Since moving to America in July 2010, I’ve seen the naira currency rate go from N150 to N500 for $1.00. Even at the low rate of N150, I had the mindset that I didn’t want my parents to spend their hard earned naira, in dollars. I asked for a small amount for pocket money, and did my best to make up the rest to live to a standard I liked.
For some reason, it was hard for me to get a consistent student job, so here are a few odd jobs I have done to provide money for myself because, man must chop!
Hair making: America cannot come and kill me because I want fine hair. The cost of getting your hair done is HIGH! I started by practicing on my cousins. Soon enough, I became decent enough to charge for services: perming, weave in’s, braiding, twisting, crotchet, etc. I particularly HATE doing hair (especially braids) as it takes ages, and makes my lower back hurt so much.I got to charge up to $120 at some point for this, so I stuck it out. I remember taking out a weave a few years ago, and I wanted to get big braids. I called around, the cheapest I found was $80. I’m Ijebu, smh, they playing themselves! I played my good ol’ Grey’s Anatomy and sat in front of my bathroom mirror. Four hours later, I accomplished the task of braiding my hair myself.
Cooking: I’m a great cook, but it’s another thing I don’t enjoy doing. The idea of cooking for money happened when one lady tried my Ogbona and asked how much I charge. Oh, I quickly owned up to the thing (although as at that point, I’d never charged for food haha!). I did my research, and before long, I was making upwards of $80 for my bowls of Egusi, EfoRiro, Okra Soup, and our ever faithful Naija Jollof. I dabbled into the meat pie business, but the streez is plenty! Ain’t nobody got time for that, lol!
Student Assistant: My fav job! In sophomore year, I got to sit at the back, do all my homework, print my stuff for free, AND in color, while doing NOTHING but chatting with co-workers! This job was my first official ‘paycheck’ with freaking UNCLE SAM deductions! It paid $8.75/ hour, and I was content with that.I also got to rock head-wraps to ‘work’.
Selling Coconut Chips: LOOOOL!!! By far the funniest! My mom bought a CARTON of coconut chips, packed it in my suitcase and insisted I sell them! Lol! I was so confused. When I got into the gig, I really got into it, marketed these amazing Naija snacks to Americans, and got my cute cousin to provide free ad services for me.
Babysitting – This is an ever sure way to get some mullah! All you have to be is a sweet girl, and parents will offer it to you. If you want to take this up a notch, you can join sites like sitter city etc.… The first time I was a victim of a scam happened from this site though (I’ll blog about that later), you just have to be careful.
Driving kids to school – This is a little different from babysitting, as the child did not have to be watched, but just driven. I picked him up from school, and drove him to after school activities, etc. This particular family had two big dogs! God of my father, am I scared of dogs! The pay of $20/ hour pushed me to get over the fear like yesterday. It wasn’t easy…but it was worth it! Lool!
Personal Assistant: I worked for my aunt in 2011, and she paid me! She’s so sweet, Jesu bless her. On to a more realistic experience… Get your tissues out, you’ll cry for me. I’m so tempted to state this woman’s name, but I’ll hold it in. MRS DA… ok, I’ll hold it in! lol! She acted like the devil’s mother-in-law! She did so much to hurt me, but the biggest one was that she thought I was after her ugly (God forgive me) husband! She said it was forward to say good morning to him if he didn’t say it to me first. See me, see something. Anyways, I’d FaceTime my mummy and CRYYYY! Needless to say, I quit after 10 days on the job. I didn’t give her the power to use $17/ hour to destroy my self-worth.
Internships: Besides the money, internships help you discover what you want to, or don’t want to do as a career. A good internship with a fortune company also pays generously. My highest paid internship was $21.50/ hour. I have friends who made between $15 and $30 an hour. My internship lead me to know I love consulting – a field I’m still not in, but I know the plans God has for me. They are good plans to bring me to a perfect end. Thanks my sweet baby Jesus!
My Big Girl Job: Whew! This has a lot of mixed emotions! For me, it started with what felt like the sale of my mind to corporate America. Thankfully, I’m getting a nice check (or cheque lol), and really, we went through all those years of schooling for this, but work takes a lot from me, and has introduced me to a lot of things that SHOCKED me! I’ll make that another blog post.
In all the up’s and down’s, I’m thankful for my big girl job of auditing.
God asked Moses, ‘what’s in your hands?’ If you’re in a position of being broke, etc, look into your hands and pray, ‘God, please help me realize my potential.” The bible says no food for the lazy man. Regardless of what situation you find yourself in, there’s always a silver lining.
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