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two jobs

...are better than one?
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Alter society (grant me this impossibility, okay?) so that jobs come in 20-hour units rather than 40-hour units. Normal workers are expected to hold two jobs at a time. Businesses, hiring plans, payroll systems, tax structures, benefits plans and the like would all be organized to support the concept.

Yes, it's possible for an individual to do this now, but it's not the norm; the "standard contract" is for full-time employment. (Ask anyone who's tried to find part-time work.) No, what I'm describing isn't the same as being an independent contractor juggling several projects; you're a full-blooded employee of the companies you work for.

Advantages:

- When you quit, or you're fired, or you're laid off from one job, you still have another while you're looking.

- More flexibility. While the norm is to hold two jobs, you're free to hold only one (less money, more time) or three (more money, less time); doing so doesn't disrupt the system in any way, and indeed your co-workers might not even know.

- More variety. You can have one job which is boring but lucrative, and another which is fun but doesn't pay as well. If you have skills in two different areas, you can use both of them. You get to compare and contrast two workplaces.

I'm sure you'll come up with plenty of disadvantages (even leaving out "how do we get there from here").

egnor, Jun 04 2001

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       >When you quit, or you're fired, or you're laid off from >one job, you still have another while you're looking.   

       Wow. Having two jobs makes sense for the same reason having two lungs makes sense. Or having two kidneys. You can be a living donor of one. Say there's an underdog that you're really rooting for among applicants for a job similar to one of yours. You voluntary leave to create an opening for her or him. Sure it's a sacrifice on your part, but half a livelihood is less than half as big a sacrifice as a full livelihood (If I understand marginal utility correctly). Of course, marginal utility cuts both ways. Two of something is usually worth less than twice as much as one of something. Don't know if that applies to jobs.
cypherpunks, Jun 05 2001
  

       A client describes 'management' as "breaking big things up for better control."   

       This idea sounds good enough to butter up and jam, but I can't help but feel a bit negative. I mean, will every weekend be one of those 3 day kind? Will there be an extra rush hour every day? Are folks who already work two shifts here and two there for their 48 hours going to cut back for the promise of benefits? I think it's so nasty to be on the clock anyway, what with the 'employee as time thief' attitude as prevalent as it is. Can this be done without timesheets?
reensure, Jun 05 2001
  

       I really love the idea, both for myself and as an ideal. The main difficulty (imho) is that the benefits all fall on the side of the wage-earner, whilst company managers have to cope with scheduling, hiring, and retaining enhanced-mobility employees. Until top-level management sees a benefit to empowering workers this way I'm afraid few companies will go willingly down this road. Unfortunately.
Dog Ed, Jun 05 2001
  

       A couple more problems:   

       1) Most upper-management jobs require a level of devotion to the company that would not allow for such "divided loyalties." I'm not saying this is right, but it would rule out the option for the higher level jobs.   

       2) Many an individual has been "mercifully" kept on the job because of considerations to the impact on that person's family, etc. If the underperformer were only facing the loss of half his employment, he would be more likely to be fired.   

       Despite these issues, I like the idea.
beauxeault, Jun 05 2001
  

       this is already happening. I don't know anyone who doesn't have at least two irons in the fire. People are no longer letting the corporation set thier agenda.
thinkfuture, Jun 05 2001
  

       Despite potential inefficiencies in having to train twice as many people to do the same work, I think it's a wonderful idea.
beland, May 26 2003
  
      
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