Motivated to work several jobs: The enrichment and depletion of multiple jobholding
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The work experience of multiple jobholders—or individuals who work more than one job simultaneously—is vastly under-researched despite the prevalence of this work arrangement. There are three critical assumptions made about these workers that prohibit researchers, workers, and organizations from realizing the benefits afforded by multiple jobholding: 1) money primarily motivates multiple jobholders, 2) multiple jobholding causes burnout, and 3) multiple jobholding is symptomatic of poverty and low skill. In this dissertation, I advance a model to challenge these assumptions and theorize important benefits from working several jobs. Using job crafting theory, I expand the current motivational typology to include finances, skill development, as well as personal growth or maintenance (e.g., identity expression, socialization). I propose that multiple jobholding can yield enrichment (meaningfulness and human capital gain) and depletion in the secondary job, but that the strength of these relationships depend on the worker’s motivation to take on a secondary job and the degree of integration, or overlap, between work roles. Finally, I aim to address managers’ concerns about sharing human capital by proposing positive pathways between enrichment in a secondary job and greater engagement, creativity, and performance in the primary job, highlighting the potential for synergy between an individual’s distinct work roles. Following a pilot study where I interviewed eight multiple jobholders, I develop and test hypotheses using a sample largely comprised of adjunct faculty to present a more detailed illustration of the experience of multiple jobholding. Finally, I discuss the theoretical and practical implications of the findings.