The Future. Remote work is supercharging a white-collar phenomenon dubbed “overemployment” (OE) — secretly holding multiple full-time jobs. While blue-collar workers have been doing that forever to make ends meet, the professional class has avoided doing so because of high workload, employer expectations, and those pesky non-competes. But with employers fixated on productivity, some employers may shrug their shoulders at ambitious workers as long as they’re meeting goals… or, worse, start to overload job requirements to curb the practice.
Two jobs are better than one
Overemployment — a movement that McKinsey estimates could be as high as 5% of the workforce — is taking hustle culture to a whole new level.
- The OE community is mostly made up of people who have low-meeting, tech-focused jobs that are more individual-job-based than managerial — work that can be done within a normal 40 to 50-hour workweek and doesn’t require much oversight.
- The adherents to OE have some pretty unified values — boost total compensation (many make mid-six figures), focus on saving and financial security (not job security), and excel at all your jobs.
- And like Fight Club, secrecy is key — locking down LinkedIn profiles, not outing other members on forums like Discord and Reddit, and using code phrases when discussing how to handle the logistics of juggling all those jobs.
To give an example of the typical OE-er, Bryan Roque, who recently settled into one job, said he simultaneously held positions at Meta, IBM, and Tinder… netting him over $820,000 per year.
While many in the OE community pride themselves on how great they work for their various employers and how much they’re gaming a system that views employees as widgets that can be laid off at the first sign of “negative market forces,” many also note the commitment to optimization has taken a toll on their personal lives.
How can people not feel burnout after that much productivity?