I’ve always worked more than one job. In high school I taught swimming/life guarded and worked at the Hallmark store on the weekends. In college I had a work study job, worked the hockey games, bar-tended the campus pub, and did random odd jobs for my boss throughout the year.
Image Credit: wired.com
I thought nothing of getting a second job while working a full time job. I thought it would be easy since I had evenings free and didn’t have to deal with weird class schedules or homework. The extra money was nice too since I was trying to make a big dent in my student loans before I moved out.
The first attempt was at a clothing retail store. I know the manager so I was able to get the hours I wanted. It was only a 4 hour shift so I didn’t get a break and the work was really really boring. There was also a lot of drama and honestly, that was the most exhausting part. The pay wasn’t great and when they suggested cutting my hours I took it as a sign that I should put in my 2 weeks.
Time on payroll: 1 month, 2 weeks
The second attempt was off of craigslist. I’ll preface the story with that because there’s always a good story when you start with “So I found this ____ on craigslist.” The job was doing SEO work for a local computer repair store. They needed someone to clean up their site, and help their rankings. The job had the potential to become full time since the store wanted to start offering SEO services to their customers. I was so excited. I was basically a consultant for them and it was a huge opportunity for me. The pay was great and I had a ton of control over their site and blog. But…
The ‘office’ was rough. The company is run by a “bro.” I wasn’t always comfortable or able to be productive at the store. He wouldn’t let me work remotely so I had to go to the office three nights a week and deal with him and his friends talking about their weekend shenanigans It was tiring but I was making (at least I thought I was) a lot of progress. Each day I would edit pages on his site, and come up with a plan to help the company rank for local searches. The site had been hit hard by some of the recent Google updates and he had participated in some sketchy link schemes.
The owner wanted me to get more links (which is what got him in trouble in the first place) and not the right way. He was growing impatient and frustrated. He gave me a “what’s my ROI for you?” speech. I worked harder, I worked from home (not being paid) and I would write him detailed reports, with supporting articles, on what I had done, how it would help, and where we need to focus. But it always came back to “we need to rank for a keyword.”
And then one day it became clear what his expectations were. He told me that the last SEO girl created an Avatar named “Miss Sexy Boobs” and flirted with webmasters to get links. I told him I wasn’t going to participate in manipulative or Black Hat practices. So I quit. It sucked because I couldn’t accept credit for any of the work I had done for his site or use him as a reference.
Time on the payroll: 1 month
The bright side – I learned a lot. I was able to play around with SEO Tools, back-end website CMS, and create content for a website. Most importantly, I learned that I shouldn’t compromise my personal ethics for money and I have to power to say no.
So I’m back to square one. Honestly, I could live without the second job. I would be perfectly happy working one full time job and using my free time to rock climb, dance, and volunteer. But since this blog is about being independent and broke, that would be too easy 🙂