Ask LH: How Can I Find A Part-Time Job That Suits Me?

Dear Lifehacker, I am 32-years old and I am drowning in debt! I have cut all my expenses to the bare minimum but I still need to earn more. I would like your advice on getting a part-time job for weeknights, Saturdays and Sundays.

I have a full-time (8-5 job) on weekdays as an IT helpdesk specialist. I sit all day in front of the computer, fixing customer issues, but I still have plenty of energy at the end of the day.

I have been searching Gumtree and various job search sites but most vacancies are for hospitality and cleaning services. I have no experience in these areas but would be willing to give it a shot. Ideally, I would like a call centre job or any office administration job over the weekend as this is where I’m good at. Any tips on how to go about this? Thanks, Debt Laden

Waiter picture from Shutterstock

Dear Debt Laden,

This is a really difficult situation. Getting a second job sounds like a way through this but there are a few things to think about.

I’m not sure if you’ve got a partner, family or any other people that depend on you being around. If you do, then a part-time job will come at a personal cost. You’ll need to find ways to manage that issue if you plan to spend more time away from home.

A second job will also be taxed at a higher rate than your current one. In Australia, the first $18200 you earn is un-taxed. Your current salary gets the benefit of that. Your new job won’t. So every dollar of the second pay-packet will be taxed. In other words, you may not get the same returns as you expect.

Working two jobs can be exhausting. Even if your main work isn’t physically exerting you it’s probably making your brain work. Adding more work might leave you feeling more tired than you expect. I did it for about four years and it did take a toll on my mental and physical well-being.

The other downside of a second job is that the time you used for household chores like cleaning, washing and looking after your place is reduced. If you end up outsourcing those jobs then you might not end up much further ahead.

So, what are the options for a second job?

Call centre work is a definite possibility given your current job and experience. A quick look on a couple of online job services revealed plenty of part-time work in call centres. The trick will be finding one that suits the hours you want to work.

Another option is to do something completely different to your full-time work. That way, you’ll be working a different part of your body. For example, getting a job in a supermarket stacking shelves or cleaning might not sound glamorous but it won’t depend on you thinking and working with people in the same way as your day job. Even though you might be doing physically demanding work, your brain won’t be working in the same way.

Hospitality jobs fit into that as well. Perhaps approach a local restaurant and let them know your situation and ask if they’d be prepared to train you as a waiter or similar. Even if the initial pay isn’t great you’ll gain valuable experience

You might also want to consider the likes of Freelancer where you might be able to apply your technical skills to writing jobs. Writing well is an acquired skill and, as well as providing a second income stream, it will build your personal armoury of skills up for when you look for your next job.

Finally, there is the option of moving into a new job. It sounds like your problem solving and technical skills aren’t too bad. Perhaps you can look at moving off the phones into second level support. If those roles aren’t available with your current employer, it might be time to look at the job market and find a new position.

So Lifehackers, what do you think? Does someone out there have any other ideas or perhaps a part time opening they’re looking to fill?


Got your own question you want to put to Lifehacker? Send it using our contact tab on the right.

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


15 responses to “Ask LH: How Can I Find A Part-Time Job That Suits Me?”