Khristian Andrews, left, works a 9-to-5 corporate job while moonlighting for grocery delivery apps to pay down bills. Caroline Sanders, right, juggles a full-time job and a prominent side hustle as a Washtenaw County Commissioner.
Photos courtesy of Khristian Andrews and Caroline Sanders
Retail. Food. Consulting. Scientific and technology services.
Many alternative career paths sprang up in 2020 to meet new needs that the pandemic subsequently created as trailblazing entrepreneurs and professionals took chances while working (or navigating employment loss) last year and even now.
Bloomberg reported that the pandemic made people more adaptable and agile in incorporating new technological components into their job duties, too. Working from home (for some population segments) allowed many Americans – and those abroad – to pick up a side hustle or two or create a new career path for themselves altogether.
The article noted that more job growth was visible in the fields of retail, food and science and technology services in Texas, Georgia and Florida compared to New York and California.
Bloomberg also noted that the number of new business applications from the U.S. Census is up 38 percent compared to 2019.
Even locally, 2020 was dubbed the year of the entrepreneur – and it still is, especially as Black women represent 42 percent of new women-owned businesses—three times their size of the female population—and 36 percent of all Black-owned businesses, according to a Forbes article. Even those taking on already-created jobs are still shining and navigating amidst economic uncertainties.
Moonlighting on Her Terms
Redford resident Khristian Andrews, who works for a local real estate investment firm, decided to take on a side hustle during the pandemic to earn extra income for herself.
As a mother to a college student, Andrews said taking a side job working for grocery delivery companies (Shipt and Instacart) has allowed her the financial gains she needed to keep her stream of income going.
“When the pandemic started I did it because I had some things I wanted to pay down and I had a lot of free time,” she said, adding that doing the delivery jobs allowed her to have flexibility with her work schedule and primary 9-to-5 job. “I can make my own hours and that was very important to have the freedom to come and go.”
CNBC reported that millions of Americans like Andrews started a side hustle to supplement their income.
Forbes reported that everything from freelance writing and online music teaching to social media management and even food delivery has grown in popularity for side job options. Forbes added that even driving for Uber can be a lucrative side hustle, too, earning upwards of $500 a month.
Andrews said that while she can work from home with her primary job, she chooses to go to the office because she can get more done as opposed to when she is at home. When she figuratively clocks out, she gets to work on her other jobs and works on the weekends, too.
“I never stopped working,” she said, adding that she uses a physical calendar to keep up with her work and coin-making ventures. “I never had a break, but I saw an opportunity to really generate money coming in and pay off some debt.”
Prepared to Pivot
Caroline Sanders, a Washtenaw County Commissioner – District 4 representing Pittsfield Charter Township, held her own, too, as during the pandemic she was furloughed for one day a week for several months and was able to run for public office during the pandemic — all while maintaining her full-time job.
“My side job is as a Washtenaw County Commissioner,” she told the Michigan Chronicle. “In my primary position, I serve as the interim, assistant director of community relations and engagement for a Michigan public university.”
Sanders, who still works remotely (and was practically working remotely before the pandemic), did return to the office in September as needed.
Sanders also noted that she found that her side job is in reality is a full-time job being done on a part-time basis.
“There are some areas that could use greater attention,” she said of her work, adding that she has a lot of responsibilities including mandatory meetings, responding to constituents and more.
Sanders added that with the right intentions juggling multiple responsibilities can be done all while complementing one’s full-time job.
“Capitalize on the increased exposure that you receive as your career options expand by promoting your skills, education and talents. Recognize and welcome the new opportunities and connections that you become acquainted with,” Sanders said.
She added that while the COVID-19 pandemic had “many devasting results” overall, it has also opened a “plethora of opportunities” for individuals who were forced to pivot.
“I was blessed to be a person who was unintentionally prepared to pivot,” Sanders said.