7 Gigs I did growing up

June 21, 2020

7 Gigs I did from age 12 to 28, excluding software engineering jobs:

  1. Girl guide cookies: $200+ sales. I was 12 years old. The biggest payday was selling in front of Safeway with another Girl Guide. She became the top seller and I was #2. I was surprised how adults didn’t buy cookies to consume; they bought to support the cause
  2. Paper route: <$100. I took over someone else’s route for two months. I remember the smell of printed ads as I shoved them into the newspaper and the relaxation of an afternoon stroll in the nearby neighborhood. Too bad the local papers are declining; it was a great starter job
  3. Babysitting and tutoring: I tried each just once, taking care of a neighbor’s two children during one evening and making art with another neighbor’s son. Both opportunities were unsolicited; the neighbors knew I was around, and it also helped the building’s most advertised babysitter was 11 years old. Looking back I could have taken the opportunity to expand the business during my college years
  4. Being a cashier at a restaurant: $800 overall for part-time summer work, $9/hour. I was hungry at the restaurant; we were allowed unlimited soda and one burger every four hours. I avoided the soda and was too busy to enjoy the burger
  5. Bagpiper at a funeral: $250/hour. I played bagpipes for 7 years and performed at a funeral home. It was gratifying to set my rate and get it
  6. Commissioned muralist: I was commissioned for $500 by my former elementary school. The painting was appropriate for all ages, set against a backdrop of van Gogh’s Starry Night. This is the only time I was paid for my art; I’ve shown my art at curated galleries without pay
  7. Sold kitchen knives: >$2000 revenue, <$650 take home. As my first gig in university, I rode buses to sell knives to high school teachers. I felt high whenever I made a sale :)
  8. Poshmark: $430 take home. Being paid to declutter feels great, especially since Goodwill is closed due to the pandemic. This also taught me to avoid buying more clothes; they are nontrivial to unload

I love doing self-directed work. Looking forward to turning more gigs into businesses.