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A millennial woman secretly working two remote non-tech jobs shares why she's the atypical overemployed worker

Jacob Zinkula   

A millennial woman secretly working two remote non-tech jobs shares why she's the atypical overemployed worker
  • A millennial woman started secretly working a second remote job in January to boost her income.
  • She found advice on the subreddit r/OverEmployedWomen, a community of nearly 8,000 members.

When Nicole set out to boost her income, she had no idea she'd end up secretly juggling multiple jobs simultaneously.

Nicole is among a niche group of people secretly working more than one remote job and getting away with it. But she's relatively unique in the "overemployment" community for a few reasons: She's not making well above six figures, she doesn't work in IT or tech roles — where working remotely is more common — and perhaps most notably, she's a woman.

Around the end of 2022, Nicole stumbled upon the subreddit r/OverEmployedWomen, where nearly 8,000 members share advice on how women can pull off overemployment. It's less well-known than the subreddit r/overemployed, which has nearly 300,000 members.

At the time, the pay increases at her remote program manager job at a Fortune 500 company weren't keeping up with inflation, she told Business Insider via email. This made it difficult to pay off her mortgage and credit card debt.

Nicole thought overemployment could provide her finances the boost she was looking for, so she decided to give it a shot. Over the course of last year, she said she applied for "hundreds" of jobs through LinkedIn and Indeed.

"I would browse the Reddit page almost every night — I'd use other stories as inspiration to keep myself motivated in my search," said Nicole, whose identity is known to BI but has been withheld due to her fear of professional repercussions.

Nicole's efforts eventually paid off. This year, the Washington-based 30-year-old is on track to earn nearly $100,000 across two remote jobs, according to documents viewed by Business Insider. In addition to her primary program manager job — which pays her roughly $85,000 a year — she expects to bring in about $10,000 from a part-time program manager job she found on Craiglist, which pays $20 an hour. She said the roughly 10 hours a week she's dedicated to her new job overlap with her primary one and that she hasn't told either company about her overemployment.

Given the secretive nature of their working arrangements, there isn't solid data on the demographics of the overemployed. But over the past year, Business Insider has spoken with more than 10 job jugglers, and nearly all of them have been men.

Nicole shared why she thinks women overemployed workers are relatively rare and whether she plans to continue her job-juggling in the future.

Differences in gender roles and expectations could be holding some women back

Nicole has a few theories for why overemployment appears to be more common among men.

First, not every industry has the remote-working arrangements and flexibility that job jugglers need.

Nicole said she thinks not being a tech worker is among the key reasons it took her nearly a year to find a second remote job.

"I see tech as the main sector for overemployment, which is a field dominated by men," she said. "I'm female and non-tech and figured that was why I had less success securing job two."

Women account for 23% of tech employment in the US, according to WomenTech Network, a global organization that strives to increase diversity in the tech industry. While some tech companies have called people back to the office, many employees have continued to work remotely — providing them the opportunity to juggle multiple jobs.

Differences in gender roles and expectations could also be holding some women back from pursuing overemployment, Nicole said.

For example, many women still handle the majority of household and childcare responsibilities. Nicole, who is married and doesn't have children, said there might not be enough time for many women to pursue an additional job.

"Generally, men are financial providers within families and do not have the same expectations within the home as women," she said.

Additionally, Nicole thinks many women underestimate themselves in the workplace, which might cause them to think they couldn't pull off overemployment. In fact, she struggled with the same thing.

"I see women undergo mental gymnastics in the workplace to feel worthy and end up constantly underselling themselves, whereas men will oversell their abilities to attain what they want or think they deserve," she said.

Overemployment could provide a path to an early retirement

When Nicole began her overemployment search, her primary goal was to increase her earnings — whether by finding one new higher-paying job or adding a second one.

She said she'd tried various side hustles in the past, but that the predictable income of a second job was her best option.

Going forward, Nicole said she plans to keep up her overemployment, and that her ultimate goal is to use the extra income to retire early.

She'd consider taking on a second full-time job if she thought she could manage it. As things stand now, Nicole said she's been able to juggle both jobs without working more than 40 hours a week.

While some bosses may be OK with employees taking on extra work, being caught doing so without approval could be a fireable offense. But Nicole said she's not too worried about being found out.

"I believe things happen for a reason so if my employer found out and let me go, something better is out there," she said. "These are just jobs at the end of the day. There are always more jobs out there."

Are you working multiple remote jobs at the same time and willing to discuss details about your pay and schedule? If so, reach out to this reporter at jzinkula@insider.com.


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