By Cindy Krischer Goodman
At 4 p.m. on Thursdays, Jodi Laurence dashes from her law office to take command of a classroom. For most of the 7.3 million Americans who work a second job, the motivation is simple: extra money in their pocket. But as the school year kicks in, a growing number of professionals like Laurence juggle side gigs as teachers to gain less obvious rewards.
Some people take on the two-job life to get back on a college campus or because they enjoy the work. Others discover multiple advantages in sacrificing their free time to fit teaching into their work/life balance.
A side hustle as a teacher actually helps some professionals excel further at their full-time jobs. Laurence, a veteran health care attorney with her own firm, has begun her first semester teaching health law the University of Miami School of Law.
An empty-nester, Laurence thought teaching one night a week would be fun, not expecting the additional payoff she has experienced. “It was something I always wanted to do and I love it,” she said. Now, as she prepares weekly lessons, she researches the newest health law cases and prepares to answer students’ questions. “I have to be expert every week on an area within health law to teach it,” she said. “It’s keeping me on my toes and at the top of my game. I am learning as well.”
Others find that by teaching something they are passionate about, they are happier in all aspects of life. Jorge Rey, director of information security and compliance at accounting firm Kaufman Rossin, becomes energized when he steps into a classroom. He explained this benefit to his wife when he sought her support this summer for teaching a graduate class on Saturdays in privacy, data and security, at Florida International University’s Chapman Graduate School of Business. Rey said balancing work, his two children and a job as an adjunct required late nights preparing lessons and giving up weekend family time. However, on Saturday when he returned home midday, he was in an upbeat, happy mood: “I enjoy spending a couple hours a week sharing my knowledge.”