When someone asks Katherine Peik that age-old question, “So, what do you do?” Peik doesn’t have a simple answer.
Peik has two actual jobs — substitute teaching and waiting tables. To make extra money, she also sells handmade resin baubles on Etsy. It’s her “side hustle.” Peik doesn’t like to admit it, but she sometimes needs the income from that side hustle to buy groceries. At 30 years old, Peik expected at this point in her life to have a predictable stream of grocery money.
As people like Peik rely on side hustles to get by, long-term stable jobs with benefits like a pension and robust health care are becoming harder to come by. At the same time this kind of employment is disappearing, we’re being encouraged to embrace the hustle by everyone from gig companies like Lyft and Uber to pop culture figures like Jay-Z and media organizations like Forbes.