What Is Job Stacking?

What Is Job Stacking

The short answer to “What is job stacking” is a simple one: you get multiple jobs, and you take home multiple paychecks.

Ready to learn more about the nitty-gritty of what job stacking is? Let’s dive in.

A Deeper Dive into the World of Job Stacking

To give a more detailed definition of job stacking, it’s when you are employed at more than one full-time job, and you’re earning more than one full-time wage. The reason this is revolutionary is for a long time, it took forty hours to do a full-time job. That’s not true today, leading to a surge in job stacking.

The conditions are right for a rise in job stacking. First, employee dissatisfaction has never been higher. Cultural events like the Great Resignation and the Quiet Quitting phenomenon prove how employees are fed up with being underpaid for the value they bring to a company. Wages have been stagnating for decades, and workers are ready to earn what they’re worth.

Second, the rise of remote work makes it possible to work a second job without being noticed by your employer. As long as you’re still getting your job done, you won’t get caught.

Third, the tools that exist today – like canned email replies, Asana, and voice-to-text– make it easier and faster than ever to get your job done in as little time as possible.

Why is Job Stacking Such An Appealing Prospect?

For one, there’s the money. Taking home two wages is very attractive to certain ambitious people. Two, there’s intellectual satisfaction. Today’s workers are bored of going to meaningless meetings. A second job fills your time with creative fulfillment. And third, there’s job security. As we look into the face of stagflation, many employers are freezing wages, laying off people, and forgoing bonuses. Job stackers are financially more secure.

What Makes for an Excellent Job Stack?

You can’t stack just any job. To become an efficient and functional job stacker, you need to look for jobs with a few key characteristics.

One, make sure you’re not working for an agency. Agencies have a bad habit of rewarding good workers with more work – and no extra pay. You’ll find yourself managing lead gen for 10, then 15, then thirty clients, all without seeing an extra penny of the value you create. Look for internal jobs instead. You’ll do a fraction of the work you’d do at an agency, for much more money.

Second, look for automatable systems. If you’re managing people, that’s a no-go. If you’re managing projects, that can be tricky. If you’re client-facing, that can also be tough to manage.

You know yourself best, so you know what systems you’ll be able to automate with your skillset. Look for jobs that will let you shine.

Third, look for the right skills. It goes without saying, but it’s impossible to job stack jobs like working at call centers or being a barista.

Fourth, aim for jobs that are mid-level. Entry-level jobs often aren’t worth the risk. High-level jobs come with too much responsibility and oversight. Instead, go for mid-level jobs with a salary of over 50k/year.

How Can You Start Job Stacking?

Think you’ve got the perfect job in mind to stack? Want to get started right away? Here’s how you can start job stacking

  1. Assess your capacity. Use a tool like Clockify to time how much you spend at work, really, not counting scrolling on social media or doing busy make-work. How long does it actually take to do your bare minimum job responsibilities?
  2. Start applying. If you determine you’re only really working 20 hours or less to get the job done right, look for jobs that fit the characteristics I listed above.
  3. Don’t get caught. Make sure you know if or how your employer is surveilling you so you can get around it. For example, at Equifax, they were able to catch and fire 24 job stackers by monitoring their VPN usage. Other employers check mouse movements or keystrokes.

Final Thoughts: Job Stacking is Here To Stay.

Job stacking is not illegal. It’s contractually frowned upon, and you might get fired, but you won’t get arrested or sued for trying to do more than one job at a time. (I mean, look at how many rich people sit on multiple boards. Is that not job stacking?)

Note: this is not legal advice. Make sure to contact an employment or contract lawyer with any doubts, and be sure to review your own contract carefully to make sure you’re not in violation of it. But most contracts don’t have this language.

In fact, it’s highly beneficial. Not only do you get more jobs, but you’re also producing more value for more than one company. As long as you do your job(s) right, feel free to job stack to your full capacity and enjoy every reward along the way.

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