; there’s plenty of time to get a second job. The easiest one to get is tutoring because you don’t need to acquire a new skill. There is also something about getting straight cash in your wallet that is so rewarding and nice. It’s my pile of spending money so that the money from my full-time job goes straight into my bank account and I don’t have to touch it. In New York, tutors can easily go for $100 an hour, so don’t be afraid to ask for a lot because chances are parents who are asking for a tutor will pay whatever they need to in order to get their kids tutored.” —Cali, 23
Where to start: Word of mouth is great, but there’s also online queries on websites such as Care.com.
“I was so excited for the opportunity to work in my field in a city that I love, Washington, D.C. but it’s true what they say about working for a non-profit; you better love what you’re doing because you’re definitely not getting paid what you deserve. I am passionate about my full-time job but I had to accept the fact that I wanted to live in one of the country’s most expensive cities, and in order to go on those occasional bottomless brunches with my friends, I needed a second job, which is why I started working at Banana Republic. I don’t live beyond my means, and my second job was not one I accepted in order to live an unrealistic ‘Sex in the City’ existence, but if I want to be able to buy a ticket to visit my family every now and then or go on a vacation, I have to be smart, and that means working extra hours, at a place where I’m overqualified. It can be very overwhelming, but there are a lot of us doing what we can and taking it day by day” —Georgea, 30
Where to start: Go into stores in your area, or check each individual retailer’s website.