April 25, 2016

Teacher makes more with videographer side job

It’s a shame teachers get paid as little as they do considering the impact they have on our lives.  Here’s a story about a teacher in Tanzania who makes more money in a week working a side job as a videographer than his monthly salary as a teacher –

From The Citizen

Moonlighting: Are you doing it the right way?

Tuesday, 03 April 2012 10:05
Medics are among the many professionals who are now surviving on more than one job due to poor wages. Experts advise that it is important to build enough space into one’s schedule to avoid burnt out. PHOTO | FILE

By Salome Gregory, Success Reporter
As the cost of living bites, an increasing number of workers are looking beyond their official workstations to eke out a decent life. Here comes moonlighting, the practice of holding a secondary in addition to one’s main job.Many are now familiar with the term moonlighting, which also refers to a situation where one has a job not reported to the tax authorities.

There was a time when moonlighting was for under employed workers, and the severely cash strapped. Today, the ‘culprits’ are many. And they include professionals, who have since a few years ago increasingly joined the bandwagon of the cash-strapped, ‘broke-soon-after-pay’.

In all fairness, supplementing one’s income in these hard economic times is not such a bad idea, a little wonder why the majority of Tanzanian workers, including managers, are in for it. But the question comes, are you doing it the right way?

Success talks to legal experts and human resources manager, who share their opinions on the issue that is now central to many people’s careers. But before that, let us see how moonlighting works with Jonathan Aidan, a secondary school teacher.

The 43-year-old is juggling the chalkboard with the video camera. According to his school timetable, he is supposed to teach more than 10 periods per week.

This makes his schedule tight since his ‘off-the-record’ job demands that he works during weekdays as well. So, this teacher-cum-videographer habitually skips his classes to shoot various events, including birthdays, anniversaries, send off parties, kitchen parties and weddings.

In the end, giving excuses at school has become a part and parcel of life for Jonathan. “Sometimes to fix the situation, I exchange my periods with other teachers and so that I can do my other job,” he says.

Admittedly, like many moonlighters, Jonathan is trapped between a rock and hard surface. There is too much stress in what he does – juggling jobs. But the rewards are too lucrative to be ignored.

This teacher pockets an average of Sh200, 000 per week through shooting videos. Ironically, he earns a meagre take-home of not more than Sh250,000 per month through teaching.

“What is taking too much of my time is editing the videos before I hand them over to my clients. I also have to deal with a lot of marking for my students,” says Jonathan.

He knows that without his second job, he would not be able to eat the kind of food he is eating right now, pay school fees for his two children and pay rent.

So, the tendency now is to invest more of his quality time in video making because that is what pays him the most. This compromises his school work in that lesson plans are not done, exams are not set in time, and when he does any work for his students, it will always be a crash programme.

“As a teacher I am supposed to be reading a lot to broaden my understanding and give my students more but this is not happening,” Jonathan confesses.

Sounds like a familiar story? Yes, it is. Many will also confess that it is the reason they are always on a collision course with their supervisors. But what does the law say?

Frank Mwalongo, managing partner with Appex Attorneys Advocates says the labour law allows one to have even more than three jobs. But he quickly explains that one must ensure that he or she fulfills the needs of the employer according to the contract.

He says: “The Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) has actually categorised jobs into two groups, namely secondary jobs and primary jobs. This means that a second job is legally recognised.”

But Mwalongo notes that the challenge is for the tax collectors to deduct taxes from all incomes from everyone because it is hard to trace all moonlighters since their jobs are mostly informal.

Earnings are tax-free
This also explains the allure of moonlighting – the earnings in most cases are tax-free!
However, the legal expert adds that not informal jobs are regarded as moonlighting. He gives an example of consultancy work that lasts for not more than a month.

He also advises that the best way to do moonlighting without setting yourself up for a major showdown with your employer is to avoid conflict of interest.

Conflict of interest is a situation in which a person has a duty to more than one person or organisation, but cannot do justice to the actual or potentially adverse interests of both parties.

For example, a journalist cannot write for two or three competing newspapers, unless he or she is a freelancer. An attorney, an accountant, a business adviser or realtor cannot represent two parties in a dispute and must avoid even the appearance of conflict. In addition, he or she may not join with a client in business without making full disclosure of his or her potential conflicts.

A human resources expert, Prisca Pancras, says moonlighting is usually considered illegal, but many people still do it for several reasons.

“If you really should moonlight out of necessity, my advice is that pick an unrelated field to the business your employer is involved in,” says Prisca, who is the HR manager with the Kilosa District Council.

This, she says, reduces the risk of conflict of interest. A nurse who does websites and a marketing professional, who teaches music, are examples of side jobs that are not prone to conflict.

“But the first thing one has to do is to check with the HR of the company you work for, because many companies have moonlighting policies. In case they don’t, it’s wise to see if your second job might result in a conflict,” she says.

Finigan wa Simbeye, a journalist, also believes there is a way to make moonlighting work for all parties affected.

“There are now too many needs for families and no one can survive without moonlighting. The cost of living is increasing day by day, that is why we are looking for side jobs to raise our families,” he says, adding, “But it is important to make sure you balance your responsibilities and meet deadlines for both jobs.”

Mbago Urio, a paediatrist with a public hospital, agrees. The doctor works from 7 am to 4 pm at his main workplace, and thereafter attends to patients at a private hospital.

“It is not a simple job because you tend to spend too many hours working and too little time with family,” he says.
With his tight schedule at both hospitals, sometimes it is difficult picking up calls or texting.

    

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About Mitch Jensen

Hello! I love to learn how people make their money, whether it's out in the offline world or through various online sources. SideJobIdeas.com was created to consolidate these ideas, pass them on, and provide inspiration. Hope you find some sort of inspiration here, thanks for visiting!

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