If you’re like me, you have what my father jokingly refers to as, “champagne taste on a beer budget.” When I got to DC, my paltry entry-level staffer salary was not enough to sustain my lifestyle (which included “glamorous” things like paying rent and eating Lean Cuisines), so I did what any self-respecting 20-something had to do in that situation – I asked my parents for money! When they said no I did the next best thing – I got myself a part time job.
Part time jobs in DC usually fit into one of three main categories – they pay well, they help your career along, or they’re something that keeps you sane. Here are some tips on places to look for those jobs and the advantages of each one.
- They pay well – If you want a part time job that pays well, you’re likely going to have to possess a highly technical skill or be willing to do some heavy lifting. There are plenty of folks who know how to do something, and most-likely do it well, but don’t want to do it as a career. The benefit here is you can spend less time supplementing your income.
- Graphic Design
- HTML coding
- Moving Companies
- They help your career – Are you biding time at a non-profit and trying to figure out how to break into a Hill job? Go get a job as a bartender or wait staff at Cap Lounge or Bullfeathers. Do you want to get a job in the conservative or liberty movement? Go snag a job at O’Sullivans in Clarendon and request to work Tuesday nights. It is 100% possible to expand your network while getting paid and I highly recommend doing it. I know several people who got hired to a new position simply because they made a smart connection while working at a bar or being paid $20 to pass out stuffed mushrooms at a private fundraiser.
- Bars/restaurants frequented by industry employees
- Organizations and businesses needing extra help after hours
- Event staff for fundraisers
- Political call centers
- They keep you sane – Sometimes making extra money should just be fun. I’ve worked at a store just to get an employee discount off merchandise and I’ve worked at a frozen custard shop because I wanted to meet nice people in a cool neighborhood. I have a friend who umpires Little League games. Stress-relieving jobs are like therapy sessions that pay you at the end.
- Your favorite retail store (DISCOUNTS!)
- Babysitting or dog-sitting
As fiscal conservatives we need to make sure we’re practicing what we preach. The bottom line is if you need the extra cash, you can find a part time job that will benefit you. And if you don’t need the money, sometimes a part time job can be a way to blow off steam, a way to meet new people, or your first step toward a new career.
Patti Simpson is director of political and career services at the Leadership Institute.