Dear J.T. & Dale: OK, so I hate to admit it, but I’ve actually been doing two full-time jobs during the pandemic from home and making unbelievable money. I haven’t told anyone, because I didn’t want to get in trouble. But now, one of my employers is saying we are going back to the office in spite of the delta variant. What to do if I actually want to keep doing both jobs? Do you think I can mention to my employer that I have a second position and see if I could find a way to do both? – Jude
J.T.: For starters, I would check your employment agreement and employee handbook. If your company has a policy against you working another full-time job while you’re working for them, you could be in a lot of trouble here. Yes, companies do have those kinds of contract stipulations. I would be very careful because if I was your boss and found out that you were splitting your time, I would be pretty upset. Perhaps now is the time for you to sit down with your bosses and figure out how to get a raise at one job that would cover the cost of only having to work one job. Or, you could discuss becoming a consultant and a freelancer for both companies, which would then let you set your own hours. Either way, I would definitely focus on figuring this out because eventually you will get caught.
DALE: Let’s back up and remember that our culture has long admired those who lift themselves financially by working two jobs. Sure, historically that meant working two in-person shifts each workday; however, if you’ve successfully been handling two remote jobs, then you have my respect. So I’m not feeling angst on your behalf about being exposed. Instead, I’d use this opportunity to recreate yourself. I like J.T.’s idea of going into consulting or freelance. I’d suggest you start by keeping your current remote job and then seek out remote consulting work, including prospecting with the company that wants you to go back to the office — I suspect that they are going to lose some employees and will gratefully sign you up.
Dear J.T. & Dale: This pandemic made me realize I don’t want to do this job anymore. Every day I wake up and I do the same thing over and over again, and I feel the life being sucked out of me. However, I obviously need to make a living. Are there any resources out there that can help me figure out a new career direction so that I can feel alive again and actually enjoy my work? — Carmen
DALE: There are many resources to help with this. You could start with career assessment tools — just enter that phrase into Google, and you’ll have plenty to choose from. Or, you can get advice from career guidebooks — there are so many options representing various approaches that I would suggest that you go to the library and skim several titles till you find one that speaks to you. Start there; but don’t end there. What you really need are some career ideas, then you’ll meet with people you admire and talk to them about their careers — not to follow them, necessarily, but to understand the flow of career passion. You need to find a wellspring of energy to shake up your career. Meanwhile, you can also tap into that knowledge by making use of J.T.’s website.
J.T.: My company has been working for years on developing the alternative to LinkedIn. We recently launched it, and you can join in and set up your own profile for free. It’s a safe, private community where you can talk through what you’re looking for and work with a community of like-minded people. And, if at some point you decide you need career coaching, we offer that at a huge discount as well. Now is the time for you to rethink your strategy and find the career that will make you happy. Life is too short. Learn more at workitdaily.com.
Jeanine “J.T.” Tanner O’Donnell is a career coach and the founder of the leading career site www.workitdaily.com. Dale Dauten is founder of The Innovators’ Lab and author of a novel about H.R., “The Weary Optimist.” Please visit them at jtanddale.com, where you can send questions via email, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803. (c) 2021 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.