A Wisconsin mom of 3 who made $250,000 secretly working 2 remote jobs said it allowed her husband to leave a stressful job and become a stay-at-home dad (2024)

In 2020, Lisa was making roughly $110,000 working remotely in a corporate manufacturing role, but she wasn't satisfied with her pay.

Lisa, who's in her 40s and based in Wisconsin, landed a job offer for a hybrid role in the same industry that paid nearly $150,000 a year, she told Business Insider via email. But she'd been hoping for more money.

For 18 months between 2020 and the end of 2021, Lisa secretly worked a fully remote job and a second hybrid job. In 2021, she made roughly $250,000 across her two full-time roles, according to documents viewed by BI.


Lisa said the extra income provided a huge boost to her family's finances. She and her husband are now confident they'll be able to pay for their three children's college educations and various extracurriculars, in addition to future family vacations. Working two jobs also made it possible for her husband to take a much-needed break from the workforce and focus on caring for their children.

"Working the two jobs gave us the freedom to let my husband finally leave his job which was so stressful we feared it was literally taking years from his life," said Lisa, whose identity is known to BI — she asked to use a pseudonym because of her fear of professional repercussions. "It's given us a financial cushion that would have been impossible otherwise."

Lisa is among the Americans secretly juggling multiple jobs to increase their incomes. BI has interviewed roughly 20 "overemployed" people, many of whom are in the IT and tech industries, who've used the extra money to pay off debt, save for retirement, and afford expensive vacations and weight-loss drugs. While some companies may be OK with their workers having a second gig, doing so without approval could have negative repercussions.

As a woman, Lisa seems to be fairly unique in the overemployed community, because most of the job jugglers BI has interviewed are men. In part, this could be because it's less common for women to work in IT and tech. Some workers have told BI the prevalence of remote roles in these fields — and the flexibility these gigs can offer — make them well-suited to overemployment.

It's also possible that some women — many of whom still handle the majority of household and childcare responsibilities — don't have time to pursue a second job. In Lisa's case, her husband's break from the workforce for a couple of months made it easier for her to juggle both roles.

She shared how she managed to balance both jobs and why she ultimately decided to give up her overemployment.

A looming return-to-office mandate made overemployment seem unsustainable

Lisa said having her husband home when he wasn't working was a "huge bonus," particularly since their children did remote schooling for the entire 2020 to 2021 school year because of the pandemic. He was able to slowly return to the workforce, doing part-time work before accepting full-time employment.

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Having essentially three full-time incomes for over a year was what truly transformed the family's finances, Lisa said.


When she worked from home, Lisa didn't have too much trouble juggling both jobs — she said she worked roughly 40 to 50 hours a week across the two roles.

On the days she had to go into the office for her hybrid role, she said, she brought both of her work laptops, which conveniently looked identical. She generally worked from an office cubical, but when she pivoted to her second job, she would go to a private room.

"There were moments when I thought I'd fail but I got positive reviews from both jobs while I was there," she said.

Lisa said she didn't feel guilty about keeping her jobs a secret from her employers, in part because she thought many companies were greedy and prioritized profits over workers.


"I felt like I was sticking it to the man when I could," she said.

But near the end of 2021, Lisa started to question how much longer she'd be able to keep this up. When pandemic conditions eased, she thought her fully remote employer would pivot to a hybrid work schedule — and managing two hybrid jobs seemed impossible.

So she decided to try to get ahead of things.

Lisa said she was able to secure a job offer for a role that paid about $175,000 a year and required in-person work. The job paid less than the roughly $250,000 she was making across her two jobs, but it was more than either of them paid individually. In early 2022, she decided to take the job — and said goodbye to her two roles.


"It was a good career move at a time when I thought that remote work was going to disappear," she said.

While some companies have called workers back to the office, others have continued with fully remote working arrangements. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that in April, about 22% of full-time US workers age 16 and older worked from home at least some of the time and 10% did so all of the time. While some overemployed workers have been forced to adjust their plans because of return-to-office mandates, others are still chugging along.

Lisa said she'd consider job juggling again if she could find two fully remote jobs that checked most of her boxes. Among her biggest concerns would be burnout.

"Doing two jobs that need me 100% sounds tremendously stressful," she said, "and I would much rather do a job that values all of me and pays me as such."


Are you working multiple remote jobs at the same time and willing to provide details about your pay and schedule? If so, reach out to this reporter at jzinkula@businessinsider.com.

A Wisconsin mom of 3 who made $250,000 secretly working 2 remote jobs said it allowed her husband to leave a stressful job and become a stay-at-home dad (2024)


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