Like every parent today, I used to go through the deliberation process of figuring out how I was going to get the latest Nintendo game or that new Power Ranger or the limited edition Cabbage Patch Kid. Every parent wants to insure that their kids wake up on Christmas morning and exhibit the glow of complete euphoria which gives the parents a feeling of a conquering hero. Well more often than not to become the conquering hero, parents first have to figure out where to get the extra money. In this economy, not too many people have the option of saving a bundle and the only way to insure that little Johnny gets the new Super Mega-Zord or Sally gets the Barbie Manhattan Condo complete with working escalator is to get a second job during the holiday season.
There are a lot of things that a person needs to be aware of prior to running out to the nearest Toys R Us and getting that second job. Let me tell you from experience that this is an action that really needs to be weighed out carefully before you do it. Let me fill you in on a few of the Pros and Cons of my experiences and let my pitfalls and successes help you along your way.
Pro – More Income
This is a no brainer. This is why you’re reading this article in the first place. What you may not have considered is that if you’re in a financial strain as most Americans are these days, you may be able to carry this job past the holidays and alleviate some financial strain on your household. A second job is something that can help a lot of families especially if you’re working a new day job that pays less than a day job that you used to have. It may also help out with the post holiday credit card bills.
Con – Seasonal Scheduling
This is one that I never considered. My primary job already kept me away from the family until early most evenings. The part-time job now kept me away almost all day on the weekends and there were certain periods where I didn’t see conscious versions of my children for 2 or 3 days. Seasonal jobs will want you every weekend and a few week nights as well. They need you there for shoppers and if you get too picky on the schedule they’ll get someone else for the job.
Pro – Networking
In the part time job that I selected, I gained a lot of exposure to people. After a few days there, I learned that this was a great outlet for selling my most valuable asset, which was me. I eventually met a person that got me connected to another opportunity that several months later led to a new day job and more income.
Con – Psychological Toll
I was never aware of the impact that this decision had on my family. After all, I never discussed with them why daddy was away so much. My wife (now ex-wife) became in essence a single parent and initially when the inevitable arguments ensued, I never took into account the affect that my decision had on her and how she had to sacrifice because there was only one parent in the house most of the time.
Pro – Weight Loss
A side effect of my constantly running from the day job to the night job was weight loss. I dropped about 10 pounds in a month because I was constantly on the move and sometimes would eat a quick sandwich while on route to the part-time job, if I ate at all. Most seasonal part-time jobs are retail and you are constantly on your feet helping customers. There’s nothing like getting a workout in and getting paid at the same time and believe me I did workout at the part-time job.
Con – Exhaustion
I was constantly on the go. I would get up and leave the house at 7am and not get home some nights until after midnight. I no longer had the weekend to recoup and be ready for Monday. The constant moving and going back and forth eventually led to decreased performance and productivity at my day job which ultimately led me to giving up my part-time job. Under no circumstances can you jeopardize your primary income for supplemental income.
You’ll have to sit down and weigh out your options before making a hasty decision on a seasonal part-time job. Realize that there could be long lasting effects of the decision not only to you but also to your family. Make sure that you and your family are all 100% on board with your decision whether or not you get a part-time job. You’ll have to make sure that you’re totally prepared to deal with the financial effects of not having a part-time job if you decide not to get one. If you decide not to, maybe scale down on the Christmas presents. After all, do you really expect the kids to play a Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360 at the same time? Most importantly remember that time is the one thing that you can never replace. Once it’s gone, it’s gone and you’ll never have the chance to get it back!