Second Shift: How to avoid a 9 to 5 job

Saima Huq
Saima Huq, 40, enjoys working multiple jobs where she can schedule her own hours instead of a standard 9 to 5 job.
Credit: Provided

We all know living in a city is expensive. How does the average person make it work? Our Second Shift series features people working more than one job to make ends meet. This week, meet Saima, who enjoys making her own hours and being on the go instead of working a desk job. If you want to be featured, email emily.laurence@metro.us.

Name: Saima Huq
Age: 40
Residency: Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn
Lives: Alone
Number of jobs: 4

How in the world do you have time to work four jobs?

Oddly enough, I still have free time – I just schedule it in. None of my jobs are 9 to 5; I tried that and it just wasn’t for me. I work with Columbia University’s Hip-Hop Public Health to teach fourth- through sixth graders what to do if someone is having a stroke and also how they can develop healthy habits. Part of my job is giving people surveys, so I work a lot at night when people are home to take my calls. I also do street surveys for the Bureau of Infectious Disease. I asked people what they thought of the free NYC condoms. It’s really fun and interesting!

What are your other two jobs?

Third, I am a personal trainer. I have my own clients and go to their homes. It doesn’t even feel like work because we know each other really well by now, so we talk, work out and I get paid for it. I love it. And last, I’m producing and acting in a production of “Death of a Salesman.”

Your background is in public health. How did you learn how to produce? 

It was an interest of mine, so I emailed someone who was doing it and asked him to coffee. He kind of showed me the ropes and taught me what to do. That job I definitely don’t do for the money; it’s the job where I lose money! The production opens next week, so that’s really exciting.

And you also volunteer?

Yes, I give tours at the Central Park Zoo. When I was working as a trainer in a gym, I had a lot of downtime, so I decided to volunteer. I found this opportunity on the volunteer section on Craigslist. I always wanted to work at a zoo. I grew up near Princeton, New Jersey and Brooke Shields went to Princeton and interned at a zoo. I read an article about it when I was a kid, and it stayed with me. So this was my chance!

Do you work your jobs for the money or because you want to?

Both! I do it for the money, but I’m fortunate that I like everything I do and find it interesting. I know a lot of people don’t have the luxury of even getting to consider that question. … I’ve become very good at math because I have to budget everything, but I actually was able to clear all my debts, which is something I never could do when I worked 9 to 5 jobs.

Click here to buy tickets to Saima Huq’s production of “Death of a Salesman.”

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence

 



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