Advice- how do I get a second job if my hours aren't stable?

I work retail, and my hours are dropping a bit, all though not so drastically that I want to quit. I’d like to add on a second job for a few hours a week, maybe ten or fifteen, just to make a bit more money. I’ve got several places in mind, and I’m going to pick up applications today or tomorrow.

I really don’t know how to indicate availability, because at my current job, my schedule changes all the time. It’s remaining pretty stable in the (slightly lower than normal) range of hours, but the shifts switch up a lot.

Thankfully, my store closes at 6 Sunday to Wednesday, and if I’m closing I can usually be out by 6:30. That means I have my evenings free for most of the week.

I’m not sure whether I should just decide on a few days that I’ll tell my boss I need off, and get my current manager to schedule around my new and theoretical job, or ask said manager to give me a more fixed schedule, or what.

So, I need advice. How have Dopers who work two or more jobs managed to fit them all around each other?

Sometimes a conversation with your boss will do the trick. Just explain to him or her what your situation is and ask if you can be guaranteed a quitting time on X number of days so you can do your other job. They’re usually pretty good about it, especially since the reason you’re doing it is because he cut your hours. It’s worth a try!

I’d talk to your current manager, and ask for a stable set of hours. If he can’t comply, ask if you can only work certain days, and do the other job on your days off. Otherwise, indicate your worst case scenario availability on the applications. If you work until 6:30 at the latest, and you need 20 minutes for changing/eating/driving/sleeping/whatever, list your starting point as 7 at the earliest. This will keep your new job from expecting you there any sooner than you can be there. Also explain when you interview with the new jobs that you already have one job, and they should be pretty accomidating. It might get you out early if you’re exhausted at least. As a manager, I always give more slack to the employees juggling 2 or 3 jobs

Good luck…it’s not easy.

Consider merchandising.

Some firms put up displays for their lines merchandise in department or grocery stores. They hire people to go around & do the stocking & re-ordering.

You can set your own hours!

My Mom used to do this on the side.

Check your newspaper want ads.

This thread is better suited for IMHO. I’ll move it for you.

Cajun Man
for the SDMB

Thank you for moving it, Cajun Man.

Thanks, everyone. I am going to talk to my boss about my hours, and see if we can figure out a slightly more stable schedule. I don’t know if she can do it, but it’s worth a try.

I’ll indicate limited availability on my applications, but I think if I get hired somewhere where they need me on a specific day, that would be easier for everyone- I just get that day permanently off my other job, and my current manager schedules around it. However, I’ll take whatever works.

I ought to dig up some of those How To Do A Good Interview threads.