Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Unemployed? Looking for Work?

I see a lot in the news about unemployment and people desperately looking for work.
I have "been there, done that".
I have no magic solution for everyone, but I do have some ideas, some of which worked for me in years past.
So, if you are currently looking for employment, or have family or friends that are, keep reading!
First, if you are in the proper age range and in decent physical shape, check out the military.
ESPECIALLY if you have a college degree! A college degree will put you on the fast track to "officers country". The military can provide you with housing, medical care and many other perks. If you are fluent in more than one language, they will definitely want to speak to you!
I know, I know...a lot of people are whining about "What if I get deployed?" Suck it up. With reward comes some risk!
In the military you can learn skills that will help you in the *civvie* world, get benefits that will help you get more schooling and even help you purchase a home.

If you smoke marijuana or use other drugs, stop 30 days before your physical. Drugs are bad, mmmmmm-kay? You can live without them!

Next option:
Farm Work.
Check out the classifieds on . You can even place an ad on there for free! Other places to look are: Agriseek  ,  AgriCareersInc and Farm&Ranch Jobs .
I quickly scanned ads at all three of those and WOW, some of the pay is darn good! $35k a year may not sound like much....but it includes a house AND utilities! Most farms also include giving the workers a side of beef or a pig every year. housing utility bills, plus plenty of meat on the table...that makes up for a lot right there!
The work is hard. Cows don't care if it's your birthday, crops don't care when you want to take a day off!
You have to work in all kinds of weather. You may have to move far away (Lots of jobs in the Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, etc) If you love bright lights and big cities, you will most likely hate these jobs!
But the perks are amazing....I worked on a cattle branding crew in Montana...and I have to tell you, waking up and saddling a horse as the sun was just casting a few glimmers on the sky, then riding up in the pasture as the sun rose over the mountains....just exhilarating and beautiful! Sitting on the cabin porch at night and listening to coyotes yip on the hillside and seeing the brightest stars ever was incredible!
Yes, I went to bed with sore muscles and cramping hands more than once. But the trade offs were most definitely worth it!

You can also look into property caretaking jobs. You live on site (usually) and are responsible for the care and maintenance of a property for an absent owner, OR sometimes they caretake properties where the owner is in residence, but doesn't want to deal with day to day issues.
Check Caretaking Jobs or the ever popular Caretaker Gazette . There is also Craigslist which you can search, as I have frequently found jobs for caretakers on there.
You need good personal references to be a caretaker! SQUEAKY CLEAN. If you have a criminal record, fuggidaboutit. I have worked as a caretaker, and the reference checks and criminal background checks are VERY thorough. If you pass....the opportunities are amazing...private islands, multi-million dollar country estates, vacation homes in the mountains or luxury apartments in the city. OR...dude ranches out west, secluded island home off the coast of Alaska (a job I almost took once!), *hobby* farms in the northeast. You have to be able to put up with what I consider *spoiled* people and very demanding owners. They may call at 2 a.m. and say they are on the way...could you please make all the beds in the house and set out a small buffet for a breakfast at 6 a.m? Oh...and while you are at it, be a dear and make sure there are fresh cut flowers in the foyer and dining room. Yes, they CAN be like that.
Another way is to contact local real estate companies and banks and let them know of your availability to caretake empty homes. With all the foreclosures going on, empty properties are being vandalized, etc. and banks are willing to pay for someone to live in some of the higher-ticket properties to keep them safe. You have to be willing to live with almost no privacy as showings can happen at any time! You also need to be able to pick up and move immediately if a sale happens!

Other income opportunites are out there...
If you love to cook and bake (and you are good at it), consider cooking for busy working families. Put up ads at Daycare centers, Lamaze classes, gynecologists offices, etc.(Wouldn't it have been nice to come home from the hospital with a new baby and had a couple dozen meals in the freezer ready to be microwaved?)

If you are *handy* with basic home repairs, advertise on Craigslist locally, or place ads up at local Senior Centers advertising yourself for "Honey-Do" repair and maintenance jobs.

Do you sew, knit, crochet, quilt?  Do you do food prep for storage?
People pay other people to do these things or to teach them how to do these things.

Look at your talents...look at your skills.
You are NOT in a can work your way out of there...look at yourself and your knowledge and skills. Assess them. Look at jobs that may not fit *precisely* with what you want to do.
Good luck and keep trying!

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Because of a couple of rude people that left comments that included links to porn pages and such, I have been forced to start moderating comments again.