View Full Version : What job?

01-02-2009, 09:11 PM
The intent of this thread is "what jobs are out there for those that suddenly find themselves unemployed"?

My wife quit her job a few weeks before they closed her branch about 4 months ago. Lousy job and company so no big deal really.

Here's her skill set: HS education. Close to a photographic memory. If she walks into a department store and goes from the mens section to the women s section, 20 minutes later she can tell you what every person was wearing in the mens section. Very computer literate, mostly graphics. Very good at sales, but is tired of dealing with people. She doesn't know sales, but has the natural personality to figure it out with some training.

To me, the above is a good grouping of credentials for a career in law enforcement, sales, and probably a bunch of stuff I haven't thought of.

Oh, and bilingual - native tongue is Spanish.

We live in a small town, so there aren't a lot of local jobs
This post is not really about my wife though. What do you do if you are unprepared and loose your job? Sure there are industries that will do well such as medical, accounting etc. What do you do if you have nothing?

01-02-2009, 09:47 PM
perfect time to completely start over....pick a new career....whatever she decides....and find out what you need to get there from here....START! Tomarrow!

in the mean time, find a part time job....find 2....Home Depot, Fast Food, Sears,etc

what does she WANT to do?

Law Enforcement...hard to get into with out a degree and or military...
Medical?...100 years of part time schooling for that one...

I always thought of a dental hygenist as being a good job....2 year degree and i think they make $40,000+....recession proof.

the trick is to never let yourself have no options.....and have savings...too many people live beyond their means instead of saving 10% and another 10% for retirement.....

Mcdonalds is always hiring and if it takes 5 years of school part time and 2 part time jobs w/4 hours of sleep to start over, then so be it.......start over and control your destiny....dont just go where you can....choose where you go!

01-02-2009, 11:42 PM
The medical profession isn't really recession proof, unless you're a surgeon. People will cut back on treatments, and sometimes the same staffing isn't necessary for the clinical setting you're in. Plus with high unemployment rates, more people are bound to be uninsured. To make the big bucks in medicine without an MD or DO (or the specialty degrees -- DC, DPM, etc.), becoming a RN (or NP) or PA-C could be profitable. All require an undergrad degree, and NPs and PAC's generally have masters degrees.

Law enforcement does require a degree to be competitive, but an associate's degree usually suffices.

Perhaps I'm biased towards the accounting profession, but a great demand exists for accountants, especially in the next decade. With a good memory and attention to detail, she'd be great in the profession. There are always bookkeeping jobs to start which can pay decently, and she can start right away without a degree. Tax preparation is also another area that is seasonal, but great attention to detail is needed. But there is usually training involved with tax prep, especially if you go to any of the "box" places. Plus being bilingual is a huge plus, even if it's just to talk with clients.

This could be a good time for her to go back to school to get a degree assuming her income isn't needed to stay afloat. Enrolling in a community college can be affordable and intellectually stimulating, plus you could be eligible for a tax deduction or tax credit.

As for me, I'm lucky I remain busy between my full-time studies, one part-time job, my business, and serving as VP of my family's business.

01-03-2009, 12:42 AM
Evan you sure seem to have a plate full there.

Bill, judging from what you said, i would have to say that their is maybe potential for her to do a great deal many different things. Maybe she should consider her own business in an area she knows well, or at least something about. I am guessing she is probably also a person that learns fairly quickly. So really she probably has quite a lot of options available to her it is just choosing what she wants to do.

01-03-2009, 08:19 AM
Just remember, there is nothing wrong with her taking a "stop loss" job while she figures out what she wants to do permanently.

Stop loss job - A job to stop (or slow) the negative cash flow that comes from her being unemployed.

01-03-2009, 09:03 AM
That is actually something that i did, that is take a stop loss job, when my business first really slowed down. It seems to be unfortunate that this job has drawn out to over 2 years now, and i am not really seeing my business picking up again, or any other options picking up. However that is something that i plan to change in the new year and am actually considering putting some sort of time frame on paper in which i want to make it happen.

01-03-2009, 04:16 PM
My uncle always encouraged his two sons to learn to be waiters in high class restaurants - the pay is cruddy but the tips are good and you can usually find work. The oldest one did that and ended up as a chef - he loves it - although he is also an excellent musician and leads a jazz/blues band and a rock band so working in a restaurant doesn't work well with his hobby. He's going to school for economics and will keep the chef job until he can get a job in his new field - then he'll be able to better pursue his musical interests.

Someone else already said it - the best bet is to just make sure you are never completely out of options! Hubby has just been laid off, we've been trying to get everything but our house paid off and in the past two years have paid off over $40k of debt - cars, boats, toys, credit cards gone wild, etc... we have about $20k to go and we'll be debt free except the house - all we owe now is $5k on our truck and the rest to my Grandmother, we have two months worth of hubby's income in savings and we've already applied for unemployment. We have a baby on the way so the insurance thing is a big deal to us and being unemployed for very long will severely cut into our debt pay-off goals but between what I earn and the money hubby can earn as a mechanic or a maintenance tech somewhere and the money we could make from selling our boat and etc... it would be a long time before we would have to sell our house - and it's nice to know that. Things are tight, we aren't doing anything extra and we aren't eating fancy foods but we're in a whole lot better position than a lot of people!

01-03-2009, 09:06 PM
I like to cook, but I can't imagine either being a chef or a cook. Those are really hard jobs, although, as you mentioned, well in demand.

