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Meet the Overemployed Who Moonlight With ChatGPT On the Sly for a Second Paycheck

Neil Campbell
Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
Published: April 13, 2023
The overemployed are using ChatGPT to work collect multiple paychecks from employers without their awareness.
Illustration picture shows the ChatGPT artificial intelligence software, which generates human-like conversation, Friday 03 February 2023 in Lierde. (Image: NICOLAS MAETERLINCK/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

Another adverse effect of the rush to normalize and make widespread artificial intelligence tools has emerged in the form of people who use ChatGPT while moonlighting multiple work from home jobs, and usually without their employers’ awareness.

The topic made headlines in April 12 reporting by Vice, which interviewed several people they described as having been “drawn into the overemployed community” in the wake of raging hype surrounding OpenAI’s GPT-4 interface, ChatGPT.

First was a Toronto-based man aliased with the name Ben who “helps financial technology companies market new products.”


His position “involves creating reports, storyboards, and presentations, all of which involve writing.” Ben told the outlet that normally, there was “no way” he had time or energy to run twice the workload.

But once the AI media train started rolling, it piqued his interest—at first to streamline his workflow—and then Ben found that the bot made his job “not a little bit more easy,” but, “like, way easier.”

Moreover, Ben told Vice that a lot of people he knew in the marketing community were using the tool, and thus he began to think to himself about whether or not he could pull in a second paycheck.

“ChatGPT does like 80 percent of my job if I’m being honest,” Ben said of his second position, adding, “That’s the only reason I got my job this year.”

Vice says that although they used pseudonyms to reference their interviewees, they conducted the due diligence to verify their identities. 

The outlet marketed the overemployed community as “a small cohort of fast-thinking and occasionally devious go-getters” that feels AI has “turned into an opportunity not to be feared but exploited, with their employers apparently none the wiser.”

Another “technology worker” in Ohio told Vice that using ChatGPT he increased the number of jobs he’s holding from two to four, but admitted that “five would probably just be overkill.”


The trend has been not-so-lowkey in recent months. One topic on Tencent-owned social influencing site Reddit titled Opportunities to Leverage ChatGPT? from December of 2022 asks if anyone has experience with how ChatGPT “could be leveraged to automate mundane, everyday tasks.”

One account replied that they’ve been using it to generate job descriptions and cover letters, while another said that the bot is “incredible” at “things you don’t care so much,” such as “writing a summary of work you did for the week, or creating performance goals for a performance review.”

The account said they used it for their own performance review that week and “it’s never gone better.”

A second post from December of 2022 said using ChatGPT to generate documents was “interesting,” noting the output is “possibly not much worse than something written by a junior.”

With just a “few edits here and there,” they said, “You’re done with a task you can claim to have taken 1-2 days.”

Vice’s summarization of Ben’s workflow appears to corroborate the notion: “When one of Ben’s bosses, for example, now asks him to create a story for an upcoming product release, he will explain the context and provide a template to ChatGPT, which then creates an outline for him and helps fill out the sections.”

Ben said, “I can just tell it to create a story…and it just does it for me, based off the context that I gave it.” He added that while ChatGPT “sometimes…gets stuff wrong” that’s “totally normal” and is solved with “minor” edits.

The man even told Vice that he goes as far as to use ChatGPT to generate responses to his boss in conversations on the Slack app.


Holding two jobs with remote work, ChatGPT or not, has seen increased popularity.

Human Resources Director magazine (HRD) reported in February on the results of a survey of 1,272 employees conducted by a company called ResumeBuilder, finding that 36 percent of respondents held at least two full time jobs, and “with the majority making six figures.”

73 percent said they had worked for a “tech company” in the last six months.

But 62 percent of respondents described the balancing act as either “somewhat difficult” or “very difficult.”

HRD Chief Career Advisor Stacie Haller said the datapoint shouldn’t be viewed in a negative light, however, “Sometimes the drive to make money is what an employer wants…Being overemployed is not a career strategy, it’s a financial strategy.” 

“No one wants to work more than one job if they don’t need to,” she added.

But keeping the activity on the low from their employers is also both a habit, and difficult. While only 9 percent said their employers were aware of their moonlighting, 60 percent of the other 91 percent described keeping their cover as carrying some degree of difficulty.

Assisted juggling

Another man interviewed by Vice aliased as Charles said he’s been moonlighting two jobs since 2020, having worked four during the pandemic, when ChatGPT was still mostly in development, was paraphrased as admitting that “AI tools have made juggling the positions much easier.”

Charles said he has used AI to write “a memo to defend and justify a business decision” while working for a major Silicon Valley keystone.

“In such a case, he’d input the relevant facts and parameters into an AI chatbot, which would cohesively lay them out more quickly than he ever could,” Vice stated.

The man would also use the platforms to write instructions for software engineers he managed.

In a more reasonable and ethical application of the software, a person who works three financial reporting jobs at a time lamented to Vice that although “I can create macros” for Microsoft Excel, “But it takes me an hour, two hours, plus, to write the code, test it, make sure everything’s working.”

The man said that with inputting some basic parameters to ChatGPT, it will “spit something out” that requires only marginal tweaking, reducing a two-week process to just a few hours.

All the rage

Results of a February survey by Fishbowl, an app that platforms to connect business professionals together for networking and discussion, found that 43 percent of respondents “have used AI tools, including ChatGPT, for work-related tasks” with 70 percent using them without disclosing to their employer.

The survey was conducted among almost 12,000 users of the app, of which, “Respondents included companies such as Amazon, Bank of America, Edelman, Google, IBM, JP Morgan, McKinsey, Meta, Nike, Twitter, and thousands others,” they stated.

Figures were up from a January survey on the app of only 4,500 professionals, where they found that 27 percent “have used generative AI for work purposes.”

The company also said that discussion of ChatGPT on its platform had skyrocketed, “Posts and comments mentioning ChatGPT are up 107% over January (comparing the week of Jan 2 to the week of Jan 23).”

“Popular topics of discussion include using the chatbot for resumes/cover letters, copywriting, coding, and drafting sales and marketing emails,” they added.

The popularity has created a niche market for not-so-legitimate entities to profit from. YouTube, for example, has several videos boasting that they’ve “used ChatGPT to land a $100k/Year Remote Job” while attempting to onboard viewers to a site selling seminars and “masterclasses.”

In March, Aista, a company describing itself as an “AI and Machine Learning Low-Code software development company,” ran a promotional blog post declaring “Frank,” a chatbot, as Employee of the Month.

Although the piece is an overt marketing gimmick, it nonetheless illustrates just how much work a day and night-available and competent chatbot can carry.

Aista said that in February Frank “answered 5,384 chat requests for Aista,” and in addition to simultaneously working 50 full time jobs for clients of the firm, also “answered some roughly 50,000 questions.”