Moonlighting: One Way to Outsmart the Recession

Consider taking on a second job that offers what your regular job lacks.

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You have a job. Good news! But you don’t like the job. Or it doesn’t pay a living wage. Or it doesn’t offer health insurance. That’s bad news.

Have you considered moonlighting? It’s not as hard as it sounds. In fact, moonlighting can be not only the answer to your underemployment woes, it can be the path to greater job satisfaction and fulfillment.

The secret to successful moonlighting is simple: Job B needs to provide what Job A lacks.

“Yeah, like more money!” you may be saying. But it’s more than just that. In order for you to moonlight and still remain sane and healthy and cheerful, not to mention solvent, your second job needs to be in some way the opposite of your first job.

For instance, if Job A involves sitting alone in front of a computer screen for hours on end, get a Job B where you’re on your feet and dealing with lots of people. If your Job A is ho-hum, a good Job B is one that provides variety and stimulation and opportunities for growth.

Whether you are cobbling together a living with two part time gigs, or working one full time and one part time job, moonlighting—done right—can be empowering.

It may not be a long-term solution. Long-term moonlighting can wear you down. But until the economy improves and/or you find that One Good Job, two jobs that complement each other may be the answer.

Karen Burns, Working Girl, is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use, to be released by Running Press in April 2009 (but available now for pre order at Amazon!). She blogs at karenburnsworkinggirl.com .

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