Why I Always Have Two Jobs

Black people literally have to work twice as hard to get half as much

Jewel Burks
ZORA

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Black woman with serious expression working on her laptop, looking out the window.
Photo: Maskot/Getty Images

A version of this story originally appeared on the Medium blog, Capital Innovations @ Collab Capital.

Since I’ve been able to work, I’ve worked multiple jobs. During summers growing up, I worked in the businesses started by my grandparents in Mobile, AL and passed down to my father and his siblings. You could find me doing everything from working the register at their BP gas station to preparing sandwiches in my father’s Subway. When I went to college, despite having a full ride academic scholarship at Howard University, I took full advantage of work study opportunities — working “security” in the evenings at the School of Business and working in the afternoons as a part-time instructor at MS², Howard’s on campus Middle School for Math and Science. Even as I worked my first full-time job at Google, I moonlighted as a fashion model, signed to the now defunct, San Francisco based, City Model Management, and doing runway shows and local advertisements on the evenings and weekends to bring in an extra thousand dollars per month.

Fear of being stuck in a generational cycle of debt and financial insecurity or not having enough money to pursue my dreams has always been a driving force in my life and decisions.

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Jewel Burks
ZORA
Writer for

saved by grace • partner at @collab_capital • Head of @googlestartups , U.S. • founder @Partpic (acq. by @Amazon ) • @howardu alumna • opinions are mine