Why work one job when you can secretly work two? (Birch Bark #80)


The Big Link

These People Who Work From Home Have a Secret: They Have Two Jobs

A small, dedicated group of white-collar workers, in industries from tech to banking to insurance, say they have found a way to double their pay: Work two full-time remote jobs, don’t tell anyone and, for the most part, don’t do too much work, either.

This story floored me at first, but then I realized it’s actually not that much different from what I do. I’ll say up front that I give my day-job as much effort as I possibly could, and I’m good at it too. That said, working from home has given me the ability to launch this newsletter (about 1-3 hours work per week), start a YouTube channel (A Better Computer, 5-10 hours per week), and do regular freelance writing and video production (sporadic).

While none of these are full time gigs, and they’re entirely solo affairs so I can back off them when needed without impacting anyone, they are still time sucks that I’m only able to do now because I work from home. No commute and less time getting “dressed up” for the office gain so much time for me, and the ability to quickly task switch to something for like 5 minutes I need to do for the YouTube channel in the middle of the day is way easier in the privacy of my home office as well.

I also really resonated with this piece in The Atlantic:

But the anti-remote crowd seems to believe that the responsibility of a 9-to-5 employee isn’t simply the work but the appearance, optics, and ceremony of the work.

The “ceremony of the work” hit me hard, and I totally agree. Having people sit in an office all day certainly looks like work, but how much of that time is actually spent moving things forward? Some of it is, and some people work better in an office all day, but it’s far from universal, and lots of us can do work better when we have the “ceremony of the work” ripped away and we can work more how we please.

The Quickies


I love videos that make me look at things I love in a more critical light (not negative, mind you, just from a different perspective).

If you ever wanted to see what it’s like to skydive into a football stadium, but is about as close as you can get without doing it yourself.

Engineers always blow me away.

Hank Green with 16 minutes on the numerous ways we can address climate change. It’s a thoughtful look at the avenues available to us, including considerations on how to get political groups who may not be inclined to want to do anything on board.