Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Second job

I'm spending some time today trying to find another way to make money. I've looked into plasma donation a bit (scary, since I hated giving blood and it's in a skeezy part of town), teaching (more on that later), being a subject for clinical trials (none around here need healthy volunteers), and other general work.

The issue is that I need to make decent money on either a very flexible schedule or a very set evening/weekend schedule. I was going to get a regular job, but between only making minimum-wage and trying to work out the scheduling, that doesn't seem realistic. If I'm only going to bring home $20 or $30 a week after taxes for two weekend or evening shifts, it's not worth it.

I know that sounds callous, but I need to make at least $10 an hour after taxes for it to really be worth it. Between a full-time job and a baby, I've got to get more bang for my buck. I mean, I do have a college degree and seven years postgraduate education. I can hopefully qualify for something better than McDonald's (and I can knock that because I work at McDonald's for a year in high school).

I thought about going back to waitressing, which pays well for good shifts. And the shifts that pay well are the ones I could do--evenings and weekends. Trouble is, most senior waitstaff fight for those shifts. I think I'd have a hard time getting a good shift right away. And I'd only be able to work very specific hours, which also makes it hard.

I also thought about teaching. Kaplan doesn't have any positions available at the moment. I could look into Princeton review, but it's been 7 years+ since I took the MCAT, so I don't know if they'd still hire me with so many other, less-removed medical students interested in teaching. I did well on my SATs and ACTs, but I took those over 10 years ago. So that might be a stretch too.

While searching for part-time teaching jobs, I did see that my college alma mater is looking for a lab coordinator for the chemistry department. My old advisor is actually the one doing the search. Since I'm not going back to med school until next summer, if there was any way I could do the lab coordinator job while finishing my PhD, I'd jump at it. But I don't think my PhD department would take that well--there was a similar issue with someone teaching at another university while still a graduate student, and all hell broke loose. Still, I may email my old advisor and see if she has any other suggestions. At least a teaching job would add to my resume.

Tim was thinking about asking around the local hardware stores to see if his construction experience could get him a decent position. Trouble is, again, scheduling. And he is still taking evening classes on top of working full time. Still, if he could find a place that would just let him work one weekend shift, it might not be all bad. As long as it isn't a conflict of interest with his current job.

Really, plasma donation is the best in theory. $70 a week for two brief stints, no schedule, no taking work home with you. But in reality, there is more to it than that. I'm keeping it on the list for now anyway.

I'm going to do a little more looking around. I may contact Princeton Review and my old college and see what's going on. And I'll keep looking at ads. At this point, I would be open to suggestions!


  1. Cousin Kara7:27 AM

    Hey Bridgette! Sophie is so cute! About your second job...What about tutoring? School is about one month out and a lot of kids need refreshed for their next year in school. You could put an add in a paper for a science tutor (or whatever else you may be interested in). My friend Kevin did that one summer and made great money so he continued to do it on the side once summer ended. Plus the hours can be as flexible as you need them to be. And you can either go to someone's home, a coffee shop or library, or you could do it out of your own home. Just thought I would share!

  2. Hey Bridge (and by proxy, Tim), Jason here. If Tim's interested in PT work, I'm sure that his construction experience would easily land him a job at Home Depot or Lowes or a Do-It-Best center. Granted, he'd be better off working as a rep at a place like ABC Supply, Willoughby Supply, Allied Building Materials (etc...), but the bigger, REAL construction supply houses generally only keep banker's hours (which he's already devoted to his FT job). Carter Lumber is similar in that regard. Don't know about 84 lumber, but last I checked there aren't many of those left in the area anyway.

    I don't think that PT, entry level retail pay is going to be a very profitable option, as those places are loathe to pay more than maybe $9 an hour to start, but there are some perks that can offset the use of time. There are all sorts of "partnership discounts" available with The Home Depot (the big one is cell phone service--they work with AT&T and Verizon for sure, and they might be in with Sprint/Nextel too). I know Lowes offers some employee discounts in the store, not sure about how they handle their 3rd party benefits. Rest assured though, consumer retail home improvement stores are in desperate need of presentable people that have genuine construction experience, even if only to help gradually educate their coworkers.

    Have you given any thought to running a small eBay-type business for some extra money? Garage sale season is at its midpoint this year, and a few hours of selective shopping, photo taking, and basic HTML coding can generally turn a consistent 3-5% return on your cash investment--the question is usually how much time & effort (and of course cash) do you want to put into the venture. I'd still be running my eBay stuff, were it not for the issues related to secondary income and our pending Ch.7. Trust me in that, once we've got our case in the system, I'll be back at it with full vigor.

    Just a few ideas, I'm sure I'll catch up with you more about these at the grad party, or on the phone, but at least wanted to make a comment on your blog, it's been a while.