I worked 2 remote jobs during the pandemic, and it helped me break into my dream industry. But I wouldn't do it again.
- Norma M. worked two remote jobs during the pandemic.
- The experience helped her get a foot into the publishing industry, but she wouldn't try it again.
I studied creative writing in college with a dream of one day working at a major publishing house like Macmillan or HarperCollins.
But it was hard to land a role in the industry without moving to New York. I grew up in the Midwest, and my parents, siblings, and childhood friends all lived within a short drive from me. I prioritized spending time with them over chasing a dream a thousand miles away.
Eight months into the pandemic, in October 2021, I was laid off from my job at a data company. I had felt the layoffs looming for weeks, so I was already interviewing for other jobs.
I started a new job working remotely at an educational company — it wasn't a field I was deeply passionate about, but it felt like a place where I could use my skills in marketing, social media, and communication.
Just two weeks later, a recruiter reached out on LinkedIn asking whether I was interested in a contract role at a major publishing house in New York. The job was normally reserved for someone based there, but because of the pandemic, the company was open to remote candidates.
I was thrilled. It was an exciting opportunity that would have never been possible before COVID-19 unchained us all from our office desks.
So, I mulled it over for a weekend, weighing the pros and cons of shuffling between two full-time jobs. I was nervous about whether I could fulfill my commitments to both, like how meeting schedules might clash with one another. I worried about struggling at one job because I was prioritizing the other.
Ultimately, I decided to move ahead with interviews for the publishing role. It was just too good of an opportunity, plus the contract was only three months to start.
My schedules for both jobs hardly overlapped. I was relieved to see that I only had one standing meeting for the publishing job. None of my meetings — for either role — ever exceeded 30 minutes. So, I never fretted about the first company discovering I had a second full-time job.
I was on track to make over $100,000 for the year. The money allowed me to take an extra vacation. Christmas was much nicer than usual.
By January, my contract was extended for another three months. At this point though, the workload of both jobs was beginning to take its toll. I was tied to my couch working more than 10 hours a day.
When April came around, I knew I couldn't keep juggling the demands of both jobs. So, I quit my role at the educational company, and continued on with the publishing job. It was still a contract role, but we had reached an agreement that they would continue renewing it for the foreseeable future.
Looking back, I'd say the money was the biggest perk of the experience. The negative was that I quickly realized I had more interest in one job over the other.
As the months passed on, I started losing steam in the first job. I could tell I wasn't putting forth my best work. At the same time, I was immersing myself in the second.
My advice: working two jobs at once is probably best for remote workers with a good amount of flexibility during the work day and a desire just to make more money.
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