Do I tell my boss about the other job?
October 6, 2007 8:25 PM   Subscribe

What should I tell my prospective employers about my other concurrent working arrangements? Do I tell them about the other job?

My high school career draws to a close in thirteen days and my exams finish a month after that. Come New Years Eve I'll be jetsetting to Singapore on a ticket paid for by my parents. I'd like to a) earn some spending money and b) pay them back for the ~$1,400 fare - so I've organised summer jobs.

I've organised one full-time (albeit on a casual basis) well-paying job in the city and another casual job in a liquor store down the road from my house. Ideally, I'd like to work from 8.00 - 4.00 at my job in the city, then work from 6.00 - 9.00 at the liquor store on weekdays and work a full day on Saturdays at the liquor store. (63hr/wk)

I'll be going in for the interview for the latter job soon. They'll ask what availability I have - what should I say? They know that I'll be on school holidays and will be curious as to why I can't work before 6PM on weekdays - what should I say? Is it a faux pas to tell one prospective employer that you're working another better-paying job to fund your overseas trip? How should I handle this?

Another thing to consider - I've been working at this well-paying job in the city for close to two years now, but only during the school holidays as they're a 9-5 Monday-Friday operation. That means that next year I'll only be able to work there during uni breaks and I'd like a continuous source of income during the term, so I don't want to dismiss the liquor store job.
posted by PuGZ to Work & Money (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you wanted an excuse, tell them you work for a charity during the week, or a non-profit, or as a helper-outer or something.

I would just say I have other commitments and leave it at that.
posted by qwip at 9:14 PM on October 6, 2007

Just tell them your availability. If they bother to question it at all, tell them you're saving for an overseas trip and are working two jobs. They may, if they give that much of a damn, be slightly concerned about your performance if you're exhausted, but they're unlikely to give that much of a damn, and if your burning the candle at both ends did cause them any problems, they would probably just tell you off the first time and fire you the second.

Your unavailability while in Singapore, just before New Years (a fairly busy time for liquor stores) is more of an issue.

It's not a faux-pas to not tell a casual employer anything whatsoever that isn't directly related to the job they want you to do. There are jobs to be taken seriously and cared about, where your work is of value and you are important; and jobs for which you are purely there to earn money, preferably cash in hand, for which you could be replaced easily and which you could yourself replace easily if they fired you. This is the latter type.

Show up to your interview, look earnest and well-presented, bring your desired hours up at the first opportunity--I assume they originally advertised for people to fill 3hr shifts including 6pm-9pm--and emphasise that you're looking to keep the shifts after you come back from Singapore.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 9:16 PM on October 6, 2007

Oh - subject to your class timetable. You may find you have a night class, and/or a free day.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 9:17 PM on October 6, 2007

I'm not sure what benefit you would get from fabricating a story. You ARE committed during the day, and if anything the commitment shows that you are a responsible adult. Look, hours are probably the first and most important thing you will discuss during your interview, and if your day job isn't at all flexible, that is something you should be honest about upfront. Just tell the truth, and good luck.
posted by |n$eCur3 at 9:20 PM on October 6, 2007

If it's going to be an issue at the interview then it'll be an issue after you're hired too. You seem to think that once you have the job you're golden, but if your other job is a problem for them they'll fire you when they find out.
posted by cali at 10:21 PM on October 6, 2007

Just tell them your availability and say that you have another commitment and no, it's not flexible. It's really none of their business what the other commitment is, you could be taking care of a relative or working another job or writing a novel.

But no, it's no big deal to be working another job because you need more money, as long as the two jobs don't conflict.
posted by desuetude at 10:52 PM on October 6, 2007

Your second job is legal and legitimate and there is no reason you should need to fabricate anything. They are more concerned about your hours of availability that what you do. If it comes up, and yoyu really feel like they would have a problem with it, say you have a second job "in retail."
posted by louche mustachio at 3:48 AM on October 7, 2007

You're not the first person in the world to have two jobs, possibly not even the first to work at that liquor store while having another job. Your availability is what it is. When you discuss your availability it will come up, and you will tell them you have your other job. They will be impressed that you are a dedicated hard-worker, they will like the fact that you already intend to stay with them when classes start. They may be concerned you won't have the energy, but you will point out that you are young and have lots of energy. You are dedicated to a goal (funding your trip to Singapore and paying for it all yourself) and they will appreciate the fact that you have ambition and integrity.

You may not get the liquor store job simply because they need someone who can be there at 5. There's nothing you can do or say to change that.
posted by Martin E. at 4:27 AM on October 7, 2007

1. Don't lie. It will always bite you in the butt later.

2. Tell them as little as possible, without breaking any laws or rules of your contract. Read your contract carefully (some full time jobs require that you don't work anywhere else), and educate yourself about local employment law.

3. If you can't make it work, then walk away from the lesser paying job! Just pay your parents back later (maybe next year). Regardless of when you do it they will appreciate it, so long as you haven't created any expectations from them yet.
posted by randomstriker at 10:47 AM on October 7, 2007

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