If you have been mystery shopping for a while, you know that it is hard work. Keeping track of all of your assignments, making sure everything gets done on time, remembering all of the details needed for your reports and, oh, writing those reports.
Keeping a full-time mystery shopping schedule, or even a heavy part-time schedule, can lead to burnout. When burnout happens, some secret shoppers quit completely and never return to mystery shopping. A better course of action is to take steps to prevent burnout from happening in the first place.
Most importantly, always stay in control of your time. Decide how much time you want to spend doing mystery shopper jobs, and limit yourself to the number of jobs you can complete in that time. Although you may choose to make the occasional exception for a really special opportunity or to help a favorite scheduler when she is in a bind, do not make a habit of taking on many more shops than you can reasonably handle.
Take a break now and then. This is especially important if you work a full-time job and mystery shop on the side. Working full time then mystery shopping several hours a week, on top of your family responsibilities, can wear you out. Take a week or so off from mystery shopping now and then.
Many shoppers complete assignments while they are on vacation. Doing so can be a great way to help pay for your trip, and perhaps even make a portion of your vacation tax deductible. However, it means you have spent your vacation working. If you accept mystery shopper jobs while on vacation, take a little time off when you return.
Focus on doing the shops you most enjoy. Maybe you do not need to step away from all mystery shopping, just the assignments that seem to take the most out of you. If shopping is a sideline, give yourself a month or so where you only accept the shops you really like to do. If you depend on your mystery shopping income to pay the bills, then make an effort to book your favorite shops and limit the ones you do not enjoy as much to the minimum you need to do, at least for a while.
Adjust your attitude by remembering why you became a mystery shopper. Was it to earn money for the little extras for your family? To be able to quit your full-time job and spend more time with your kids? To have more flexibility and control of your schedule? By remembering why you chose to do this in the first place, you may bring back some of the joy you felt when you were a brand new mystery shopper.
Thanks for this. I’m new to shopping, and I’m learning that some shops just aren’t worth it! For instance, I just accepted a shop that is 43 miles from my home. The shop paid $11.50, and it cost me $12.38 in GAS, not to mention the travel time it robbed from my life. I had considered shopping on vacations, but you have convinced me it’s not a good idea! Thanks! Jillian
Cathy Stucker says
Whether or not a shop is worth it is a choice each mystery shopper has to make. I did some shops when I was starting out that I would not even consider now, because I wanted to get experience and establish myself as a good, reliable shopper.
As for shopping on vacations, I haven’t done it but lots of shoppers like to save money (and earn money) on their vacations this way. To each his/her own!