I’m a UX Designer Making $300,000 a Year Working 3 Jobs

  • Jasmine Wilson, 28, is a UX designer from Battle Creek, Michigan, who lives in a van.
  • She works for three companies, all in Austin, Texas.
  • Here’s how she got started and how she manages her time, as told to Lauryn Haas.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

I went to Arizona State University and have two degrees — one in digital-culture arts and one in graphic information technology. I did everything from robotics to some web development and art installation.

Throughout college, I was known as a graphic designer and did a lot of work for organizations around campus. But I realized right after I graduated that wasn’t what I wanted to do.

I decided to keep learning and started my master’s at the University of Michigan for computer science. But for me, coding is boring. I would rather, instead of paying for it, just teach myself. So that’s what I did.

Right after I graduated in 2017, I decided to try something new and learn everything about product and UX design.

I was in a number of Udemy courses, read a bunch of blog posts, and watched YouTube. YouTube University probably got me my career.

I spent the whole summer learning and building out a pretty good portfolio. At the end of the summer, I applied for jobs and ended up getting a one in San Francisco at a startup — that was my first job in user-experience (UX) design. And then I just fell in love with it, and that’s what I’ve been doing since.

I worked that first job for a year, then got laid off, and now I work for three Austin startups. One is homebuying-software company, one is a trucking-logistics company, and one is in wellness marketing and loyalty. I’m a full-time employee at all three. Editor’s note: Wilson did not share her employers’ names for privacy reasons, but Insider has seen her offer letters and pay stubs and verified her employment at each.

I make about the same amount of money in each role. 

I’ve worked at larger companies, and if all of my jobs were a normal amount of work, I wouldn’t work three of them.

I’ve had the first job I work for well over a year now. It’s a very small startup. There are probably fewer than 10 of us in total, and I’m the only designer. So you can imagine that when I design a full page or a full set of pages, it takes them a while to build them out.

So since I’ve had that job, I tend to have one to two meetings a week. They don’t really ask much of me until that next week when we check in.

One of my other two jobs is very similar. I mostly have three meetings a week. And for my third job, I have maybe two to four meetings in any given week, but they’re all at the same time, every single week. So they don’t overlap. I know where to be at what time.

I can balance my jobs so well because they’re very project-based. So we have deadlines to get this done by this time.

Most projects are in two-week sprints, and as long as it’s done by then, there isn’t an issue. Other smaller things may come up in between then, and I just add those to my plate.

I’ve been living in a van since December. I realized I could travel a lot more and still get everything done, and I’ve never had an issue. And every job knows I live in a van.

woman in a hammock with a laptop attached to a van

Wilson working from her van.

Jasmine Wilson

I’m a morning person, and I’m usually on the West Coast, while my jobs are in Texas. So I work from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

Sometimes, I use my Sundays to catch up or get ahead.

This isn’t for everyone. Luckily I work at smaller startups, so I wear a lot of hats, but I also tend to be one of the few designers, if not the only one.

I’m in the same spot pretty much every day during working hours, head down and focused, and I get a lot of stuff done because I really enjoy what I do.

I think it’s important to have a work-life balance, or I’d be burnt out. I could imagine this wouldn’t work for people who are always on the phone or have more meetings throughout the day.

I didn’t explicitly say to each job I work at these 3 jobs. 

I know startups have nondisclosure agreements or noncompetes — I’m well aware, and I haven’t infringed on any of those because they’re all in completely different fields. So there’s not any competition.

At one of the jobs, we all had to meet with an officer recently because it just went public. He said in the meeting with everyone on the call, “It’s OK if you work another job, as long as it doesn’t deter you from the work that you do here.” And mine hasn’t.

Since my tweet blew up, there have been a lot of people who say working three jobs is impossible — I know it’s not normal and it’s unheard of and most people can’t do it, but it’s not impossible.

I’m very much into tech Twitter, and I follow a lot of tech people, and I’m not the only one doing it. There are people who have more jobs than me. I think we’re all making full use of the time we have stuck at home.

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