If I really got stuck, I suspect that being bilingual, a salesman, and technical, is a pretty good combo.

I think it is important to have a good HS / College job. Mine was security, but I learned a lot about human nature to the point of having to arrest my girlfriend for stealing jewelry in front of me.

If it's framing houses,or whatever, a good job as a kid can teach you a lot. I wouldn't push my kid to work at McDonalds, but rather to do something that can come back and help them down the road.

01-03-2009, 09:14 PM
Just a basic job at Mcdonalds i dont think would be much use if any at all. However most of the lower paying jobs that kids get in HS or college are probably similar, unless they can take it a little beyond, maybe even into first step of management.

I know now with the job i have it is going to make it much easier for me in the future if i decide to go to another workplace where there is a need to oversee a large number of process workers as i have a job doing that now, so have some experience. Where as i applied for a job as night fill manager at a supermarket before, and was knocked back solely because i had no experience in managing a large number of people. However it took me almost 2 years to get into the role where i can say i have that experience.

Vivid Color Zack
01-05-2009, 01:39 PM
There are a lot of higher end retail jobs that have good commission that can be a lot more profitable than any fast food/best buy type retail position. If she can really sell and is fashionable she can probably make around 20 an hour working for armani or something of that nature. I don't know what kind of stores are local to you but in southern california we obviously have a lot of that. I have at least 3 or 4 girls I know that make around 40-50k working at various nicer retail shops. Burberry, Armani, some other brands I've never heard of...

< Not fashionable, haha.

01-05-2009, 02:56 PM
The only one I can think of is Victoria's Secret and they only hire skinny girls. She has everything but the skinny part. That's the problem in living away from a major city.

I don't think the retail chains like Macy's pays the people at the jewelry counter or makeup more than a basic salary. If anybody knows differently please let me know.

One thing that does come to mind is cell phone sales in the mall. I suspect they are commission and people will tend to buy from the cute chick before the guy. She's a cell phone nerd to boot, so its kind of a natural.

01-06-2009, 12:06 PM
Hi Bill,

I sure could have used your wife's translation skills many years ago!

When I was 16, I went on a trip to Spain and developed a crush on a local boy there. He must have fallen for me too because after I returned to Canada, he sent me a very long letter written in Spanish. (We communicated verbally using broken French). To this very day, I have never been able to read it, but I think I still have it tucked away somewhere!

Anyway, this made me wonder if your wife might be interested in translation services. There are a lot of companies who hire freelancers who work from home.

Also, of course, is a virtual assistant business. :) As my motto goes: "We can do practically everything...except make the coffee." VAs provide so many varied services that there's a niche for everyone. I have never met any of my clients face-to-face, but have worked with them for years. I thought of this because you mentioned that she is very computer-literate. If she likes graphics, maybe she could enroll in a graphic design program or similar.

What I love about these situations is that they can spur us on to pursue career paths that we might have never considered had we stayed in our current jobs forever.

I used to be a boring banker and now I'm a vivacious VA! (heh, heh, heh)

Seriously though, your wife sounds very talented in many areas and I'm sure she will find something that is great whether it be in a brick-and-mortar environment or even 'virtually' if she doesn't mind working from home.

I'm looking forward to hearing more responses to your excellent question.


01-06-2009, 12:22 PM
Thanks Karen. My concern is that working from home, she's not much of a self starter. She really needs the structure of a school or job. Perhaps a solution to that is a personal coach?

The other thing is her English is only so so. Her Spanish is very good though as she can do a very good job of emulating the Spanish from different countries. Not only do accents vary from country to country, but a word for a food dish could be a vulgarity in another country. She frequently messes with other Latinos so they can't figure out where she is from.

01-14-2009, 11:13 PM
To this very day, I have never been able to read it, but I think I still have it tucked away somewhere!

If I kept something that long, I'd be interested in getting it translated to see what exactly he was saying.

It is funny, but interesting that while you both didn't know each other's language (English / Spanish), you were able to communicate in French!

Luckily all of these languages use the same characters, generally. While I did horrible in Spanish, I can usually read enough of it to squeek by, but not an actual translation.

I have a few people in my graduate classes who primarily speak Arabic, and some who also primarily speak Chinese. I don't even know where to BEGIN to learn those symbols!

02-10-2009, 12:17 AM
Could she teach Spanish? She could offer lessons or tutoring through Craigslist. I am taking some lessons and need to converse with people casually in Spanish to sharpen my skills. Maybe she could host a Spanish social people learning the customs and language.

Just H
02-10-2009, 11:15 AM
Some great comments focusing on using the native language. If she likes reading/writing kinds of things at all, it seems there should be some good opportunities in preparing English ads in Spanish, translating documents (as mentioned) and many other things.

I did some work recently for a localization company. There are many different areas within these companies but one of them is hiring linguists (native speakers to languages other than English) to read through the documents, correct what's not translated correctly and make suggestions for making it read better to the native-speaking readers. Some are positions where you can work from home but several of these companies in my area also brought linguists in when they needed help. It isn't a 9-5 Mon-Fri job but the Chinese woman I worked with on a project and talked to about freelancing as a linguest, makes between $30-40K and takes the jobs she wants and turns down those she doesn't. If this sounds interesting at all to her, I'd say to check out and see if there are any localization companies in your area and go from there.