As the price of essentials is driven up by the cost of living crisis, people are looking for ways to make more money. In fact, research from earlier this year found that one in 10 UK employees aimed to take a second job to make ends meet.
Decisions over whether or not to look for a second job aren’t always easy, particularly when trying to balance other commitments. And for many people, this option may not be possible at all.
But if you’re looking for extra work, it can be helpful to focus on roles that allow as much flexibility as possible; whether that means part-time, zero hours, or short-term contracts – or freelance arrangements. It’s also worth looking out for opportunities that allow you to work from home, so you can save money on things like commuting costs.
With that said, we’ve put together a list of tips to help you find the right second job for you, as well as some ideas for flexible roles that might be suitable.
Tips for finding the right second job for you
Decide whether you really have time for a second job
If you’re not sure whether you have time for a second job, it can be helpful to record what you do each day in a journal, to see whether you can afford to give any of that up.
It’s also important to work out roughly how much you’ll earn from a job after tax and travel expenses, and whether it’s enough to justify sacrificing your time.
For those who already work long hours or have a particularly busy or stressful job, adding a second job to your schedule might not be the best idea. Instead, you could consider ways to potentially earn more in your current role. For example, by joining a different company or going self-employed.
Look for something new and different
If you do decide to apply for a second job, it can be beneficial to choose something new and different to your current job.
Not only will you be able to learn some new skills, but it should also help to prevent you from becoming bored or burnt out.
Find jobs near you
Try to look for roles that you can commute to easily or that allow you to work from home – with the aim being to save as much time and money as possible.
Ask yourself whether a second job will offer you more than money
It might still be worth taking a second job, even if the money isn’t as much as you’d like, if it brings other benefits.
For example, it may help you to…
- Network and make professional connections that can open up job opportunities in future. Once you’ve got your foot in the door at a company, it’s also likely that you’ll become more aware of other higher-paying roles as they become available.
- Satisfy a desire that your current job doesn’t, such as a chance to explore a passion or interest.
- Explore a new career before committing to it fully.
- Gain skills and experience in an industry that you’d like to work in, making you more employable.
Check whether your current employer will allow you to take a second job
While there’s no UK law that can stop you from working two jobs with different employers, it’s worth considering whether a second job will interfere with your current job.
The first way to check this is to revisit your employment contract to see if your employer has any policies against taking on outside work. Some employers might rule out working in a role where there’s a conflict of interest – for example, working for a rival company.
Employers are also obligated by law to make sure that you don’t work in excess of 48 hours a week, without signing an opt-out agreement (unless your profession exempts you from this – for example, emergency or military workers).
With that said, they may require you to disclose information about a second job, so they can make sure you’re not working too many hours. To find out more about working time limits, it’s worth checking out this page from Acas.
An additional concern for employers might be related to the impact of a second job on performance. Therefore, they might want to check that you’re getting enough breaks and rest in between jobs.
Consider how a second job may affect your tax payments and any benefits you’re claiming
Having two or more jobs can affect how your tax is calculated and what benefits you may be entitled to, so it can be useful to understand how the system works before committing to any extra work.
To find out what you need to know, it’s worth having a read of our article; How much tax do I pay if I have a second job?
Widen your search
When looking for a second job, you can increase your chances of landing the right role by keeping your search broad.
This means making the most of any professional contacts you have (LinkedIn can be helpful here) and keeping your eye on job sites for part-time, zero-hours contracts, or seasonal jobs.
You could also approach companies that you might like to work for and ask if they need any part-time help, and/or consider whether you could go freelance/self-employed.
Be wary of scams
During your job search, you may come across flexible part-time work opportunities that sound too good to be true.
For example, they might offer part-time work with full-time pay, or showcase stories about people who have made huge amounts of money and now live high-flying lifestyles.
If any job applications ask you to enter your bank details, provide any other very personal information (like your National Insurance number), or deposit a check (perhaps to pay for training, security checks, or visas) – there’s a strong possibility it’s a scam.
There are also plenty of work-from-home scams, which essentially trick you into money laundering.
You can read our article on the latest scams to watch out for in 2023 to find out more.
10 second jobs to boost your income
Now that we’ve covered some key tips that’ll hopefully help you decide whether a second job is the right step for you, here are a few second job ideas…
1. House and pet sitting
House and pet sitting usually involves staying in someone’s home while they’re away for a few days or hours, and can be the ideal opportunity for people looking to connect with animals.
Another benefit of house or pet sitting is that, if your current job is remote, you may be able to work from the home you’re looking after – placing fewer demands on your time.
Responsibilities involved in house and pet sitting can differ but may include things like feeding pets, dog walking, and light maintenance and cleaning.
Ready to get started?
Or perhaps you could use some more inspiration...
If you enjoy reading and have excellent literacy skills, you could consider taking on some proofreading.
This could involve reading anything from short stories to law documents, through to staff handbooks – checking them for spelling and grammatical errors.
Having an English GCSE is usually essential for this role – and having A Levels and/or a degree in English, publishing, journalism, or digital media may give you an advantage when attracting clients. Taking a proofreading course can also give you an edge over other candidates.
If proofreading isn’t for you but you have another skill you’d like to offer on a casual basis – such as writing, graphic design, editing, or data entry – there are plenty of freelance opportunities on Upwork and People Per Hour in these areas too.
Find proofreading jobs
3. Start a small business
Starting a small business could help you monetise a hobby you love, such as baking, arts and crafts, photography, carpentry, or gardening.
