Woman making minimum wage, who is drowning in debt, takes on second job despite employer forbidding her

Gillian Sisley

An increasing number of people are turning to second jobs to make ends meet. But what happens when a second job is not allowed? This was the dilemma that a Mumsnet user was facing.

*This is a work of non-fiction sourced from social media discussion boards and verified experts/specialists.*

After three months of unexpected financial strain, the author was in need of a second job to help her out of debt. The perfect job opportunity presented itself; a local coffee shop was extending its hours into the evening, and a friend of the author offered her a job. But this left the author in a difficult position, as she details in her post:

“I'm struggling financially, but my 9-5 weekday office job pays minimum wage and I'm getting further into debt. I want to work my way out of the debt and also get out in the evenings and weekends so I'm not home worrying, and a job with these hours seemed the perfect solution. I was told permission will not be granted because it may impact on my ability to do my day job.”

As the cost of living increases, more and more people are turning to multiple jobs to make ends meet, as reported by the Guardian newspaper. And according to data from CNBC, 44% of Americans work a side-hustle, or a second job, in order to afford their lifestyle, basic needs, and paying their bills.

Still, the author went ahead with interviews to get another job, despite the lack of permission from her first job. She’s resigned herself to the possibility of getting caught, as she explains:

“My financial situation has worsened and I spend hours in the evening with no money to go out and wishing I could put these hours to good use. Today, the manager [for my impending new job] messaged me to supply reference details. I had planned not to tell my boss and if they ever found out I'd have proved I can do both roles, and I will accept the punishment.”

But the author wasn't sure if she could get a reference from her former manager, who left over a year ago, as she worries her former manager will find the request odd, and may even expose her for having a second job without permission. She concludes:

“She can hardly comment favourably on my honesty when I'm being so duplicitous, not asking my current boss - she will wonder why I'm not asking them. I'm in a mess and I don't know where to turn.”

Fellow Mumsnet users weighed in on the debate, empathizing with the author’s struggle in these difficult financial times. One user suggested:

“Have you checked your main job contract doesn't prohibit you taking on another job? That would be my concern. As long as it doesn't it's not really any of their business how you choose to spend your evenings and weekends, as long as you turn up to work on time, fit and able to work.”

Another wrote:

“I think you're making a bigger deal out of this than needs be. Just ask your former manager for a reference.”

What do you think?

Is the author being disloyal by trying to get a second job to make more money, even though is prohibited by her current employer?

Or is it not at all her company’s business what she does with her time, and they can’t dictate whether or not she finds another method of making money elsewhere?

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