Work longer, make more.

April 9, 2012 · 40 comments

Walk in to your bosses office right now (I’m assuming you are reading this while on the clock, am I right?) and demand a raise. See what happens. You’ll either get fired, or at the very least laughed at.

Unless you work on a commissioned base pay system, truth is you probably don’t have much influence over how much you get paid at your 9 to 5. But what if you want, or need, to make some extra money? You really only have one option, work more.

For some this might mean a second job; delivering pizzas, monetizing your blog, or selling things on Craigslist. For non-salary employees, this might mean putting in longer hours and getting paid overtime.

For the first time in my four-year career, I’ve been given the opportunity to work optional overtime. I’ve been authorized up to 15 hours a week for at least the next few weeks.

I’m torn. 

On one hand, it would be nice to add some extra cash to my next few paychecks. On the  other hand, I very much value my free time. I’m going to try to not sound like an ungrateful jerk in the next few sentences so please read them with understanding…

I’m hesitant to work the overtime just for the sake of making an extra $2,000, because truth is, $2,000 doesn’t really change our lives. We live comfortably, spend reasonably, and save aggressively. Simply put, we don’t need the extra money. I’m inclined to turn down the overtime and keep my schedule free. My goal in life is not to work more and make more, but to work less and play more.

That said, It’s pretty freaking hard to turn down time and a half. I mean I’m already working 40 hours a week for regular pay, why wouldn’t I just do what I am already doing for a 50% pay bump? Seems crazy not to take it, right? What’s more, I work better when I have a specific objective or goal. If I don’t view this $2,000 as “just some extra money”, but instead a one week vacation to Hawaii or a year’s worth of free car insurance, then I become more exponentially more motivated.

There are only so many hours in the day. Eight of them dedicated to working. Eight-ish dedicated to sleeping. Not sure I’m ready to forfeit three more to my job. 

How many hours a week do you work (40, 50, 80)? Do you work any type of second job, or work overtime? At what point do you say “Screw the extra money, I want some freedom?” If you were offered 15 hours of overtime at your job would you take it, if so, why (be specific, what would you do with the money)?