Why having two jobs is good for your employer, good for your career…and for your sanity.

Why having two jobs is good for your employer, good for your career…and for your sanity.

While we experience unprecedented times and getting through a single day for many can be challenging and fearful, it’s important to try and use any new time such as not commuting or driving to think mid-term about your work and career.

There are many reasons why you should consider and plan for another role such as a non-executive director or a board trustee on top of your day job during these tough times. Thinking about it now can help with keeping positive and while life may be different in a few months time, business needs all the support it can garner from a range of diverse skill sets and people.

You don’t need to be on a board now or in the twilight of your career to take advantage of the benefits these types of roles can bring. Sitting on a board or a committee adds value to your day job whatever level you sit at. Even if you don’t feel quite ready, it’s worth adding to your career plans.

10 reasons why you should consider doing it:

  1. It can fast track your career as it enables you to develop your strategic thinking and business and governance acumen.
  2. It’s free for your employer and with L&D and training teams often under resourced, it offers an effective development route. A day a month out of the day job will in return give your employer better judgement and decision making from you.
  3. You don’t have to be a non-exec of a multi-national to bring new learnings back into your main role. Sitting in a new sector, in a new environment, gives you a wider perspective and enables you to learn new skills. This is particularly true if you provide pro bono support as you are very likely to be pursuing a personal interest and be highly motivated. Initial volunteering now and offering support to charities for example could lead to endless possibilities.
  4. If you are just skirting the board room and eagerly want a seat at the table, an additional role will help you understand what is actually required to be successful at this level.
  5. It will reward you emotionally. You can make substantive and measurable contributions to decisions to a board or committee.
  6. You will feel proud. To have gained a board role outside of your day job, you will have got their own your own and shown how proactive and accountable you are, and that you can stretch yourself without the insulation of your employer.
  7. You will generate new connections and can share insights and learn from new groups of people.
  8. It’s a welcome change from having to focus on operational and managerial aspects of the day job. It can bring a lot of variety and satisfaction to your career.
  9. It may be a cliché but having an additional role allows you to 'give back' because you contribute your skills and expertise to those who need it most.
  10. It can put a spring back into your step as you return to the day job.

I have sat on a number of boards and committees for the last 10 years as well doing my main role. I could not do one without the others. The roles support me in my wider thinking and enables me to advise and counsel boards with the knowledge and confidence that there are many ways to approach a challenge and drive a solution.

Go for it and see what happens. Start small, build your confidence and expertise, demonstrate that it adds value to your employer and then start to think bigger.