The gig economy means more workers, especially millennials, are working multiple jobs. Gone are the days when you found one full-time job and stayed with it until you got the gold watch. Today’s employers hire seasonal and per-task workers, skewing the traditional equation.
If you’re trying to juggle two, three or even more jobs, your life can grow hectic quickly. Here are seven tips for making the most of your hustle and taking your career to new heights even as you find your groove.
1. Select gigs carefully
There are tons of options abound. If you enjoy working with cold, hard numbers, you can take on bookkeeping clients. Enjoy writing? Many popular blogs pay guest contributors. And of course, if you love battling traffic, you can drive for Uber or DoorDash.
With all the gigs out there, you can afford to select those you love. True, if you need immediate cash, you may need to take on something like waiting tables that you don’t particularly love. Strive to find one job that pays you enough to make rent, so that you can focus the rest of your energy on selecting work you love.
2. Set boundaries
Living on-call can increase feelings of security, especially when you’ve survived a financial crisis. However, if you accept requests from Lyft any time of the day or night, you risk burnout, or worse, getting in an accident. Research shows that getting fewer than four hours of sleep nightly increases your chance of getting in a crash as much as drinking 1.5 times the legal limit of alcohol.
No matter how many jobs you work, set some days and times during which you refuse to log in. Ideally, reserve at least one full day per week off to rest and recharge.
3. Eat healthy meals
Most of your productivity stems not from your mind but from your body. You can’t function at your best — or manage the madness of your hustles — if you’re not fueled properly.
When you’re making your weekly schedule, slot time for going to the grocers and prepping healthy meals. Strive to eliminate processed meats, which experts now classify as carcinogenic, and load up on vegetables and fruits. If you choose to consume meat, stick with lean cuts like fish and poultry.
4. Get some exercise
Even though you may feel exhausted, taking on moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes most days of the week will improve your mood and boost longevity. It will also help you maintain a normal body weight.
The good news? You don’t need to join a gym to get fit. Put on your favorite jams and dance around the living room solo. Or dive into a half hour of heavy-duty house cleaning and let that count as your workout on a busy day.
5. Stick to your vision
Even if you feel trapped in jobs that aren’t really your thing (for example, working in customer service if you’re an introvert), keep your long-term career goals in mind. What is it you love to do? Is there some way to incorporate that skill into one of your current positions, or is it time to look elsewhere?
For example, if you work best behind a computer screen but you’re currently in a customer-facing role, ask your employer about transferring to a different department. If you’ve been working in customer support for a tech company, perhaps you could transfer into a programming role with a current employer instead of starting from scratch elsewhere.
6. Follow your passion
The gig economy offers you the opportunity to follow your dreams. Instead of just taking on yet another part-time job for extra income, why not start your own business? For example, it doesn’t cost much to buy a domain name, and you can learn how to set up your own website for relatively little on sites like Udemy. You can also use Fiverr to find someone to build an e-commerce site for you.
Handy with a hammer? Consider opening your own handyman service company — you need not obtain your contractors’ license if you stick to smaller jobs. Live to cook? Why not launch your own catering business?
7. Take time for you
Finally, the cliché is true — you can’t pour from an empty pitcher. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a day off to relax and recharge. Treat yourself to a massage or a pedicure. Go for a long hike at a nearby nature center, as spending time outdoors helps alleviate depression and anxiety. Do whatever you need to feel restored.
Balancing multiple jobs in the gig economy
Balancing multiple jobs can prove exhausting — or it can open up new worlds of opportunity. By following the tips above, you can enjoy a rewarding career even if your trajectory doesn’t follow the traditional path.