Working a temporary gig for the holiday season is a great way to put extra cash in your pocket right when you need it most. Too bad it can also mess with your life outside of work.
Adapting to schedule changes, finding time for family or school, suffering burnout from the additional work, and deciding where best to spend your new income are just a few of the challenges you might face.
Since peak temping season is now upon us, we thought it was the perfect time to share some tips from our experienced temporary associates.
- Plan as far ahead as possible. The minute you know what days or hours you will be committed to other activities, grab the work shifts you want right away. Or vice versa: nail down the work schedule first, then fit in other activities around it — whichever is easier.
- See what activities you can rethink or reduce to make room for your temping schedule. For example, if you're also in school, maybe you can take an online course or switch to classes at different times.
- Schedule everything you do. We know one associate who maps out his daily calendar in 30-minute time blocks — for working, commuting, socializing, eating, sleeping, exercising, hobbies, errands, etc. It's not necessary to be that hyper-organized, but it is a good exercise to try at least once, to see where you might run into time conflicts.
- Allocate your paycheck according to the 50/30/20 rule — 50% on needs such as rent, utilities and food; 30% on wants such as holiday gifts; 20% on savings for your emergency fund and/or long-term goals. Remember, this temp job will end soon and you don't want to be left with nothing to show for it.
- Pay down your highest interest debts first — probably your credit cards or payday loans. If the interest rate is 20% or higher, paying off the balance could save you over $100 a month. Don't you have better things to do with that money than make some bank even richer?
- When your bills won't wait for payday, check out Integrity's PayActiv program. It lets you access your pay immediately, as soon as you earn it — and even pay bills directly from the app. Plus, you won't have to get one of those predatory payday loans mentioned above.
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Seasonal jobs can make an already busy life even more complicated. Whenever you start feeling too stressed out, remind yourself why you're doing it. You might even put a visual cue in a place where you'll see it every day — a photo on the fridge door or a mission statement on the bathroom mirror.
And remember, this job won't last forever. As pro athletes say when they're pushing through the playoffs, you can rest after the season is over.
Grab as much out of the experience as you can, while you can. Then sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor!