Why You Should Have (at Least) Two Careers
Ever met a civil engineer who is also a music producer or a banker who is also a writer and wondered how he/she succeeds in both streams?
The truth is many people also have dreams of switching from one career to the other.
However, a good number of them consider the number of years they put in their current jobs and stay put.
Kabir Sehgal is someone who had this decision to make and decided to go for it. He works in a Fortune 500 company, formerly a US Navy Seal, and is also an award-winning music producer. This may sound too much, but he is succeeding in all spheres.
The secret tip to switching careers is don’t do it; at least, not immediately. First off, the cost of just changing careers immediately may be too high.
Also, you don’t know if you will be successful in this new career path quickly.
The answer to owning and mastering two careers is to do both simultaneously.
Doing this will help you gradually build on the new one while the old one is a steady income stream.
Additionally, you will be adding value to both careers, hence, overcoming the thought that you are shortchanging yourself.
Also, involving yourself in two careers allows you to explore and maximize your potentials adequately.
Kabir said he had multiple careers because working many jobs made him happier and more fulfilled.
Admittedly, we all have a particular passion for something which may or may not be in our line of work currently.
Thus, when you go along with your passion while still working at your current job, the feeling of fulfillment you get from either of the two affects your productivity positively.
Additionally, engaging in two or more careers hones your skills and aids development.
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN THINKING OF PICKING A NEW JOB
As much as indulging yourself in more than one career has its perks, there are somethings that you should consider before increasing your daily routine.
- Time management
- Career goals
- Your passion vs. your expenses
- Competence in both careers
As a career-driven man or woman, we sometimes get choked up with too many activities that we find time to relax or indulge in other activities. If you can barely keep up with one career, how much more juggling two jobs?
We have 24 hours in a day; that is 1,440 minutes. The way you maximize productivity every second of the day determines how successful you will be in your career. Your meeting plans, the way you handle delegated tasks, and your breaks collectively affect your productivity.
Admittedly, when juggling two careers, one has to be careful to give adequate time to each; to avoid a decline in any of the two.
Thus, it is essential to organize your schedule so that you can deliver effectively. Here are some tips to improve your time management skills:
- Block Scheduling: Block scheduling is a technique used in schools where subjects are assigned a longer time than usual. However, in the corporate world, block scheduling is creating a smaller to-do list within your long to-do list. This allows you to tackle tasks within the stipulated period. For instance, if you decide on a particular time to respond to your emails, this will help you save time. Additionally, block scheduling can be applied to your emails, voicemails, and cold calls. Doing this will help you cover more ground and avoid getting distracted when doing other vital tasks.
- Learn to say No: Your time while handling one or more careers matters a lot and will require you answering a few No’s to some tasks. As much as saying yes will make you seem competent and keep you working, it could lead to a pile-up in your schedule and stop you from following your plan. Although you cannot avoid some critical tasks, you are aware of some that may not be too urgent or vital to your career. Gracefully saying no to lunch or a position on a select committee does not make you less competent; instead, it helps you with your time management skills.
- Start Early: Morning is the most productive time of the day as regards to corporate jobs. Therefore, starting your day early allows you to give your best in the morning. Also, this is when most of your colleagues resume; hence, you should try to get in before them to get some hours or minutes of uninterrupted work. Additionally, if you have to commute to your place of work, you should leave at least an hour earlier as you will find freer roads and a lesser crowd on the trains and buses.
- Prioritize your tasks: When making your to-do lists and schedules, you should plan based on the order of priority. You can put the most pressing and urgent tasks to be completed first, at the beginning of the day. The less pressing tasks can come later in the afternoon. Consequently, you can finish up with the most urgent tasks while you are still energetic. Also, you can start with the fast and simple tasks, and then the longer ones can come later.
Setting career goals for yourself makes you deliver adequately on any path and comes in handy when considering a second career option.
These goals can narrow down your choices; however, you can still find yourself torn between two careers.
You can still make these plans work for you as they will determine how far you will go any chosen path. Also, when you set career goals, you have to set short-term and long-term goals for yourself to give you a sense of fulfillment.
Therefore, when you are torn between two careers, you can go back to your drawing board (career plan) to see how it fits in the scheme of things.
Here are some things to consider when setting your career goals:
- Be specific: When setting goals, you should be able to define what success means to you while you are planning to be successful. Admittedly, goals have different meanings from one person to the other, and knowing what it means to you will guide you on the right path.
- Attach a timeframe: A timeframe is required while setting either long-term or short-term goals. Setting goals with a stipulated timeframe will allow you to work diligently to achieve these goals. Once you can do this, then, time management becomes a priority to you. Therefore, a second career will also have a timeline for success, enabling you to put in more effort.
- Be Positive: Your career goals should be set out of a need to achieve and not trying to avoid something. Admittedly, we find ourselves sometimes doing jobs that we may not like. Instead of thinking of a new career path because of the problems with your current job, let your plans drive you. A positive mindset will set an all-round inspiring atmosphere for success.
- Be Realistic: As much as you have a dream more significant than you, it should be one that shows signs of being achievable. For instance, you can’t aim for a Grammy award if you have nothing to do with music or performing arts. In the same vein, your goal should not be basic.
Your Passion vs. Your Expenses
It is not uncommon to earn better from one career than the other. It is more likely to happen, especially when you just started the second career newly.
However, the economic crunch and the needs of yourself and your family should play a part in your choice of career.
Admittedly, following your passion is advised and recommended for satisfaction; however, you should be a bit realistic about meeting your needs and expenses.
