Posts Tagged ‘day jobs’

Is a Second “Side Job” the Right Answer?


Is a Second “Side” Job the Right Answer?

If you’ve ever thought about earning more money, you might have turned immediately to the idea of taking on a second job. But as artists we know that a side job isn’t JUST about more cash in your pocket… It is important to seriously weigh the consequences on your craft and any other income streams you already have.

The Money Crunch

Everyone’s had a time in their life when there’s more month than paycheck. Maybe for you that’s right now. You see ads all over the place for “help wanted” or “make money online.” It seems simple: you’ll work a little harder. “Put your nose to the grindstone” as my mom says. But should you start searching?

The biggest problem with multiple side jobs is that they sap your number one commodity: energy. They also drain away your second biggest asset: time. You might meet your bills, but you also might lose your motivation to work toward your bigger dreams.

Before you take on an additional side job, ask yourself some questions:


Doing Something vs. Doing the Right Thing

Finance is often as much about planning as it is about doing. I know that sentiment isn’t popular. We live in a ready, fire, aim world. Remember the phrase “The early bird gets the worm?” Society values the first mover. While speed and making decisions are certainly important factors in your success, it’s as important to focus on the right task as it is to be performing a task at all.

Here’s a story about two women I’ve met recently:


Dora works a part time job at the coffee shop while she auditions for various acting roles. Her job pays $9.50 per hour and the only thing resembling a benefit is that they make really good coffee. Credit card companies are constantly after her, looking for a minimum payment. “If I work more hours, I’d be able to pay the bills,” she decides. Because she needs to make ends meet, Dora often works 30 hours a week (the max her boss will allow….but 10 more than usual) and is too tired to go after auditions as much as she knows she should. “Short term pain for long term gain,” she reminds herself.

Let’s do the math on Dora’s “gross” income:

Regular time = 20 hours x $9.50 per hour = $190

Extra time = 30 hours x $9.50 per hour = $285

$95 more for that extra time? It sure seems worth the effort to help pay bills.

…until you look at what it costs Dora. (more…)

When is the Right Time to Start Saving Money?

I READ IN AN ARTICLE last week that people are saving more money today than they have in a long, long time. For the average person with a reliable job and consistent income this is a good sign. For creative individuals with fluctuating earnings, this news is even more welcome. During the financial meltdown the reality that people had no reserves to fall back on really hit home, driving many to try to ensure that they’re not caught in a difficult situation again.

If you aren’t in the “let’s start saving” boat yet, it’s important for you to find a way to get there. As creative individuals, we are rarely in situations where we have a consistent, stable income coming from our craft. Even if you’re making good money from your work now—and I hope you are—most of us know from experience that artistic jobs usually don’t last forever.

If another job materializes as soon as the last one ends, it isn’t normally guaranteed cash flow. Work and income arrive for many of us in spurts and starts. A client decides that they don’t need you anymore after a nice run, giving you only a day or two’s notice. If you don’t have reserves, what do you do? You hit the credit cards, friends, relatives and find work that takes time away from what you truly love.


Getting Past Fear

Those of you who have taken our financial seminars know that we encourage actors to step outside of the box when it comes to determining what things you can be doing to ensure continued financial stability while you pursue your acting career. I know that, when I arrived in Los Angeles, I assumed that I would wait tables, bartend, register with temp agencies – I mean, this is what aspiring actors do, right?