These days, “overemployed” has a new definition. According to the website Overemployed.com, being overemployed is the practice of working two (or more) remote jobs in order to earn extra income and achieve financial freedom.
We wanted to find out how many are engaging in this practice, so in January 2023 ResumeBuilder.com surveyed over 1,000 employees working fully remote.
- 79% of remote workers say they have been overemployed within the past year
- 1 in 3 overemployed remote workers have 2+ full-time jobs; majority make six figures
- 1 in 5 laid off tech workers who were overemployed say finances were barely affected
- 1 in 3 respondents were fired because their employers found out they had multiple jobs
79% of Remote Workers Have Worked 2+ Remote Jobs in the Past Year
When being screened for this survey, 79% of the 1,272 initial remote workers said that they had worked two or more remote jobs at the same time in order to earn extra income within the past year.
Currently, 36% of respondents say they have at least two full-time jobs, and of this group, the vast majority say they are also working multiple part-time jobs.
When asked how easy or difficult it is to balance working multiple jobs, 15% of respondents said it is ‘very easy,’ 24% said it is ‘somewhat easy,’ 52% said it is ‘somewhat difficult,’ and 10% said balancing multiple jobs is ‘very difficult.’
“When we look at the data of our survey, most of the respondents who hold more than just one full-time job are in careers where their typical hours can be flexible and may change weekly such as sales and IT/software,” commented Chief Career Advisor Stacie Haller.
“Employees in those positions likely have hours where they can take on other positions. What should matter to the employer is how they are performing on the job they were hired for,” she continued. “The only concerns would be if they are working for a competitor, and a non-disclosure could be added to the hiring process if needed.”
52% of Overemployed Workers Make More Than $100K
The whole point of being overemployed is, of course, to make a lot of money, and according to our respondents, the majority are succeeding at this.
Despite working multiple remote jobs, the largest group of respondents say they only work about 30-40 hours per week, with only 5% of respondents reporting that they work more than 80-hour weeks.
Because They Were Overemployed, 1 in 5 Tech Workers Who Were Laid Off Say Their Finances Weren’t Strongly Affected
When asked if they had worked for a tech company within the past six months, 73% of respondents said that they had. Of this group, 74% also said that they were laid off from at least one tech job within the past six months.
However, 1 in 5 reported that the layoffs only ‘slightly affected’ (15%) or ‘did not affect’ (4%) their finances. Ninety-five percent of laid off tech workers surveyed said they ‘somewhat’ (47%) or ‘strongly’ (48%) agree that having one or more additional jobs helped cushion their finances after being laid off.
1 in 3 Overemployed Workers Were Fired for Working Multiple Jobs
When asked if it was or is difficult to hide working multiple jobs from their employers, 15% of respondents say it is or was ‘very difficult,’ 45% say ‘somewhat difficult,’ 25% say ‘a little difficult,’ 7% say ‘not at all difficult,’ and 9% actually said that their employers are aware of their situation.
Nearly two-thirds (63%) say that, within the past year, an employer has found out they were working multiple jobs. Of this group, 58%, or 34% of the total sample, say they were let go from a job within the past year as a result of their employer discovering they were overemployed.
“Every hiring manager wants to be assured that the employee being hired will meet and exceed the expectations of the position, but what they do outside of successfully meeting those requirements are their own business and not those of the company, unless it impacts their business in some way,” advised Haller.
“In any interview, part-time or full-time, every candidate needs to show enthusiasm and knowledge about the position they are applying for and show they are the best candidate among others,” she stated.
Companies Are Catching On; 7 in 10 Respondents Had to Provide Proof of Leaving Previous Job
Companies seem to be catching on to the remote work/overemployment connection. Nearly 3 in 4 respondents say they ‘somewhat’ (51%) or ‘very’ (22%) frequently come across remote job postings that require applicants to submit proof that they left their previous job.
Additionally, 69% say they personally have had to provide such proof when applying to a new job, and 52% admitted that they have faked this proof to avoid revealing that they were overemployed.
“Sometimes the drive to make money is what an employer wants, so that should not be a negative,” continued Haller. “Being overemployed is not a career strategy, it’s a financial strategy. No one wants to work more than one job if they don’t need to,” she finished.
This survey was commissioned by ResumeBuilder.com and conducted online by the survey platform Pollfish from January 25-27, 2023. In total, 1,000 participants in the U.S. were surveyed. All participants had to pass through demographic filters to ensure they were currently employed for wages, had a household income of $50,000/year or more, and were 22 years of age or older.
Respondents then went through a primary screening to include only remote workers, and a secondary screening to ask if they had had two or more remote jobs at the same time within the past year. The survey used a convenience sampling method, and to avoid bias from this component Pollfish employs Random Device Engagement (RDE) to ensure both random and organic surveying.