Double Your Income By Doing Two Jobs at Once (Yes, Really)

Image: Multitasking. Photo by Ryan Ritchie

Does having two employers sound stressful? Don’t worry. I’m not suggesting that you run from one job to the next, burning up all the hours of your life to get ahead. Instead, why not find a job that pays you for being there yet allows you to earn money from another source at the exact same time?

Doing two jobs at once can double your income. That’s efficient, and not as unlikely as you might think.

For example, as a security guard I was allowed, and even encouraged, to read and write during slow times. I often spent hours at my station reading and taking notes for future articles. I was able to make money writing while I was getting paid for sitting there.

Here’s another example: My wife and I used to pay a woman $60 per night to stay with our cats while we traveled. She had to feed them, clean the litter box and play with them, which amounted to about 25 minutes daily. The rest of the time was hers. She could knit sweaters to sell or sit at her laptop and build a profitable blog.

If you’re not a writer, and you don’t knit, you might wonder what kind of paid work you can really find that can be done while you’re at another job. I’ll have a list for you shortly. But first things first; let’s look at a few jobs that allow you some free time to work on those profitable projects.

Jobs That Give You Free Time

  • Security Guard
  • Late Shift Hotel Clerk
  • House Sitting
  • Pet Sitting
  • Elder-Care Driver
  • Campground Host

Investigate the job carefully to be sure it’s appropriate. Some security guards are required to constantly be on the move, for example, while others need to sit in a guard house and check the occasional person who passes through. As a driver for the elderly, you might have to wait while clients are at their appointments, and this is when you could work on something else. As a campground host, you might want to get hired for the off-season so you would only have to spend a few minutes several times daily checking in new arrivals. You get the idea. Now let’s look at some of the ways you can make money while you’re already on the job.

Jobs and Businesses You Can Do Anywhere

  • Search Engine Evaluator
  • Freelance Writer
  • Online Survey Participant
  • Online Surrogate Juror
  • Freelance Editor
  • Website Designer
  • Novelist
  • Crafter

You’ll notice many of these involve working online. Being a search engine evaluator is a good one, because you can do the work a few minutes at a time if necessary. Working as a mock juror online is another good example. Perhaps most (and the best) opportunities are online, but you don’t have to limit yourself to those. If you make jewelry to sell, for example, you can bring your supplies and fill those slow hours with profitable work.

Putting Two Jobs Together

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to get a position on the first list, and then find work from the second list that you can do at the same time. Perhaps you already have a job that gives you some time to work on other projects. In that case you’re halfway there. But let’s assume you don’t have any work at the moment. We’ll look at an example of what you might do.

If you subscribe to the Caretaker Gazette, you’ll find people who will pay you to stay in their homes while they’re away for weeks or even months. There are all sorts of other caretaking positions as well. In a recent issue, for example (you can look at free samples on their site), someone wanted a couple to take care of a private lodge in Alaska from September through May, and it was a salaried position. Internet was included, which is important for the second half of this plan.

Once you’re hired to babysit that wilderness lodge (or even before), you can start lining up work to do online. You might get hired as a search engine evaluator, for example, a job that I still do from time to time. The pay is only $12 to $15 per hour, but you’ll make that while you’re being paid to watch the lodge. You can work while you look out over the Alaskan wilderness. Meanwhile your spouse might have the skills to find writing, programming, or other freelance work on sites like Elance to bring in even more money.

Of course you could babysit a home closer to your own. Or you could find pet-sitting gigs, or get hired for a late-shift position as a clerk at a hotel in the off-season. Just be sure that whatever you get hired for, your employer is okay with you doing a little something on the side when it doesn’t interfere with the job.

The biggest piece for making this work? Think outside of the box. Babysitting kids might seem to tie up too much time to make this strategy work, but what if you entertained the kids by teaching them to make crafts — and then sold the crafts you made? When I was a blackjack dealer I used to get a 15-minute break every hour, time which now could be spent doing paid online surveys (alas, this was before there were such things). Most surveys don’t pay much, but it is money that can be made during time on the job you’re already being paid for. Keep your eyes open and who knows what opportunities you might find to double up your income.

Your Turn: What do you think? Have you ever worked two jobs at once? Tell us about your experience or ideas in the comments section below…