“All of my friends and family work multiple jobs as well, just trying to keep our heads above water. Nothing is affordable, and the roadblocks set up to keep people in the cycle of poverty benefit the most wealthy members of our society. We aren’t living, we’re barely surviving, and we have no choice but to keep doing it,” Cashe Lewis of Denver, Colorado, related to The Guardian.
Global inflation and the coronavirus pandemic have made life even more difficult. For the past two decades, the percentage of Americans having multiple jobs was at an average of 7.2%. However, this number is increasing as more and more people feel the need to find extra work to make ends meet just like Lewis.
Further, according to the 2021 survey of the United States Census Bureau, women hold multiple jobs at a higher rate in comparison to men, and the percentage points have increased by 1.6 from 7.5% to 9.1%.
This Original Poster on Mumsnet with the username Charliesunnysky10 shares the same plight. Drowning in debt, her life feels nothing but a misery. She wrote: “I’m struggling financially, but my 9-5 weekday office job pays minimum wage, and I’m getting further into debt. In the past 3 months, I’ve had to replace the broken boiler, sort the roof, and pay for repairs on my car until it eventually became unviable and I had to sell it. I want to work my way out of the debt and also get out in the evenings and weekends so I’m not home worrying, and a job with these hours seemed the perfect solution.”
However, when she asked her employer seven months ago if she could have another job, she was told that permission could not be granted since it could affect her daytime work.
But as her situation worsened, OP couldn’t help thinking about the offer that one of her friends extended to her. This friend asked OP to join her at the coffeehouse where she’s been working, which she learned is now really doing well.
OP continued to relate, “My friend’s bar is now a huge success, and she persuaded me to apply. I was interviewed for the job and have been offered it. The manager said they will try to give me weekend hours rather than weekdays when I’m at my day job, but there will inevitably be weekday late evenings here and there. I don’t go to bed till after 11pm anyway, so it’s not like this will make a big difference, and I felt so happy to be getting out and meeting people again.”
But a problem came up when the bar manager messaged OP to give them reference details. She suddenly grew worried because she didn’t want her current employer to find out. OP didn’t want to lose her current work, where she’s been employed for 10 years. Her co-workers have also been good to her. She wanted the chance to prove later that she could do both jobs.
OP has been considering asking her former manager who left their company more than a year ago to be her character reference. But she’s also concerned that this former manager may disagree because she has her current boss and it may be an act of dishonesty on OP’s part to break their company’s rules.
Is she being unreasonable?
One of the wisest comments came from MaggieFS: “Re the reference, that’s easy enough to explain. As pp has said, you can supply a character reference, and your friend should be able to vouch for you too? Have you checked that your main job contract doesn’t prohibit you taking on another job? That would be my concern. As long as it doesn’t, it’s not really any of their business how you choose to spend your evenings and weekends, as long as you turn up to work on time, fit and able to work.”
And another one from gertrudemortimer: “It’s mental that a minimum wage job has anything in the contract about a second job. I’ve had two jobs since I was 16; I’ve always preferred having a change of people and scenery throughout the week. I think it’ll be easier than you expect. At one point, I had 3 jobs – a nightclub, hotel, and hospital, then I’d swap one and try something new, and none of my managers ever looked on it as a negative. I found it actually made me crack on with my work, and I was more energised, god knows how! Life was more exciting with more going on. It’s also given me the chance to skip things on my CV because I always have an employer to use depending on what job I want.
“Using your past boss might be your best bet? Double check with them and see if they sound okay about it. I’d be careful about saying it’s just a Saturday, as would new employer supply the basic info to current employer? Job title and hours/days? Also, yes, if they don’t pay cash in hand, then your tax code will change, so you will need to let them know, as they could be made aware quite easily. I find it ridiculous that you aren’t free to do this and now have to resort to finding ways to deceive them, but I would have to do the same as you.”Whizzco