A Return to Babysitting

I’ve been a babysitter for more than half my life. I grew up in Hartland, Michigan—a town of about 15,000 people between Detroit and Lansing—and my babysitting career began pretty typically for a suburban kid: I went from watching my younger brothers and cousins on occasion, to babysitting children in my subdivision, to babysitting all around my hometown after I got my driver’s license. I continued babysitting on and off for the next few years, but had stopped almost entirely by the time I graduated college.

Craigslist, ETC.

For a few months in the fall of 2012, I became something of an expert in Craigslist studies. A recent college graduate, I was a part-time unpaid intern and part-time retail employee. New to New York, I lived with four other underemployed recent grads in a three-bedroom apartment in Bed-Stuy, sleeping on the top bunk of an IKEA children’s bunk bed called “TROMSO.” I was living mainly on graduation gift money and savings from a summer spent working at UPS, supplemented by my $10 an hour retail gig. After one too many meals of $1 Trader Joe’s spaghetti noodles, I found a solution: Craigslist studies.

Second Shifts: Finding Extra Income in the Side Hustle

Talking with my friends in similar positions to mine, it started to seem like having a job and a half at 25-ish was the norm, or at least a norm, rather than an anomaly. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in August 2014, about 6.8 million people held more than one job. A little over half of those, 3.6 million people, had a secondary part-time job in addition to a primary full-time job. Although multiple job-holders only make up just 4.7 percent of the employed population, that adds up to more than the populations of Los Angeles and Chicago put together. Even for those with non-essential side hustles, it’s a response to wage stagnation, if nothing else; more is more, so work if you can get it.

Career Advice for Those Considering the Artistic Life

All of which is to say, don’t quit your day job, or if you do, don’t join a 20-person brass band.

I Was the Pillsbury Doughboy

I was a graduate student in Chicago when I lied about my height and became the Pillsbury Doughboy.

What It’s Like to Work as a Professional Frozen Food Taster

Matthew is a 24-year-old freelance illustrator and a former professional “sensory panelist” for a frozen foods company. We recently talked about his experience eating french fries and other frozen fried foods for four hours a day, three days a week over the course of eight months. “I’d come home with huge blisters in my mouth from the salt,” Matthew said. He earned $4,200.

Side Gig of the Day: Kid’s Party Clown

I am in love with this essay by Mairead Case about the clowning side hustle she did when magazine work was drying up during the recession. It is also about George Schindler’s Balloon Sculpture: An Illustrated Beginners Manual, which frankly, sounds amazing.

Be Gone, Debt!

Our friends at LearnVest has a piece by a woman who paid off $90,000 worth of debt by examining her finances and learning to cut back.

Staying At Home, But Also Hustling

Emma Johnson, a single mother, has a recent blog post arguing why we can be stay-at-home moms (or dads), because you take on some risk when you depend on a single source of income. What if your spouse falls off a cliff, or divorces you, or become unemployed?