I’ve worked (on the books) since I was 15 years old. Before that, I waitressed and bar backed for our family’s catering company. I grew accustomed to having my own money very early, and it instilled a sense of independence from a young age. Throughout high school I worked at least two jobs at all times. When I got to college, I did the same, and even after becoming an RA, I worked at least 20-30 hours a week (way more than I was contractually supposed to be working).
Grad school didn’t allow me time to do anything other than work for the university and do school work, but when I started my first professional position a little over a year ago, I found I had LOTS of free time. I’ve always worked in food service and liquor sales in some capacity, so I began looking for extra work in that area. I realized quickly that lots of places aren’t going to hire someone with an RD’s availability. Could you imagine a manager’s reaction to the following: “Yes, my availability is after 4:30 PM Monday-Friday, except Mondays and Tuesdays when I need to be back for 8:00 PM meetings…oh and every 5th week I need the entire week off to be on call. When can I start?” And as much as I wanted to get back into liquor sales and promotion—think the nice ladies at the liquor store on Friday evenings giving out samples—a part of me felt like that would work until my first underage student came in and things got really awkward.
Needless to say, I needed to step out of my comfort zone. At a Mary Kay party in March I was jazzed to get some new products and kind of brushed off the part of the party where you’re “sold” on becoming a consultant. It wasn’t until the host mentioned consulting in the context of a second job that I really started listening. I bought my kit shortly after that party, and in my first weekend of parties sold almost $1,000 in product. I’m by no means a top consultant, and I haven’t started building a team of women underneath me, but the extra income from Mary Kay allowed me to travel this summer without too much stress on my bank account. As we move into the fall semester, I look forward to paying down student loans with the additional cash.
I don’t know how much Mary Kay makes me a better #sapro, but it has taught me about taking some time for me. That probably sounds ridiculous because it’s all about pampering other people, but if I have a 5:30 PM appointment, I have to leave the office on time to get there. Am I ever going to become a pink Cadillac driving Mary Kay consultant? Nah, I don’t think that’s in the cards for me, but with my new found free time, loans that are no longer in deferment, and a want to connect with people outside of work, Mary Kay has played a large role in my experience as a new professional. And hey…who doesn’t love a little pampering now and then?
This post is part of our #SAsidehustles series, which focuses on the SA pros with a second passion. These Student Affairs Professionals transition their mental and physical energy into a project that acts as both an emotional release and some level of supplemental income. From Etsy shops to horse braiding, these stories are bound to make you want to find your “by night” side hustle. For more information, check out the intro post by Tom Krieglstein. Be sure to read the other posts in this series too!