How Many Part-time Jobs…

Does it take to replace one full time job?  More than I have currently! This month I have the following jobs – eBay consultant, crafts-person, editor, data collection assistant and archaeologist (yes, my advertising blitz of October has paid off in a small survey job which I completely underbid).  Each pays on a different scale (commission, per sale, per page, per hour…) and the money comes in fairly small amounts at irregular intervals.  So far my income in December – based on known jobs – will be around $700.  Hopefully there will be a few more sales and projects in the 2nd half of the month.  I have sold one cat bed from my Etsy shop and have another special order and a couple more beds almost complete and ready to list before the Christmas shopping period ends.  The eBay job looks like it will go away soon as my friend is going out of business (for real this time as the landlord has rented her warehouse to someone else in January).  I will be listing like crazy until then so check out the link on the blog – we have some nice collectible porcelain figurines listed currently.

But enough about the minutia of the jobs.  I want to tell you the ways in which doing 4 or 5 different small part-time jobs differs from the nice full-time jobs I’ve had in the past!  Well, obviously there’s no health insurance or guaranteed paycheck to begin with.  There are too many bosses.  There’s no stability as the jobs are either one offs (British slang – either I remember it from my years doing fieldwork in England or it’s from the British TV shows I’m watching on Netflix while knitting) or sales waiting to happen.  Either way there’s just no way to plan or, more importantly, budget.  When I get a payment for a cat bed I don’t know if I should tuck it under my mattress to pay rent or go ahead and put gas in the car!

And because I’m doing so many different things to make money my jobs sometimes collide with one another or overlap in ways that require me to do a bit of this and then a bit of that – a true juggling act. I’m pretty sure you can’t do anything well (or at least not as well as if you just concentrated on one thing) when you have multiple demands for multiple people. I don’t dare say no to anything so I stay up late, very late, most nights as I don’t feel like I can take a break from eBay listings or cat bed knitting.  My work doesn’t stay nicely constrained to an office and the hours of 8 to 5 which makes it hard to separate it from my family time.  When my daughter wants to have a private chat at 7 pm and I’m busy writing eBay descriptions or editing an article she feels ignored and I feel pressured.

 Although I’m very happy to be making some headway in my varied income schemes, and we are keeping our heads above water, it’s still a very tenuous way to live and it’s stressful! Possibly it would be easier if I felt one ‘career’ would pan out and I could just concentrate on it (archaeology, editing..) but so far there’s no clear winner in the group!

I had a brief period of euphoria when a local environmental firm to which I had applied phoned me last week to say they would like for me to come in for an interview.  It was brief because the next day they called back and said they were ‘rethinking their hiring strategy’ and weren’t sure they were ready to fill the position after all. So in the meantime I soldier on saying yes to everyone (except the kids who mostly hear ‘not now, Mommy needs to work’), feeling a bit frazzled but glad that we are getting by.

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11 Responses to How Many Part-time Jobs…

  1. Sandra J says:

    Are you doing okay? We haven’t heard from you for quite a while!

  2. Jynet says:

    The kids will understand.

    My daughter’s childhood was filled with “not now, mommy is studying” and “not now, mommy is working”. I didn’t graduate until she was 10, and during those ten years I was always in at LEAST one (often 4 or 5) courses, AND working fulltime with overtime, AND I was a single mom.

    She’s 17 now, and we have the best relationship, and she tells her friends how proud of me she is and how much she loves me for getting us through all those low income years.

    With a bit of perspective the kids will come to understand that you were caring for them the best you could, and love you for it. Give yourself a break.

  3. Linda P. says:

    My daughter just told me about a site which is matching up needs with donations. It’s modgblog with the usual .com. I didn’t want to type in the entire address in case bots were scanning, picking up email addresses. I hope this helps.

    And congratulations on the job writing blog posts for a commercial blog. Also, a site for education-related leads can be found at educationwriting at blogspot dot com.

  4. Rona says:

    I’ve used your amazon link I was a bit upset because I forgot the other day when i did a pretty hefty offer, using my swagbuck amazon cards. 🙁 They have a site called calyp where you share up to 8 ads a day and when you get clicks you make money between 10 and 30 cents I beleive. I just started the day before yesterday and im already up to 12.35. Maybe that is something that would work for you and takes very minimal effort and we could all help you by clicking daily.

  5. Brenda says:

    You are so creative and I hope that these jobs work out. There are lots of things on etsy that would be easy and cheap to make, but you could sell for a good profit…I’ve bought a number of things on etsy. If you need some ideas, email me….I am always surfing etsy and pinterest.

  6. Becky Riv says:

    I work 6 days a week, doing cleaning, in home childcare, out of home babysitting, writting letters from Santa, selling stuff, etc., etc. It is very stressful because it is not steady, I work like 60 hours a week, and am all over the place, and I still make only about $200 a week. It is crazy.

    But I am so grateful that we are still surviving. We will only be about $2,000 in debt by the end of the month (for the year, except for our mortgage.) But all our utilities are current.

    But I did make a boundary, I do not work on Sundays. We do church and spend time with family. And I sleep 7-9 hours a night. This two things help me keep my sanity.

  7. Sheila says:

    I know you are super busy. Please be careful and get your rest. The little ones don’t need mom to be sick and run down. I know putting food on the table and a roof over their head is a priority, but getting sick only will add to your worries.
    Hint: My grandpa used to take a little nap in his recliner. He called it taking a “5.” I think it was more like 30 but as a night shift worker I am proof that naps help.
    PS * I saw Santa: He said you were a good Mommy and you are getting a vacuum for Christmas.

  8. Rosa says:

    It is really hard, and you’re hustling like crazy. I really admire it – I facebooked your cat bed page & I hope you pick up a sale from it. Just hold on as best you can, okay? You’ve got a lot of people wishing you the best.

    • boxcarkids says:

      It’s funny – none of the jobs are ‘hard’ (well maybe editing the mathematics paper 🙂 and I’m kind of pleased with myself for having so many different marketable talents. I would say the hard part for me is the lack of control- not knowing what sort of work is coming or how much money it will bring in. I guess it’s going to be a lesson in being flexible!

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