I’m Considering a Second Job

Q I pretty much have embraced the fact that I’ll have to get a second job after I graduate because I have a boatload of loan debt—and I know I’m not Big Law material. That’ll leave heaps of time for me to spend with my wife whose second income isn’t much help . . . yeah right.

I’m thinking of working as a personal trainer on weekends. However, how do those of you that have second jobs manage your time when some asshole partner wants you to work ridiculous hours? I mean, it’s not uncommon for associates at even trash firms to have to work weekends, so what do you say to the boss? “Sorry, I can’t work this weekend because I had to take a second job to supplement the shit salary you’re paying me?”

A The first goal, my friend, is to find a job that pays enough so you don’t have to find a second job. If you can’t, consider cutting costs before you look for an additional job. I get reality, trust me, but the truth is: Working two jobs isn’t a great idea. You only get one chance to have a successful career. Don’t blow it by working weekends at the local gym. Whether your realize it or not, this will directly or indirectly compromise your ability to be a productive lawyer. In the long run, your attempt to make quick money will cost you thousands. Maybe millions. But if you absolutely must get a second job, then get one.  Don’t worry about working weekends and asshole bosses. If you can’t work, just say you can’t work. But don’t mention the second job. Unless, of course, the partner is buff and likely to show up at your gym some day.

Ex-Bitter is a former big firm lawyer who now doles out advice to anyone who asks. Got a question? Email it to advice@bitterlawyer.com. Or read more Advice from an Ex-Bitter.

1 Comment

  1. Mr. Z

    September 4, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    Send your wife back to study something in the medical field that is in demand with the aging of the baby boomers.
    She should be able to pull in $80K-$90K per year with maybe a signing bonus and tuition reimbursement if there’s shortage in her field and job security.  Add in your income and you can have a comfortable lifestyle.
    Even if you’re only pulling half of what the big law associates are making, you can have a very comfortable lifestyle if you’re not in a big city with job security.
    After a few years of saving some money, take what you’ve learned and open your own shop—rent an office large enough for a couple of other attorneys and let them pay for your overhead by renting space to them.  (You can also rent space to other professionals as well, depending on your setup).  When the credit markets loosen up, buy a building so that you gain the equity advantage.

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