The Things We Do For Cash

It’s finally official! As of last Friday, I am no longer employed! I will say, leaving a job when you are a remote employee is kind of…well…disappointing. I got a nice card in the mail but there was no farewell party, no cupcake toast in my honor. The same folks who forgot I was there when I was working, also forgot to say goodbye. But it’s all good. I realized as I was typing my “catch you on the next one” email to my coworkers – I don’t really know them either! The team that I started with started leaving last year and I was the lone holdout.

When I woke up on Monday morning (my first day of freedom), I had coffee, read for an hour, and opened my laptop. I may have left my job, but I didn’t opt out of work completely. I mean, I still have to pay for Netflix and all…so I got busy.

Truthfully, it’s been a pretty busy month. Kind of chaotic, really. I didn’t exactly coast out of my regular job. I was writing fast and furiously up until 10 AM of my last day there, and all the while I was lining up new freelance writing contracts and a couple of side gigs. I just didn’t expect to land so many, all at once! But…abundance is a problem I’m happy to have, because in the world of gig work, abundance itself can be a short-term contract.

So, what did this chaos look like exactly? Well, let me tell you…

  • We earned $260 from approximately 12 hours of retail merchandising through Easy Shift, Field Agent, and Retail Merchandising Services, Inc. (RMS). Easy Shift and Field Agent are phone apps, with jobs often taking less than 10 minutes to complete. We mostly took jobs at the shopping center next door, where we could combine a few minutes of work with a nice walk. RMS is a dedicated merchandising gig at Target. I will be getting 4-5 hours a week from them and the work is fairly straightforward – straighten reading glasses, restock a 4-foot section of toys, count Rand McNally atlases, etc. It’s something that can easily be done in a morning, followed by a picnic lunch in the park.
  • We earned $280 from writing a capital campaign grant for one of my nonprofit clients.
  • We earned $20 (and a jar of peach butter) for checking in on the neighbor’s cats while she was away for the weekend.
  • We earned $282 counting houses. Sometimes really cool gigs just appear out of nowhere and this was one we couldn’t pass up. We spent one Wednesday and one Saturday driving around new subdivisions counting the number of houses under construction. Not including our stops for a picnic lunch and a visit to the organic grocer while we were out, we spent about 14 hours on this gig. And it was something we got to do together, which made it even more fun. This is one that we’ll be doing quarterly going forward. (The company is called Hanley-Wood/Metrostudy in case you’re interested to see if they have this gig in your area.)

And though, I haven’t clocked any billable hours yet, I also started contracting with a nonprofit in California.

If you add all this side-hustling up, you’ll get a grand total of $842 – or as some of the more pessimistic folks in my family like to point out, not even enough to cover our rent.

Oh, negative people, I have no space for you these days!

We may be canoeing against the current here, but negative thinking can sink a ship faster than hitting an iceberg. (I’m not sure if that’s a mixed metaphor, but I like it, so I’m leaving it 😊)

We opted to be proactive this month, which led to a lot of small money-making opportunities all at once. And for that, I will be nothing but grateful. Who cares if it doesn’t meet someone else’s ideal! We had fun. We feel free. We are happy. And isn’t that the real goal anyway?