The Opportunities and Obstacles of Overemployment in American Culture
Simple truth. It’s expensive to get out today. And the extras? Phew.
Holidays? Lateral scramble.
Those pretty shoes? Sell something.
New car? Wait a year until there are more cars on the lots, but while you wait earn some more cash.
Overemployment comes into the discussion, and it’s something that business owners and employees need to understand.
Side shoves are nothing new. Working multiple jobs to pay off your debts or just getting by? Not new either.
Overemployment, according to those who engage in it, is not at all a sideline. It’s a completely different mindset. A second (or third, fourth and fifth) job.
And the explosive growth of remote work has contributed to increasing overemployment.
In the old days, that is ten years ago, overemployment meant that you worked more hours than you wanted in the one job you were working.
Today, not so much. Overemployment today can mean the side jobs you work for the extras you want or the debt you pay off or just to make ends meet because living expenses are high right now.
Or like overemployed.com said,
“a community of professionals looking to work two jobs remotely, earn extra income, and achieve financial freedom.”
This somewhat new normal of creating multiple streams of income has both advantages and disadvantages. Either way, experts say it’s here to stay.
The benefits of overemployment for businesses are obvious.
In a world where jobs are plentiful but not necessarily the workforce, knowing that you can hire someone who already has another job is helpful. If the job you’re offering is more of a hustle ladder, even better.
There’s also the added benefit that employees learn skill sets in their second job that they can take back to their first employer.
Then there is the skilled labor like technology where the demand is high, but not the skilled employees available. That changed, however, with the remote. As a result, qualified technicians can work for several companies, share their expertise and earn more.
Which brings us to the benefits for workers. Suddenly you have options when it comes to work. You have several sources of income and can search for others if some do not work.
Getting that email that your department is closing and there won’t be room for you isn’t as difficult when you have another source of income.
Liquidity is nice and with overstaffing you have the opportunity to live that life.
Repaying debts, investing, increasing your savings, all of this is easier when you have a second job.
But all is not rosy in the world of overemployment.
A lot of people take on a second or third job because they have to pay the bills. Childcare costs run into the thousands per month. Food, fuel, housing, everything is more expensive. The one paycheck that covered your lifestyle before no longer does and you’ve been cutting corners until there’s no more corners to cut, so a second job isn’t an option . It is imperative.
And when that happens, the positive aspects of overemployment suddenly turn negative. Stress and mental health issues increase, and with this, physical health is also at risk.
And employers bear the brunt of these overworked employees with absences and less than stellar work.
Overemployed people who love the OE lifestyle say the key to making it work is working multiple jobs at once. For those who earn the salary, it is good. For the paying employer, as long as the work is solid and done, that’s nice too. But multitasking has its pitfalls.
A Cleveland clinic in 2021 article show,
“When our brains are constantly changing gears to bounce between tasks — especially when those tasks are complex and require our active attention — we become less efficient and more likely to make a mistake.”
Something employees and employers need to keep in mind.
Overemployment is not going away. Employers need to know where they stand. Do they accept that employees hold other jobs at the same time that they work for them? Employees need to know if their employer has a problem with this.
The workforce is changing. Overemployment is another way.