Moon­light­ing isn’t just for cash, some work­ers seek ex­pe­ri­ence

Winnipeg Free Press - Section H - - CAREERS - By Jen­nifer New­man

MONEY is tight. You are barely mak­ing ends meet. Con­sid­er­ing tak­ing on ex­tra work — moon­light­ing — is in­evitable when you are strapped for cash. Those who moon­light aren’t try­ing to save for some­thing fancy — it’s their re­tire­ment, the kid’s ed­u­ca­tion or even mak­ing the mort­gage that spurs the need to hold down mul­ti­ple jobs.

And in this econ­omy, it is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly com­mon, ac­cord­ing to Jean Kim­mel at W.E. Upjohn In­sti­tute and Lisa Pow­ell at Queen’s Univer­sity. Some­times it is called job pack­ag­ing, when a worker adds a sec­ond part-time job to a full-time one.

On the whole, moon­lighters tend to be mar­ried and fe­male. In many cases, they are sin­gle, di­vorced or wid­owed and are try­ing to add ex­tra dol­lars to the fam­ily bud­get. Men who moon­light are of­ten sin­gle dads with young chil­dren. As well, if you are self-em­ployed you will tend to moon­light more than salar­ied em­ploy­ees.

The higher your ed­u­ca­tion, the more likely you are to moon­light. This seems con­trary to the as­sump­tion that the more dis­ad­van­taged work­ers take sec­ond or third jobs.

If a sec­ond job is taken, it is most likely go­ing to be in the sales or ser­vice in­dus­try and it means putting in over 50 hours a week. Un­for­tu­nately, this can take its toll on health. Peo­ple ex­pe­ri­ence greater fa­tigue hold­ing down an evening job and may find their en­thu­si­asm for work low­ers on the whole. When peo­ple don’t get breaks, they have less time for fam­ily and for them­selves, mak­ing re­cu­per­a­tion from a heavy work day dif­fi­cult.

On the other hand, staff who moon­light and have been un­der fi­nan­cial stress can feel the bur­den lift­ing when the ex­tra money comes in. As well, work­ing at an­other job can ben­e­fit work­ers as they gain more work ex­pe­ri­ence, or are think­ing of mak­ing a more per­ma­nent ca­reer move in the di­rec­tion of the sec­ond job. Try­ing the job on for size can help work­ers make de­ci­sions about where they want their ca­reers to go. As such, peo­ple don’t moon­light just for the ex­tra money. Some are gain­ing the knowl­edge and ex­per­tise to start a new ca­reer or are gain­ing more ex­pe­ri­ence do­ing tasks they might other­wise not get enough ex­po­sure to in their reg­u­lar job.

Moon­lighters who “dou­ble dip” — work on com­pany time at their sec­ond job — tend to anger col­leagues. Em­ploy­ers are ad­versely af­fected in some cases as well. On the whole, most em­ploy­ers con­tend with moon­light­ing and find it doesn’t have a big ef­fect most of the time, but there are ex­cep­tions. Em­ploy­ers who try to en­cour­age work-fam­ily bal­ance can be­come frus­trated when in­stead of us­ing flex time, re­duced work weeks and the like to de­com­press, em­ploy­ees are do­ing a sec­ond job dur­ing those hours. An­other ir­ri­tant for em­ploy­ers is if the staff mem­ber is us­ing com­pany time, sup­plies or equip­ment to com­plete tasks for an­other em­ployer.

Em­ploy­ers some­times count on moon­light­ing when they are de­creas­ing full-time or per­ma­nent po­si­tions to save costs. This prac­tice can en­cour­age peo­ple to take mul­ti­ple jobs. As such, com­pa­nies deal with moon­light­ing a lot and usu­ally have poli­cies in place to pro­vide em­ploy­ees with guide­lines as to what is ex­pected when they moon­light. These poli­cies usu­ally spell out em­ployer re­quire­ments such as not telling trade se­crets to com­peti­tors dur­ing the moon­light­ing stint.

Em­ploy­ers can ask moon­lighters to tell them ahead of time if they are tak­ing a sec­ond job, so that ev­ery­one is in­formed and aware of what is oc­cur­ring. .

If you are think­ing about moon­light­ing, con­sider the im­pact of the sec­ond job on you, your fam­ily and your pri­mary em­ployer. Be open with your em­ployer about how you will man­age two jobs, how you will di­vide your time be­tween the two or­ga­ni­za­tions and how you will know if one job is in­ter­fer­ing with an­other.

As well, check the com­pany’s pol­icy about moon­light­ing and avoid work­ing for a com­peti­tor to avoid a con­flict of in­ter­est or telling trade se­crets in­ad­ver­tently. Moon­light­ing can be good for the pocket book and with some fore­thought it can be done well.

— Postmedia News

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