Thus, it is not advisable to leave your current job immediately you start a new career.
The best way to do this is to maximize both opportunities. Give adequate attention to both careers and watch how you will excel in both.
Competence in Both Careers
Building competence in both professions is key to succeeding.
However, one thing you should know is that you don’t necessarily have to succeed in both at the same time.
For instance, Harrison Ford was unsatisfied with the roles he got in Hollywood; he took up carpentry as a second career. Note that he did not stop acting; instead, he was able to master the two arts and deliver effectively.
Additionally, treat your two careers as a substitute for each other.
Therefore, it should be your Plan A and Plan B. It will not always be rosy in both jobs, so you should be able to hold up when one path is a bit shaky or not delivering as expected.
Additionally, when choosing another career path, you should ensure that it is a bit different from the already existing one. This diversity will help you when one path is suffering a decline.
For instance, if you are a real estate agent, your income is dependent on external factors, including the economy and the demand.
Thus, your second career should be unrelated or should be dependent on a different economic factor.
Trying your hands on different careers to choose what best defines you is advisable.
This will allow you to discover and explore your strengths before you can select the best for you.
When choosing a career, whether first or second, it is best to know yourself, identify yourself, and pick what suits you.
Additionally, you should know your temperament and personality and work with it.
There is nothing wrong with trying out different careers and exploring your capabilities.
You can also try out different jobs and what you are not familiar with as you can adequately choose what you are good at.
Thus, the one that works best for you is what will stand in when there is a decline in the old career. Also, you will feel accomplished while doing what supports your temperament.
BENEFITS OF HAVING TWO CAREERS
- It broadens your perspective
- You gain experience
- Extra stream of income
- Network building
- Back-up Plan
Broadens Your Perspective
Working the same job for a long time may narrow your views and might even stifle your ideas.
When you stay in the same office, day and night, with the same set of people, handling the same project, it could become monotonous at some point.
However, when you venture into another career in a different sector, it broadens your perspective professionally. Consequently, you interact daily with people from the two various industries and research both.
Additionally, the skills you get from each career can be interchanged to give you a more versatile approach to situations arising. Your competence level will also improve in both professions.
Also, time management will help you focus and deliver tasks in time to meet up with the next.
Your degrees and education will go a long way in giving you a career path.
However, your experiences are valued more in most companies. This is even more acceptable at the early stages of any career. Gaining as much knowledge as possible will keep you relevant in any sector or office.
Admittedly, we hardly know what sector or career path will work for us from the onset.
Embarking on a series of internships or part-time will help you hone your skills and increase your experiences.
Additionally, since each job requires a different skill-set, you will be able to know where your strength lies as well as what you need to improve on.
These skill-sets will also come recommended when your versatility is needed for a particular task.
Therefore, operating two careers gives you an ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn some skills that you can apply effectively.
Extra Stream of Income
Additional income has never done any harm and would always be appreciated.
Even if you are on the lowest step on the career ladder or halfway to the top, one still needs an extra income.
It is even more recommended for those on the low level as you can build your skill set while getting some stipends from freelancing jobs.
Additionally, if you have skills that are not being utilized in your current place of work, getting a freelancing job is the best way to hone and express these skills. The best way to maximize two careers and earn from both at an early stage is indulging in a freelance career.
Whether it will become a constant career or not, you should pick one that is beneficial to you in terms of finance and flexibility.
You wouldn’t want it to clash with your day job; therefore, it is best to pick one that you can tweak and fit in your daily schedule.
Stepping out of your regular job or industry into a new one will require some level of networking.
Whether it is to make inquiries about starting up or to ask questions about starting up, you have to connect with people.
Consequently, this will increase your network and connections. Thus, you can learn from these new contacts and share ideas. Additionally, you get to know about other sectors from the horse’s mouth.
Getting to interact with new people can further give you ideas on new career paths or how to maximize potential in your current career.
You will find that there are only advantages when it comes to interacting and networking with new contacts.
Job security is an integral part of your career path, and having a second job or freelance employable skill can help with this.
This is owing to the current fluctuations in the economy and an increase in unemployment. One never knows when their current job may have to let go of some workers.
If this happens, having a second job, a back-up plan is always a good idea as one may not know when he or she will see a new opportunity. If you already have a second career, it will be beneficial to you in terms of finances as well as experience building.
Additionally, having a second job allows you to focus on experience and skill-building in one career while you have the other one solely for paying your bills. Also, if you have issues with one job, distracting yourself with the other is the best way to stay up and doing.
OTHER TIPS ON JUGGLING TWO CAREERS
- Before fully taking up a new career path, you should have a “trial period” where you check the job, and it’s perks. You can decide to volunteer for free to get the experience so you can weigh your options. Also, this time will allow you to check if it’ll suit your lifestyle and personality.
- Try as much as possible to make out time for your family and time to rest. You are likely to shuffle between two offices regularly to give your best. However, you are at risk of burnout if you do not relax and take breaks.
- Adopt and keep to your schedules. A schedule is necessary when juggling two careers. This way, you can organize your day and time without any distractions. Additionally, you should keep the documents, emails, and tasks separate from each other. Consequently, you won’t work on a job that should be handled at a different time.
Working two jobs may be stressful, it, however, has its many attractive advantages, including the opportunities that come with networking. Also, time management is a skill that will let you win in both careers.
As much as the grind is essential, one has to balance work life with occasional relations and family time. Don’t get too caught up and forget your family.
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