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At Daily Work, our job seekers are sometimes forced to do something I’ve coined as “job stacking.” This is when one job isn’t sufficient, either in financial return or skill attainment, to work just one job. To get what they need to survive or advance, some job seekers work two and three jobs at a time.

I have an innate understanding of this concept; I started working when I was 12, and even then, I stacked jobs. I was a babysitter, mowed lawns, and cleaned an elderly woman’s home. Throughout my working life of 21 years, I have continually stacked jobs.

At Daily Work, we talk a lot about short-term employment needs versus long-term career goals. Under the right circumstances, job stacking can be an excellent way to improve your financial situation or gain new skills that can move you ahead in your career.

For example, right now my second job is as a communications consultant for Daily Work. I continue working for Daily Work because it keeps my editing and writing skills sharp, but it is more than that. My long-term career goal is to have enough experience to become a marketing manager for a non-profit. My job stacking successfully gives me what I need to cultivate experience and contacts in the non-profit world.

Job stacking, when it is not a choice, can be detrimental to the overall health and well-being of people, too. Part of Daily Work's goal is to help our job seekers acquire the skills and resources they need to find permanent, living wage work that doesn't require them to work multiple jobs, unless they want to. A critical part of Daily Work's mission is helping people be positioned to choose to job stack when it makes sense, and not be forced to job stack and still live below the poverty line.

No matter what stage you are at in your career, job stacking can be an excellent way to advance both your short and long-term career goals. However, if you feel that job stacking is too much commitment or you need experience more than money, consider stacking your job with volunteer work. Volunteer work can provide the skill sharpening and experience that another job  can provide, without the extreme time commitment.

Consider volunteering for Daily Work and helping job seekers make good choices about job stacking…and many other things. It will change your life; it did mine.  For volunteer opportunities check out http://daily-work.org/get-involved/volunteer/ or contact Julie Hoff at julie@daily-work.org or at (651) 204-3043.

Job stacking is a fascinating topic, so be sure to check out future blog posts about what to look for in a second or third job and how to job stack and maintain connections to community and family.

by: Becky Billings

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