Mastering the Art of Overemployment: A Software Engineer’s Stealthy Rise in Income

CryptoMode Overemployment

In the highly competitive and rapidly evolving tech industry, a young software engineer named Jason embarked on an unconventional journey to increase his income. Jason, a pseudonym to protect his identity, broke away from the traditional full-time employment model shortly after securing his first job out of school. Although based on the West Coast, his remote work allowed him to accomplish his duties in 10 to 15 hours weekly. This unexpected free time led him to explore opportunities to supplement his $75,000 salary.

The Quest for Secondary Income Streams

While many consider side hustles such as microgreen cultivation, odd jobs, or freelance programming, Jason took a different path. He sought to utilize his extra time by securing an additional full- or part-time job. His pursuit culminated in November 2021, when he landed a second full-time remote software engineering position.

His unconventional arrangement allowed him to distribute his working hours across both jobs, amounting to 20 to 30 hours per week. The result was a substantial increase in income, with Jason earning a combined $144,000 in the past year.

However, his employers remain unaware of his dual employment. His reasoning was simple: an opportunity to boost his income without overburdening himself. He could always resign from one position if the workload proved too much.

Having two jobs has its challenges, including overlapping meetings and unexpected tasks. Yet, Jason finds comfort in this arrangement, asserting that it alleviates stress by providing job security.

The Rise of Overemployment in a Digital Era

Jason is part of an emerging trend among American workers who, prompted by high inflation, are taking on additional jobs. A subset of these workers is stealthily securing multiple full-time remote positions to double their income potentially. However, this window of opportunity may be closing as businesses shift back to in-person work, reducing the number of fully remote positions.

Moreover, the rise of ‘overemployment’ has not gone unnoticed, stoking fear among its practitioners about their secret being discovered. Although holding multiple jobs isn’t illegal, it could violate employment contracts, leading to potential dismissal.

To manage his double employment, Jason employs five key strategies. Firstly, he buys time by overestimating the duration of his tasks. Secondly, he maintains a low profile by avoiding overperformance. Thirdly, he strategically dedicates less time to certain tasks.

Fourthly, he has learned to decline additional work when necessary. Lastly, he ensures his colleagues know when his tasks are delayed due to others. These tactics help him balance his workload, avoid detection, and maintain productivity at both jobs.

The Overemployed Community and the Future

Jason has found solidarity in the burgeoning “overemployed community” online, with the r/Overemployed subreddit boasting 176,000 members. A shared concern is that increased visibility could prompt employers to identify and penalize double-jobbers.

Nevertheless, Jason remains undeterred. He believes that few can handle the demands of overemployment due to various factors such as career choice, job specificity, stress tolerance, and the desire to work more.

Looking ahead, Jason plans to invest more time into a new business venture he initiated last December. Until then, he continues to benefit from his double employment, enjoying the financial security it provides.

The Ethics and Implications of Overemployment

Despite the potential benefits, overemployment raises several ethical and contractual issues. The practice could breach employment contracts, leading to potential job loss. However, Jason and others in the overemployment community navigate these challenges with a shared understanding and set of strategies.

The phenomenon has largely been facilitated by the shift to remote work during the pandemic. As companies transition back to in-office work, the opportunities for overemployment might decrease. 

This change is reflected in the statistics, with remote job postings decreasing from 17% in March 2022 to roughly 13% in March, according to the staffing firm Manpower Group.

The Future of Overemployment

While overemployment may seem like a temporary trend fueled by the pandemic’s push towards remote work, it could have long-lasting impacts on employment models. The practice raises questions about workload distribution, employee engagement, and job satisfaction.

For Jason, the future seems promising as he hopes to devote more time to his budding business. However, the broader implications of overemployment for the workforce remain to be seen. As companies grapple with new work arrangements and employees seek to maximize their income, the work landscape is set to continue evolving.

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