By Allison Tait, ninemsn Finance
With Christmas fast approaching and interest rates on the march, it's no wonder many of us are looking for ways to make extra money. Fortunately, this time of year there are also lots of part-time and casual jobs around, as shops extend their hours and take on extra staff, and the hospitality industry gears up for the party season. Question is, how do you find the best second job for you?
"Most people taking on a second job are focused on the money," says Jacqui Rochester, psychologist, career counsellor and career coach. "But a second job can also provide extra experience."
Depending on your motivation, the best job for you may be simply the one that pays the most. "If you can pick up something in your field and it pays you quite well and you don't need to reskill too much, go for that," Rochester says. "If that's not applicable and you just want to do something completely different, look for where you can earn the most money per hour for the least aggravation."
By aggravation, she's talking about travel time, costs and time spent learning new skills.
For Liana Gorman, director of PartTime Online (www.parttimeonline.com.au), a jobs board specialising in part-time, flexible hours and casual positions, another important consideration in the "aggravation" equation is the effect a second job might have on your work-life balance. "What will it do to your family environment?" she asks. "There are social and family implications to a second job."
Other implications to look at include the tax implications you can only claim the tax-free threshold from one employee so you will be paying tax on every dollar earned in a second job as well as your obligations to your primary employer.
"You must look after your first job first and foremost," Rochester says. "If the second job impacts on the first job, you may end up losing in the long run."
Both she and Gorman recommend disclosure in this area. "Many employers will state that they need to know about a second job," Rochester says. "It's quite often not a problem, but be upfront about it." As for working for a competitor in the same industry, the experts have just one thing to say: don't.
Gorman also flags the potential occupational health and safety issues that may arise if you're working back-to-back shifts in two different jobs. "It does happen a lot in the hospital system, where they're screaming out for skilled people, but consider the OHS implications if you don't leave sufficient time for breaks between jobs," she says.
Where the jobs are
Once you've decided on a second job, it's time to find one. Websites such as PartTime online, Seek.com.au and CareerOne.com.au are great sources of part-time and casual work. Gorman also suggests old-fashioned approaches.
"Word of mouth is still a great way to find a job," she says. "Let friends know you're looking. Also, take the targeted approach if there's somewhere you'd like to work, go directly to them and ask. Door knock in your local area. And keep an eye out for signs retail shops will still put signs in windows when they're short-handed."
The main industries for night, weekend, part-time and casual work in Australia are as you'd expect with a few surprises you may not have considered.
"Hospitality, retail, the cleaning industry (retail and commercial), and health and community services looking after the elderly often requires after hours or weekend work," Gorman says.
While call centres come to mind, Gorman suggests they're not as flexible as people might think. "I've found from experience that they tend to prefer core business hours," she says. "They can be part-time school hours, for example but there's not a lot of requirement for night work in that area."
Show me the money
All the industries mentioned are governed by awards that vary from state to state. Visit Fairwork.gov.au to get an idea of what the particular second job you're targeting might pay. Remember to factor in travel time and costs when considering a second job.
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