Consider whether you could offer your skills or creations in exchange for payment – and if so, what you would need to do to get your business off the ground.
By becoming a small business owner, you can work flexibly and choose your own hours. Having a second job can also be easier to manage physically and emotionally if it’s something that you enjoy.
To get ideas for what kind of hobbies or interests you could turn into a business opportunity and how to get started, you might want to have a read of our articles below.
Find out more and get started…
If you’re calm and confident behind the wheel, have your own car, and wouldn’t mind going the extra mile, why not consider boosting your income through driving?
From working as a food or parcel delivery driver to doing some taxi driving, driving roles are often flexible – with plenty of evening and weekend shifts available, as well as the option to sign up for shifts that suit you.
For a more in-depth look at what sort of roles are available and tips on how to apply, check out our article below. For example, we’re currently partnered with age-diverse employer Yodel, who have hundreds of roles available.
Interested in driving for a living?
Or want to find out more?
5. Reception work
Plenty of reception work in hotels and theatres takes place in the evenings and at the weekends. So, if you’re a people person and wouldn’t mind working in a front-of-house role, it could be a suitable second job option.
Receptionists are usually the first point of contact at a company or organisation. They’ll typically be responsible for greeting customers and clients and showing them where they need to be, as well as responding to telephone and email enquiries.
Sometimes, they also schedule appointments, plan travel arrangements for people arriving at and leaving the venue, and sort mail – among other things.
Plenty of employers will take people with little or no experience and train them on the job. Though, you may have an advantage if you’ve worked in customer-facing or admin roles before.
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Interested in becoming a receptionist?
6. Bartending or waiting
If you’d like to take on some extra evening or weekend work and the idea of working in a customer-facing role appeals to you, why not consider taking on some casual bartending or waiting work?
You could be doing anything from pulling pints at the bar and serving food, to greeting and seating customers.
If your current day job involves working in an office, you may welcome the change of scenery – especially if you’re a particularly social character.
The other good thing about this sort of work is that it stays in the restaurant or bar when your shift is over and doesn’t come home with you, which can lead to a healthier work-life balance. Plus, there may be the opportunity to earn tips to top up your wage.
Explore hospitality roles
For those who love helping others, tutoring can be a particularly rewarding experience. Not only is it a chance to delve into a subject you love, but to change someone’s life by helping them achieve their learning goals.
Most tutoring is done online now, at rates of £30-£60 per hour. You can take on clients from around the country through websites like Tutorful and Superprof, without leaving the comfort of your own home. And there’s no need to worry about insurance or licences either.
There are opportunities to tutor students in most subjects and the hours you work and what you decide to teach (based on your area and level of expertise) is completely up to you. You may hold relevant qualifications in a particular area or you may have built up substantial knowledge on a subject through other means.
Become a tutor
8. Become a Film/TV extra
Film extras usually get paid by the day, with pay typically ranging from £80-£120. The role involves being in the background of a scene to make it look more realistic; whether at a coffee shop, festival, park, or hospital.
While there can be lots of waiting around in between scenes, getting to see what goes on behind the scenes at a film set can be great fun – and it’s also a chance to meet new and interesting people. You might even get to have a sneak peek behind the scenes of one of your favourite TV shows.
Anyone can be a film or TV extra; you don’t need to be an aspiring actor nor do you need to look like a model. The best way to get involved is to sign up to casting agencies such as Extra People, Phoenix Casting, and Mad Dog 2020.
9. Advertise your home on Airbnb
If you’ve got some extra space in your home and you love having visitors, why not consider advertising your home on Airbnb?
Whether you’ve got a guest room, sofa bed, summer house, or an entirely self-contained unit, renting your home out for short stays can be a lucrative way to boost your income.
Because Airbnbs are casual forms of accommodation, which are typically cheaper than a hotel stay, fewer promises are made to customers. For example, you won’t be expected to change the bed linen every day or provide room service.
It’s completely free to list your property on the Airbnb website and you won’t have to worry about having a licence. Plus, you’ll be in complete control of your availability, prices, house rules, and how you choose to interact with those who come to stay.
Note: While renting out your home in this way is becoming increasingly popular and can offer some great earning potential, it’s not without risks – so make sure you know what you’re signing up for before using the service.
Interested in hosting others in your home?
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Working in childcare can involve looking after children while their parents are away for a few hours here and there, or on regular, scheduled occasions.
In this caring and supportive role, you could be doing tasks such as cooking, providing entertainment, picking up/collecting children from school and/or other activities, and helping with homework.
Though you don’t necessarily need any formal qualifications to work in childcare, you’ll usually be asked to provide evidence of a clean Ofsted DBS certificate. Parents may also have a preference for babysitters with a full UK driving licence. Having first aid training may give you an advantage too.
If you want to find childcare jobs and are looking for somewhere to start, you could advertise your service on websites such as Childcare.co.uk, so that local families can get in touch.
Find childcare jobs
Though getting a second job won’t be the right option for everyone, if you’re looking for extra work, we hope that we’ve given you a few ideas for suitable roles.
If you’re looking for another way to earn some extra cash, you might also like to consider getting paid to complete surveys for some of the UK’s top brands, through websites like Ipsos Mori and Paid Surveys UK. You can use the button below to search for opportunities.
Or, for further ideas and inspiration on how you can boost your income, you might want to read our articles; Popular side hustle ideas that can help you earn some extra cash and 24 ways to make extra money and boost your income.