Do you have a second job?

Today, many consider a second job to be an economic necessity.

A second job can help you afford an occasional splurge on a fancy restaurant, as well as help you save money for further education, a down payment on a home, or an investment in setting up your own future business.

The big question you need to answer is this, Is your second job contributing to your personal brand building?

Pay now, or pay later

All second jobs involve a trade-off between immediate income and future income based on career development and building a strong personal brand. You have to balance additional income now with potential income and security.

This is especially true if you have chosen a second job on the basis of convenience or less stress.

In today’s stressful times, there’s a temptation to take a second job that may not engage all of your abilities and energies. You take the job because you have free time and you want to earn a little extra income. Part-time food, hospitality, or retail jobs come to mind.

These jobs, however, might not be in the best interests of your career development and future personal brand!

Make personal brand building your second job

Time is the reason to consider making personal brand building your second job.

Time spent building your personal brand is an investment in your future. Investing time in personal branding can earn you more in terms of career development, future income, and the freedom to live the life you want to live:

  • Personal brands are priceless! Time spent brand building, like an established blog, published book, or a reputation as a subject area expert, opens doors of opportunity that can take you anywhere you want to go.
  • Second jobs are finite! On the other hand, the extra hundred or hundred-and-fifty dollars a week you may earn from a second job, you may be sacrificing your brand and–hence–your future options.

In short, making personal branding your second job can be your passport out of the cubicleeven if you don’t visit the Caribbean this winter!

Best of all, time spent building your brand as an expert in your field may not  take as many hours per week as most part-time evening or weekend jobs!

Evaluating your “second job”

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you evaluate the trade-off between a part-time “second job” versus investing in career development and personal branding:

  1. Relevance. Is your second job relevant to the field where you want to be known as an expert? Are you laying the groundwork for where you want to be in 2, 5, or 10 years? There’s a huge difference between “starting at the bottom” as you enter a new field and just “putting in time” in a job that is unlikely to reward you in the future.
  2. Opportunities. What are you learning in your second job? Does your second job offer opportunities to master new skills and develop abilities that will help you in your current career, or intended future career? What kind of career path does your second job typically offer those who excel?
  3. Time and stress. Have you discovered any unanticipated costs associated with your second job? Have you accounted for travel time and costs to and from your second job, parking costs, or dues? Are you stressed at the end of your second job? Is it interfering with your relationships, eating, or sleeping habits? Will a second income complicate your taxes, requiring assistance filing your tax returns? Have you found there are other, unanticipated costs?
  4. Relationships. What kind of people are you dealing with in your second-job? Are your co-workers, supervisors, and the people you’ve serving the kind of people you want to be in touch with in the future?
  5. Image. Is there a chance your choice of a second career would be unfavorably viewed by your current superiors, clients, or co-workers? Moonlighting at Hooters, for example, might not be appropriate for financial advisers or medical professionals.

Time, energy, and personal branding

Most important, What happens when you come home after your second job? Do you still have time and energy to invest in your personal brand?

Personal brand building success isn’t just sharing casual, day-to-day updates, but coming up with helpful, relevant fresh content that becomes part of your brand equity.

Equity refers to ideas and information you can explore, develop, and reformat as core content for future brand building.

Equity also refers to mastering essential new skills, like online copywriting and design, creating podcasts and videos, improving your speaking abilities, and recognizing the often subtle differences between effective and ineffective titles.

Do you have a second job?

The stakes have never been higher for making the right decisions between immediate income and future benefits. How are you handling the trade-offs between immediate income and future career development and personal branding? Share your comments and questions below.


Roger C. Parker is an author and coach who can help you plot your course to a strong personal brand. Get my free 99 Questions to Ask Before You Start to Write workbook.