Ne'er-do-well needs a job. Bit terrified.
October 7, 2008 8:51 AM Subscribe
Never really worked before. Soon to be single mother. Need career. Told I can write well. What can I do?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (36 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I'm in my 30s but I've never been in the working world. I'm in the process of leaving my severely alcoholic husband. We have a very young child. I don't need a job tomorrow, but relying on alimony for the rest of my life is not a great idea.
I have never wanted a career. I have no idea what to do.
I have maybe 35% of a BA, and I defaulted on my student loans so loans are not an option now. There is an outside chance that with a great deal of good luck with the alimony, generosity from my parents, etcetera, I might be able to go back to school part-time in the years between now and when my child starts school, but I've got no idea what I might study.
Over the years I have complained to counsellors, to a widely published advice columnist, to a friend who works full-time as a writer, to all manner of people, about being unemployable. The answer has always been a scoffing one: but that's ridiculous; you write so well. Anybody who can write as well as you isn't unemployable.
Work-averse as I am, I'm up to doing what's necessary to get myself ready to generate a respectable, stable income for my daughter. But I have no idea where to start. I have to stress here that I have absolutely nothing to put on a resume. No formal volunteer work, nothing. Over the years I've dabbled in all sorts of dilettantish unpaid stuff, but nothing has stuck. I have no experience, no qualifications.
I have no idea what to do with the endless "But you can write; of course you can work" "answer" to this. Even my father threw that at me, which gave me pause. Writing skills and 95c will get me a bus ticket, so far as I can see it. The comments are based on things like letters and internet postings, not a salable or formal body of work. I have thought lately about putting a portfolio together, but I'm struggling with it, and have no idea what I might do with a finished portfolio.
Perhaps there are a few college courses I can take that would qualify me to be a particular type of hack?
The writing aside, what sorts of things involve a relatively short and cheap training period resulting in relatively well-paid and stable employment? I don't expect to like work a lot, so won't be disappointed if it's not terribly pleasant. 'Respectability' is important for reasons I can't quite explain. And I want to give my daughter a nice home, but I have no great lust for money; an ideal job would be one I don't have to work full-time at to get by.
I suspect it's obvious that I need somewhat dumbed-down help, here. If I did need a job tomorrow I would be in a terrible spot; I have no idea how I'd even get a job at a restaurant at this point. I'm also starting to wonder if I'm wise to find volunteer work asap just to have one line to type on a resume.
Throwaway is firstname.lastname@example.org.