Is there a word for something that's between a "job" and a "hobby"? It's a phenomenon you'll sometimes see among people who don't need to work, but for whatever reason choose to be employed. Their job's characteristics include several of these characteristics:
- Very flexible work hours
- Low stress
- Little or no metrics for determining success
- Little or no involvement of a supervisor/boss
- Modest pay
The people I see who have these types of "jobs" generally have wealth from some other source (nearing retirement, rich parents, rich spouse, etc). Their financial picture probably wouldn't change significantly if they suddenly quit. So they've got reasons for working that are non-financial. Whatever you'd call their gig, it'd be inaccurate to call it a "hobby", because it's not enjoyable enough, and it generates a non-trivial (albeit modest) amount of income. Yet because of its very undemanding and flexible nature, I think it's unfair to call it a full-fledged job. And there's nothing wrong with these types of "jobs", but it's really frustrating when people start comparing them with real jobs that people have to work because they need an income. It'd be like an 18th century "gentleman farmer" comparing himself to a "normal" farmer.
Yesterday, I heard a mother who works part time in her dad's prosperous business compare her job to a single parent working 50+ hours in a diner and as a maid. She said,
"We both have jobs, so we both know the challenges of balancing work and kids".
"No, the waitress has a job; You have a ______".
But what's the word to use? I feel the vocabulary is limited here, because she's technically right -- both of them have "jobs".