A job for my partner...
March 1, 2009 9:55 AM   Subscribe

Asking for my partner: What to DO if you live in a country where you speak the language quite well but it's not your mother tongue, but have 1:1 English literature degree, a fair bit of life experience and common sense, are interested in working with people but the idea of another crappy office job almost brings on a panic attack?

This is the situation my fiancée finds herself in. She's worked for a year in a low-level government office job but hated it. Now she works and lives with people with learning disabilities and loves it. The problem is the lifestyle, living WITH the mentally disabled, is totally all-consuming and very draining. What she could do is this as a day job, somehow, not a life.

But is this it? Are these her options now? When she was younger I'm sure she dreamed of working in publishing (she's a bookworm), I could see her as a jessamyn-style librarian etc...
But she's been so put off by the experience of office-life that she had that she is now convinced she's not cut out for that kind of job. As I said she likes people and making a difference etc, so what kind of jobs are open to her? Are there any other people on Metafilter like her? Her confidence is not so high but most things she turns her hand to she shines at.

Really appreciate the help.

I'm also aware that people will read between the lines "I could see her as..." "I'm sure she dreamed of...".
Yes I am suggesting my own dreams for her here - but as I said, she currently lacks the confidence to aspire to this herself.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (6 answers total)
I'm not sure what a 1:1 English literature degree is--but how about teaching English/English literature?
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:01 AM on March 1, 2009

Without any information as to your current country and country of origin... I know that in Vancouver BC there are a few non-profits who help recent immigrants (Chinese, Taiwanese, Indian, and I'm sure there are others) acclimate to Canada and help them find English (and French) language courses, help them navigate through government forms, and help them set up job interviews, &c.

Perhaps there are similar organizations in your current country? Helping people, making a difference, not working day-in/out with people with learning disabilities...
posted by porpoise at 10:05 AM on March 1, 2009

She can always teach her native language, or if she hates teaching, just offer conversational courses.
posted by jedrek at 11:03 AM on March 1, 2009

My mother used to be a special education teacher here in Canada, working with the disabled students in elementary and high schools (now she's an art teacher). There have to be other jobs out there where your fiancee can work with the disabled like this - just a day job, not a residency.

Perhaps she might need a bit of training in this aspect but I think that with her degree, if she were here she could just get a year of the education classes to get that additional degree and become a qualified teacher if she wanted to consider this route.
posted by lizbunny at 11:17 AM on March 1, 2009

Could she do a translation service between the languages she knows well, where she basically runs her own show? I've known people to make some good money at this.
posted by SpacemanStix at 12:05 PM on March 1, 2009

I pay my experienced, reliable, competent housecleaner $35/hour. She has to turn away work.

Your fiancee might consider cleaning houses for pay, volunteering with special needs adults for career development. Eventually a path will clarify for her.
posted by daisydaisy at 12:17 PM on March 1, 2009

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