In this post, I wanted to share 10 most important things that every overemployed person (person working multiple full-time W2 jobs) must know. This post is based on my experience working multiple jobs for several years as well as some other resources like overemployed.com, overemployed on Reddit, and anonymous forum blind. Let’s cover them one by one.
- Don’t be scared. The only thing to fear is the fear itself. Thousands of people work multiple full-time W2 jobs. Even if you get caught, the consequences are not that bad. What’s worse that can happen? You lose one job but you still have another or two more? Avoid paranoia. You’ll start suspecting other colleagues in overemployment because they are less responsive, less productive, hands off, skipping meetings or just slow. But most likely you are overthinking and they are just working a single job. Just do you and don’t worry about others.
- Don’t tell anyone. 🤐 People can be envious, righteous, or just plain stupids. They talk, gossip and some of them can even contact your employers to “help you”. Some people, like your mom, can become negative because they think it’s too much work and you are killing yourself (which actually is the opposite). Better to set your ego aside and keep low. The same advice goes at jobs. Stay low and above average but not way above average to draw unwanted attention.
- Invest in a great home office and headphones. People with multiple W2 jobs love working from home because it save 1-2 hours of commute daily and because it’s easier to switch between work and meetings. You can have your own conference room that is always free and most likely your own bathroom.
- Always use separate computers and phones for your jobs. Many people got caught, because they mistakenly shared their screen or sent a wrong message. Tracking software abounds too. Be extra paranoid in this aspect. Have MFA enabled and use password manager to keep track of dozens of different passwords.
- 🗓Your calendar is not an all-you-can-meet buffet. You need to be on top of your calendars. That includes work calendars and personal calendars. You need to block time off for meetings between jobs and for actual work.
- Take time for yourself (take vacations, sick days, paternity leave) without regrets. Learn to relax by adopting the mindset of a person who has options. A person who is more in control of your work environment, because you’ll be bolder in saying no to stupid BS meetings, useless tasks and silly requests. Know that companies have zero loyalty to employees and we shouldn’t drink their Kool-Aid either.
- Get ready for that double or triple or for some quadruple paychecks. They can get addictive. They build wealth fast because with just a single paycheck a big part of it goes for housing, food, transportation — your basic expenses. However, with the second income, all of it can go to savings. So with the second job, you can 4x or 6x your savings rate, not just 2x. Unless of course your expenses stay roughly the same. If you don’t know what to do with money, just buy S&P 500 index fund on auto 📈.
- Avoid the hedonic treadmill. Avoid the lifestyle creep. It’s much better to splurge on one time (variable) expenses like a dinner or a trip than get locked in into long-term (fixed) expenses like mortgage, car loan, private schools, expensive membership, private planes and so on. This is because if you are laid-off or decide to quit, variable one time expenses are easy to cut while long-term commitments.
- Learn to become efficient and stay on course. You’ll learn that a lot of work meetings and tasks are BS that you can skip without it affecting your main performance: all hands, team building, happy hour, DEI training, lunch&learns, status updates. Know that there are BS jobs that are boring for single employment but great for over-employment. Know that there are jobs with downtime and busy times. Feel free to switch your approach while keeping your big goal. Change careers, industries and job roles if needed to find the best match to your abilities and strengths.
- Step away from the career climbing 🪜and bonus achieving mentally, because they would at most give you a 10-15% raise (but even that is unlikely in this recession time) while having a second full-time job will give you at least a 200% raise! Also, to go the path of career ladder climbing, people need to put extra working hours and outshine their competition. This can be hard if you are surrounded by smart and young (read lots of free time and fresher brains) colleagues.
The summary is that most of the time, people who got caught or damaged their careers did something silly. You are the enemy so to say. Most of it comes down to mindset. If you think you are adding value to all your jobs, then you are doing good to companies that can’t hire enough good workers. You can just do good work without subscribing to the company cult that drives people to work extra. All while also making your life more secure while achieving your financial and career goals!