Moonlighting Medical Jobs

How to Manage More Than One Medical Job

Professional dentist teaching apprentices in dental laboratory
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Moonlighting with a second job can be a great way to earn additional income, but it can make a negative impact on your career if you take on too much work. Before you start to moonlight as a healthcare professional, there are several important factors to consider.

What Is Your Primary Employer's Policy on Moonlighting?

Some employers prohibit or restrict any additional work employees are allowed to take on the side.

This could be due to liability, competition, legal issues, and more. Be sure to check with your supervisor or human resources department to ensure that you would not be violating company policy or endangering your employment with your primary employer.

Why Are You Considering a Second Job?

If you don't stand to get some very real benefits and positive career impact from working a second job, you shouldn't take it on. Some of the benefits of moonlighting include:

  • Earn more money: This is one of the most common reasons for taking on a second career. However, before you take on a second job just to increase your income, you may want to consider other options, such as asking for a raise or asking for additional shifts at your current job. These may be simpler and less exhaustive than taking on an additional job, and risking burn-out or added job stress due to the additional hours.
  • Learn a new skill set: Taking a side job is a great way to ease into a new industry or learn a new skill set. If you are new to a particular specialty or type of role, an employer may not be ready or able to hire you as a full-time employee but could more easily justify employing you part-time initially. As your skills and experience grow in the new arena, your employer may notice and want to hire you on full-time, allowing you to then transition your "side" job, or "second" job into your primary care.
  • Maintain an existing skill set: In the healthcare field, many certifications and licenses for various clinical roles require clinical hours to be logged, or a certain number of procedures to be completed. If you are unable to meet these requirements in your primary role, you may wish to take a second job that allows you to keep your certification current in another area in which you practice. Or, you may just wish to keep your skills fresh, so you don't feel out of practice in the future.
  • Break into a new industry: Moonlighting may also be a great way to gradually work your way into a new industry. Employers are sometimes reluctant to hire full-time employees who have no industry experience. However, they may be able to invest in you for a few hours a week to see what you are capable of contributing and confirm your transferable skills and abilities to make a smooth transition into the industry despite, a lack of experience.
  • Professional Networking and Social Benefits: Taking on a second job can be a great way to make additional professional contacts, and do some professional networking in healthcare, especially if you feel your current job is a "dead-end" job and you're not sure how to get out of it. Also, if you work in a very isolated type of role, you may want to take on a second job that offers more interpersonal interaction just to balance out your primary career. That being said, if the only reason you think you want a second job is to meet new friends and just to socialize, then moonlighting probably isn't the best way to do that. You may want to join social clubs or online dating sites instead!

Medical Moonlighting Options for Side Jobs and Second Careers

Once you've determined that moonlighting is a good idea for you and that it will positively impact your career, below are a few job options that offer flexibility and additional income.

Any part-time job can be a second job, but these are a few examples of positions that work well for healthcare professionals based on the schedule and skill sets.

In addition, if you're still not sure about committing to a second job, don't necessarily need the money but are seeking some of the other rewards listed above, serving as a healthcare volunteer is another great way to gain career benefits, intrinsic rewards, and give back to the community. Also, volunteering doesn't require the level of commitment that a second job would.​​

In conclusion, whatever you decide to do, be careful not to take on too much work or more hours than you can handle. If taking on a second job causes you to lose your primary job, or negatively impacts your primary career, you will ultimately set yourself back by moonlighting, instead of getting ahead in your career.

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