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Dismantling the 9 to 5 — Why Job Stacking Is the Future of Work The rising trend of job stacking as a popular alternative to the traditional 9 to 5 work schedule, particularly among the millennials and Gen Z populations. Delve into the benefits of job stacking and discover its potential to revolutionize the American workforce by fostering greater satisfaction and autonomy.

By Zach Wade Edited by Kara McIntyre

Key Takeaways

  • Job stacking and its multiple revenue streams offer an increased sense of financial security. But here's what's even better: It allows you to be selective in the roles you take on.
  • As we stand at the cusp of a work revolution, job stacking is emerging as a potent force that is equipped to dismantle the traditional work structures that have long dictated the American work landscape.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The American workplace is undergoing a paradigm shift — one that labor economists should be reluctant to dismiss as a fake trend. As work-life balance is being redefined, a majority of Americans are expressing disdain for the traditional Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 job regime.

Instead, many Americans are yearning for a professional life that offers more flexibility and autonomy. Remote workers, having tasted the fruits of working from home, are steadfast in their refusal to return to the conventional office setup. Meanwhile, the four-day work week, pioneered by nations like Iceland and Japan, is gradually gaining traction in corporate circles. Yet as the evolution in the work sphere continues, a new trend is emerging for millennials and Gen Z, who have been vociferously demanding a revolutionary work model since their initiation into the workforce. This burgeoning trend is none other than job stacking.

Related: A Gen Xer Who Secretly Works 3 Full-Time Remote Jobs and Makes $344,000 Paid Off His Mortgage and Is Saving to Send His Kids to College Debt-Free

What is job stacking?

Job stacking is the practice of concurrently working multiple full-time jobs simultaneously, accruing more than one full-time salary. This approach to work diversifies income streams and maximizes earning potential, and has been adopted by over 400,000 Americans, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

My personal tryst with job stacking commenced in 2020 at only age 22. As I plunged into this novel work model, I found myself adeptly handling five different job roles and amassing a staggering annual income of over $375,000. This venture propelled me into a space of financial freedom and allowed me to save the funds to kickstart my agency.

In a scenario where over 70% of the workforce finds themselves discontented in their jobs, the concept of job stacking resonates strongly with those who aspire to reclaim control over their time without compromising on their income and benefits. At its core, job stacking entails juggling multiple job roles, often across various domains, to create a lucrative and satisfying work mosaic that caters to the diverse interests and skills of an individual.

Why is job stacking becoming a preferred choice among Americans? Let's delve into the dynamics that are fostering the adoption of this model:

1. Facilitating balanced parenting

One of the most profound impacts of job stacking is on the parenting front. Rigid work schedules have been a long-standing issue for working parents. Flexibility is a top-ranking employee benefit for both men and women, but parents with young children are more likely to rate it as one of the top-ranking employee benefits. If flexibility were not available, 38% of working parents would have quit their jobs or reduced their hours. Job stacking comes as a savior in this context, providing parents with the liberty to tailor their work hours to suit their family commitments. Furthermore, the financial benefits accrued from multiple job roles can significantly offset the childcare costs, which currently hover around $10,600 per year.

Related: Why Working Multiple Jobs Will Be the New Normal

2. Empowering employees to lead a fulfilling life

As mental health has become more of a priority, many full-time workers are trying to live a fulfilling lifestyle beyond the weekends. Gone are the days of employees' existence being confined to the boundaries of an office. Recent Deloitte research shows that millennials and Gen Zers are desperately seeking work-life balance, even placing it at the top of their consideration list when selecting a company to work for. Job stacking serves as the golden key to unlocking this lifestyle. By mastering time management skills, individuals can sculpt a work-life structure that allows for ample personal time to pursue travel and other fulfilling endeavors, defining "after work" on their own terms.

3. A counter to underpayment by employers

A grim reality facing the American workforce is the issue of underpayment. A large faction of employees feel that the remuneration offered by companies is inadequate to sustain a decent quality of life, especially given the escalating cost of living and real estate prices. Job stacking emerges as a potent solution to this dilemma, empowering individuals to supplement their primary income with earnings from various other roles, thereby elevating their financial standing.

What makes for an excellent job stack?

Not all jobs are stackable. Obviously, it's impossible to job stack jobs like working at call centers or being a barista. To succeed at job stacking, look for jobs with a few key characteristics, the first being that the job is completely remote. Industries like information technology (IT), customer service, writing/content creation and digital marketing tend to have a significant remote workforce, making those easy roles to stack. Aim for in-house positions, which typically offer better control over your workload. Roles that require extensive management are less ideal for stacking across various companies.

Focus on securing mid-level positions, as they present an optimal balance of responsibility and compensation, often offering salaries exceeding $40,000 annually without the intense oversight inherent in higher-level roles. Additionally, prioritize finding positions that align with your existing skills and can be streamlined or automated, allowing you to perform at your best.

Related: A 22-Year-Old Making $144,000 from 2 Full-Time Remote Jobs Explains Why He's Willing to Take the Risk — and Shares 5 Strategies for Getting Away With It

Establish a life of financial and mental well-being

It's stressful trying to save money when living paycheck-to-paycheck. Moreover, it's difficult to feel financially secure when layoffs are occurring regularly. Job stacking and its multiple revenue streams offer an increased sense of financial security. But here's what's even better: It allows you to be selective in the roles you take on. This way, you have the ability to pursue jobs that you really love, leading to feelings of joy and fulfillment in your job. Having this sense of financial security and work-life satisfaction will ease anxiety and promote fulfillment.

As we stand at the cusp of a work revolution, job stacking is emerging as a potent force that is equipped to dismantle the traditional work structures that have long dictated the American work landscape. As more and more individuals embrace this multi-faceted work approach, we are likely to witness a happier, more satisfied and more financially secure workforce that thrives on autonomy and flexibility.

For those considering treading this path, remember that job stacking is not merely a career choice; it's a lifestyle, a movement that is empowering individuals to redefine success on their own terms, fostering a future where work harmoniously coexists with life's pleasures and pursuits. Embark on your job stacking journey today and be a part of the revolution that is setting a new benchmark for professional satisfaction and personal fulfillment.

Zach Wade

CEO and Founder of Wade Marketing

With more than eight years of marketing experience, Zach Wade is the CEO of Wade Marketing. Passionate about the New Age Employee movement, he helps aspiring entrepreneurs master job stacking, fostering unique career paths in today's evolving business landscape.

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