Need some extra cash? Here’s how to choose a second job

Using your existing skillset to freelance could be a good option.

Using your existing skillset to freelance could be a good option. Photo: Getty

The rising cost of everything from groceries to housing has already-employed Aussies heading back into the jobs market to pull in some extra money.

A Finder survey revealed 32 per cent of Australians feel financially pressured to look for a second job this year.

After a significant drop during the first year of the pandemic, almost 6.7 per cent of employed people in Australia already hold multiple jobs, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The rate of multiple job-holding is higher for women (7.5 per cent) than men (6 per cent).

Finder data also found women and young people were the most vulnerable to cost-of-living pressures.

Nearly twice the number of women than men felt the need to work more than one job, and 56 per cent of Gen Z admitted they needed to do the same compared to 40 per cent of Millennials.

Young people are often faced with less bargaining power as they are beginning their careers, and Finder head of consumer research Graham Cooke said women are under more financial pressure due to the gender pay gap, which over time also affects their savings buffer.

What makes a good second job?

Indeed career coach Sally McKibbin said having a second job, or a side hustle, could be a great opportunity to pursue your interests or earn additional income.

But not all second jobs are right for everyone.

“When it comes to finding a second job, any role that can be performed outside your primary hours may work well,” McKibbin said.

“Often casual work, or work with flexible hours, suits people best.”

She said popular second jobs include:

  • Ride share driver
  • Delivery driver
  • Hospitality server
  • Retail assistant
  • Customer service representative
  • Dog walker
  • Freelancing jobs like copywriting and design
  • Side hustles such as cake-making or DJing.

If you’re after the highest-paid side hustle, you’ll having to be willing to get physical; Preply found the highest-paid side hustle was working in removals.

Although taking on a second job can be a good chance to try out a role or industry you’ve always been interested in, you don’t necessarily have to step outside of your comfort zone.

Your second job can be in the same industry as your main one, although you should take care to avoid any conflict of interest or employment contract violations.

“There are many websites and organisations that allow people to advertise their professional skills and offer their services to clients at a fee,” McKibbin said.

“Freelancing or working as a contractor outside your current position may give you the opportunity to expand your skills, work with new clients and grow your portfolio.”

How to approach your availability

Your ability – or lack thereof – to work certain days or hours can make or break your job search.

McKibbin said one of the most common questions that comes up during the interview process is a candidate’s availability, so it’s a good time to broach the topic.

“When answering this question, you should be honest about your availability and limitations,” she said.

“Briefly explain to the interviewer why certain days or hours aren’t suitable and share your willingness to work at other times.”

Protect your current job

If you have a stable and secure career that you would like to keep while chasing some extra money on the side, it’s important to uphold your prior commitment and work ethic to your primary job.

McKibbin said it’s also important to review your employment contract before signing up for another job to confirm your employer allows you to accept outside work.

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