Something Has To Give

I thought I would write a little update about my current work situation of having three jobs.

Its been a year and a half since I took on my second part time job. I took it on because at the time I could not find a job that offered me the 25 – 30 hours per week that I want to work. In fact I still cannot find a job with that magic number of hours! Its all or nothing out there, either a minimum of 40 hours per week or nil hour contracts.

It took me a while to get used to my new way of working after 12 years of working full time at the same job. But I can honestly say that right now, working part time suits me and I cannot see me going back to the more traditional 9-5 way of working anytime soon.

I used to work five days a week from 8.30 to 5.30 Monday to Saturday, with the same day off in the week. Sure, my routine changed from time to time with different commutes to and from work depending on where I was living at the time, and I had different responsibilities over the years. But for twelve years of my life each day was pretty much groundhog day. The same old drudgery and add to the mix that some of my former colleagues went out of their way to make things difficult for me. Not fun.

Currently, I do not have a typical day. I have set shifts with one job and then I fit my other job around it (I can be flexible with my hours with this job as they just pay me a set amount of hours per task completed). Plus I take on as much overtime as I can from both jobs to boost my income each month as I am only contracted to work 12 hours per week for one job and 10 for the other. So I am quite the busy bee, always coming and going. But something has to give, and currently the thing that I am struggling with is fitting in the work I do to help Rob out with his business.

On a good day my routine is typically like this – work 9am – 1pm at one job, come home have some lunch, do some housework, try to catch up with the chasing and emails for Rob and then go to the other job to cover a shift from 4pm – 8pm. Sometimes this way of working works, I will put dinner in the slow cooker in between jobs ready to come home to, or if it is a Saturday we might go out for a pub lunch between shifts as a treat (and so that I feel like I am getting actually having a weekend!)

On a bad day it can be quiet tough. It is hard working three different roles in one day. It is hard coming home then getting changed from one uniform to another to go out again to different job. It feels like a long day working from 9am to 8pm and I often work six days a week (although I do have half days during the week, so I cannot complain).

Lately I have been struggling. I have to admit that three jobs for one person is far too much, no matter how few hours I do for each one. It is overwhelming. Two I can manage, but three is too much. And if I am honest, one of my part time jobs has been getting to me – its nothing that I cannot handle, but the things that bug me are similar to things that I hated about my last job, like bitchy colleagues, being talked down to, too much pressure and my manager being unreasonable. I have been telling myself that it was fine, after all its only a part time job and it was no where near as bad as my old job etc.

Recently something horrible has happened outside of work, and while I am not ready to share it on here, it has made me think that life is short and you only get one shot at it. I am not getting anywhere with this job and things will not get any better there. Its only a minimum wage job and so is my other job, but the other job is a much easier way to earn it! So I am going to be kind to myself and not put up with it all that rubbish again (no matter how small the dosage is). I deserve better.

I am going to be brave and hand my notice in at that job. It is scary. I am worried about the money side of things and how long it will take me to find another job (so I can either work 2 x part time jobs and stop working for Rob, or just one part time job with more hours and then carry on helping Rob out). I am also worried about how I will feel with more free time on my hands as I like to keep busy, but I don’t like being overwhelmed like I am now. I have promised myself that I will be disciplined with my time, that I will step up the job hunting a notch, that I will do my yoga DVD, walk and swim more, that I will keep on top of the housework and not fall down the internet rabbit hole everyday and I might even bake some bread.

We all know that the last one is not going to happen!

So things might be tough, but I have the support of my family and Rob behind me. We might be eating random meals of whatever is left in the cupboards and freezer (kidney beans and fish fingers anyone?) and Xmas is definitely going to be a small affair this year, but we will survive. I still have one small source of income and Rob has work booked in and in time I will find another job.

Things will work out eventually. Fingers crossed!

4 Thoughts on “Something Has To Give

  1. That sounds like a crazy work schedule, I definitely couldn’t cope with working such long hours out of the house. At least with teaching, I work long hours but can do some of it at home. I’m usually at school from 7am-4pm (which, now I work it out, is actually 9 hours. I always thought it was less!) but can then bring marking home. It sounds like you’re making completely the right decision, I think it’s important to prioritise your own health and happiness over money. Good luck with it!

    • Helen on 16/10/2014 at 8:25 PM said:

      Thank you! Since writing this post I have already been offered and accepted more hours at my other job! Now I dont have to worry about the drop in my earnings and we wont have to survive on value cans of kidney beans!

      The stupid thing is that despite all the long days and six day weeks, I am still working part time. I just struggle to transition from one role to the other.

  2. Lisa on 21/10/2014 at 9:28 PM said:

    You definitely made the right decision. I was in the same situation as you earlier in the year. I was doing 3 part-time jobs. The job with the smallest amount of hours gave me the most anxiety. The staff didn’t bother to make an effort with me as I was such a part- timer and at times were very rude and critical. Even when I wasn’t there I would be worrying about the job and on the weeks I worked there I ended up working all weekend, being mega stressed and that impacted upon my family. I resigned in September. The company never even bothered to email me back. I have had less money in my pocket but I feel so much happier. I’ve picked up other work which I enjoy more. Good luck in the next phase of your career x

    • Helen on 22/10/2014 at 9:23 PM said:

      Hi Lisa,
      Thank you for your kind words. Im glad you are much happier now.
      I know exactly what you mean. One thing I have found working part time is how hard it is to feel part of the team and to make friends with my colleagues.
      The only thing that has kept me at this particular job for so long is the customers (I worked in a pharmacy). I lovedd being the friendly face to our elderly regulars and even the local junkies were sweet to me!
      But its time for change and I am leaving there with good memories. My other job is much easier, the people are nicer and they pay (a few pence) more per hour. It make sense basically.

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