New Piece: When Two Jobs Become One

My latest on discusses how to make sure if you’re stuck taking up the slack for a colleague that leaves, you’re not doing two jobs for the price of one. It’s important to help, but put your foot down to ensure you’re not working two jobs for long. 


There’s a fine line between a busy day and feeling overwhelmed. Lately though, many of us think our workloads have taken an even bigger leap.

As our work hours stretch longer—up 4% from a regular day just four years ago—more than half of us now say our jobs have become too busy, according to a recent Staples survey of U.S. employees.

And it can get worse if your company is going through layoffs or churn. Suddenly, your boss unloads the extra job duties of an exiting employee onto you. Now you’ve got two jobs, but you’re still getting paid for one.

“When churn happens, they may find a replacement,” says career strategist and creator of J.T. O’Donnell, but “they are not going to be able to find the right person immediately.”

That can leave you picking up the slack for the lack of quality bodies in the workplace. But if you don’t want the new tasks combined with your old duties to become a permanent position, you’ll have to tread lightly, since you also want to prove you’re a team player who can handle the trust. “It’s an opportunity to show your employer you have the capacity to do more,” says O’Donnell.

It’s never an easy balance to strike, but here’s how to walk that line if your boss asks you to do two jobs for the price of one, while making sure it doesn’t stay that way. Read how at

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