26 Jul 2 Reasons Why 44 Million People Work Multiple Careers Simultaneously

Do you work multiple careers simultaneously? Or, do you know someone who does?

According to a 2017 Bankrate study, 44 million Americans report having a side hustle. Flash back four years to 2013. In stark contrast, the Bureau for Labor Statistics reported that only about 7 million workers in the United States held more than one job. In other words, the percentage of US adults working multiple careers simultaneously exploded from 3 percent to 18 percent.

Can You Really Work That Many Jobs?

I am one of those 44 million Americans who is enjoying this growing trend. Currently, I work the following four careers: General Manager/Director of Training & Development, Author, Speaker, and Professor. Recently, I was asked three questions by three people all in the same day that really made me think about my life and my time. They asked, “Can you really work that many jobs? Do you ever rest? Do you spend any time with your family?” I quickly and confidently answered, “Yes!” to all of them. Yes, I do successfully work that many jobs. Yes, I do regularly take the time to recharge and recover. Yes, I do spend quality time with my family.

Why Before How

After my family went to bed that evening, I couldn’t get the 44 million people out of my head. It hit me that a ton of my friends, colleagues, and family members work multiple jobs, too. For example, I know a photographer/architect, personal trainer/pizza maker, business owner/real estate investor, teacher/beer vendor, bar tender/group fitness instructor, and social worker/customer service team member. Although getting paid for living your vision, values, and passions is pretty awesome, you don’t have to be paid for everything. For example, I also know a paid graphic designer/volunteer wood worker, paid independent sales representative/mom, and paid doctor/hobby musician. Who do you know who works concurrent multiple careers?

From my experience, all of these people are extremely self-motivated, organized, and talented… and probably the most gifted people in my relationship circle. For all of them, whether they are getting paid or not, their why is so powerful that the how continues to take care of itself. So the question that kept popping into my head was not, “How do all of these people do it?” Instead, it was, “Why do all of these people work multiple careers?” Over the next half hour, I filled out an entire sheet of paper with possible answers … two reasons seemed to jump off of the page.

2 Reasons Why 44 Million People Work Multiple Careers

#1. To fulfill their personal vision in life. My vision is to move one million people from frustrated to fulfilled. To make this moonshot goal a reality, a single career doesn’t work for me. To help me positively inspire others, I choose a fulfillment portfolio of managing, writing, speaking, and teaching. What do I mean by a fulfillment portfolio? Similar to a diverse financial portfolio that aligns with one’s financial goals, my multiple careers align with my life’s vision. What does your fulfillment portfolio look like? Do you need to make any tweaks to fulfill your life’s vision?

#2. To make them better at all of their careers. The integration of managing an athletic club, writing articles and a book, speaking at companies and conferences, and teaching at a university makes me better at all of my jobs in four ways. First, because of the various colleagues and clients I meet, I’m able connect them to each other. For example, I can connect a speaking participant to the athletic club and a college student to my book. Second, I bring creative, applicable ideas from one career to the other. My real-life business experiences from leading a large, diverse team are often helpful in my adult graduate studies classes. Third, I’m able to stay engaged and energized at each job, thus avoiding monotony and burnout. For example, customizing all of my speeches to a number of different industries allows me to continually learn and grow. Fourth, I’m a better communicator due to working in multiple arenas. For example, writing helps me speak, and speaking helps me lead.

Move Forward When You Understand These 5 Things

Are you considering adding another career? If so, make sure that you understand these five things before you move forward.

#1. You need a strong support system. Just about everyone I know who takes on a lot of responsibility has people in their lives that make it such that they can dedicate a huge part of their life to work. For me, that is my wife, Rachel. Many people seem to want to take advantage of more opportunities; however, they might lack the environment to do so. When this is the case, start by creating a rock solid foundation or team. Check out my previous article: 8 Reasons Why Being A Mom Is Harder Than Working Multiple Jobs

#2. You won’t get any full days off. When I’m not managing at the gym, I’m writing a blog. When I’m not writing a blog, I’m speaking at a business or organization. When I’m not speaking at a business or organization, I’m teaching a leadership class. Although I wouldn’t want it any other way, I work about 70 hours per week. I find myself staying in to work on Friday nights, getting up very early to work on Saturdays and Sundays, and purchasing Wi-Fi to work on airplanes. Concurrent multiple careers is definitely not for everyone.

#3. You must be extremely focused and organized. Look at your calendar. You will need more time to be working if you plan on adding a side hustle. For many, it doesn’t fit because their schedule is already overwhelming. If it does fit, when? Since you’ll be working harder, are you sure that your energy levels would be high enough during those days and times? For me, I try to own the bookends of my day for my side hustles: 5am and 8pm. Check out my previous article: Eat The Banana, Not The Frog

#4. You have to be up front with your boss or employer. Never let one career ruin the other. Make sure it’s a win-win agreement. As long as they are not competing, there is nothing wrong with having multiple jobs.

#5. You must take care of your health and fitness. Don’t wait until vacation or retirement. Take time to recharge and recover every single day. Start with the FEWS Fundamentals: Food + Exercise + Water + Sleep = Energy. Check out my previous article: The Best Way To Stay Fit When You’re Busy

ACTION: Are you considering taking on multiple careers simultaneously? If so, write down your why and really contemplate whether your why is strong enough to take action. If not, don’t waste your time and energy. If so, take the leap and try something new…  as long as it aligns with your life’s vision.

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