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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Finding a part-time job. . . .

People often ask me how I found my (wonderful) second job, which allows me to work part-time from home. With this job, I was able to pay off my credit cards last year, and am now contributing almost 25% of my take-home pay to various savings accounts. I no longer have to worry about only having $8.13 in my checking account at the end of the month. Although my social life has been affected more than I'd like, the financial freedom it allows me is invaluable.

Recently, I came across another part time employment opportunity, one that has flexible hours, which I can work from home. Although my time is already pretty squeezed, with the two jobs and graduate school, this was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. So, I applied and am now in the assessment period, which takes several weeks apparently. If I am hired, I'll try to fit in from 10 - 20 hours per week (although likely on the lower end of that estimate). I anticipate having more time in the summer, when school is (mostly) out---so I wanted to get set up with this job sooner rather than later. . . Am I a little nuts to be considering a THIRD job, on top of my already full life? A little.

Perhaps more importantly, am I taking a job that someone else could use (maybe someone who needs it more than I do?) Possibly. My response to the guilt factor of "taking" someone else's job is that I did the legwork of applying for and getting the job in the first place. How do I know whether someone else who really needs employment is willing or able to commit to it as I have?

In any case, here are some of the things I do to make sure I'm catching those rare opportunities for legitimate work-from-home or other part-time employment:

  • Always keep your resume updated. When positions come up, they often have thousands of people applying for them---why waste a week or more getting your resume polished, while other people are already in the interviewing process? Have it ready to go at all times.
  • Use free sites like Craigslist. Every once in awhile I'll do a basic search on jobs that allow 'telecommuting', just to see what's out there. Positions are posted and disappear within days. It pays to check sites like this frequently, just as you would visit a thrift store again and again to catch the 'good deals' before someone else does.
  • Haunt some of the other websites that discuss work-from-home jobs---there may not be listings on these sites, but some of the other forum users might let information drop that will allow you to research those positions on your own. One of my favorites is Work At Home Moms (WAHM).
  • Talk to your friends, family, and neighbors. Although I don't forward resumes for people I don't know, if I'm familiar with someone and their work ethic (or lack thereof), I'm willing to send a resume to the supervisors of my part-time job, to let them know I have a friend looking for work. Someone you know may already be working the kind of job you want, and you'll never know unless you ask. . .
  • Finally, be persistent, and be careful. It's not easy to find legitimate work-from-home jobs. Never, EVER send a business money so they can send you the equipment you need to be set up as an employee for them. More often than not, these are scams.
I feel incredibly lucky to have found my part-time work. If I'm able to add a third job, that's just icing on the cake for me---I'd love to keep putting money in savings so that next year, when my income from my full-time job declines, I feel that much safer. If it doesn't work out, well that's okay too---at least I tried. In the end, though, luck can only account for a small percentage of what happens "to" us. The rest of it is hard work, perseverance, and creativity. Do any of you work a second job? If so, what's your 'secret' to making it work for you?

2 comments:

Linda said...

I think it's great that you found another job. I would not have the least amount of guilt about taking a job from someone else. You have the drive and ambition to find the job, succeed at the job and besides you will need this extra money in the future. You go,girl. I'm an RN and trying to put 3 kids through college and would love to find a part-time thing I could do from home on nights or weekends to bring in some extra cash for about a year. Thank you for the leads. I would love to do something totally different from nursing. I know I could find a per diem nursing position for weekends but I really don't think I could be a nurse 7 days a week. That would spell burnout real quick.

Finally Frugal said...

Definitely check out WAHM.com if you're looking. Tons of tips, and you can search by what you're looking for (like: "writing jobs", etc). Also, the posters are often already working for a specific company and although many confidentiality agreements prohibit them from saying outright who they're working for, with a little detective work you can usually figure it out. GREAT source of information about legitimate work from home opportunities versus scams. . . . Best of luck to you, Linda!!!

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