Should I stay or should I run?
March 17, 2010 7:55 AM   Subscribe

I need to quit my job but have no other ideas on how to make money or if thats even a good idea.

Long story short, I'm stressed beyond belief and now with an added illness I can barely function and I know for a act that stress makes it worse. I don't get relief from any meds I've tried and my job isn't covering my bills now that medical bills and student loans are added on. I can't get the care that I need because I can no longer afford it. I really feel like I need to stop not only for my sanity but for my health but I don't know if thats a good idea.

I've been in my job for over 18 months. I am a nanny. I made enough money previously but I was diagnosed with this illness that suddenly showed itself in the past few months. I cannot walk upright most days and there is not ever really a time when I am not in pain. Added to that, I pay a mortgage, couldn't focus so dropped out of college (online pre-reqs for a masters. I've already graduated) so student loans are back. I checked online with their quiz and I still make too much for an economic deferment.

I work over 52 hours a week and drive almost 12. My car has started giving me major problems (the engine died a month ago so my taxes went to that and not my medical care) and I'm at my last nerve.

I know there are people with health problems and jobs that they hate so I hate to make this post but I really need suggestions.

I have a Bachelors of Science in a visual arts field, experience with children, my own house, my own car. I can sew, I can bake. I set my own etsy and nothing. I blog. I can't do much physically right now so I just have no idea how to do anything enough to make enough money to be able to get out.

Should I just hold on to this job till something works out or should I just get out of it?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

Should I just hold on to this job till something works out or should I just get out of it?

Quitting seems to alleviate your physical stress, but I can imagine being unemployed will give you just as much emotional stress.

Is it possible to start advertising locally for your services (or a variant that might interest people locally)? It seems to me that if you alleviated 12 hours of driving time, along with working a more reasonable number of hours, you'd find some relief. Best of luck!
posted by Hiker at 8:00 AM on March 17, 2010

Can you babysit children in your home? You can actually make a good income doing that - if you get low income parents, the government will pay you directly to care for them. At least, they will in Texas. They will also pay you extra money to feed the children. I worked out the math about 5 years ago, and at that time, if I had cared for the maximum number of children allowed, I would have made about $60K after subtracting for groceries to feed them.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:05 AM on March 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

can you apply for disability benifits?
posted by edgeways at 8:07 AM on March 17, 2010

Speaking as a person who's lousy at job decisions, but understands a bit about chronic conditions, kids, and not having the stamina to make things work:

You're a nanny. I can't imagine you being able to do that well from a chronic state of pain/without good mobility. That right there puts me in the "quit" camp.

An alternative idea, though: Would it be possible to request a leave of absence on medical grounds? Pick some dates, starting a week or two away (so they can find a pinch-hitter), and ending, say, three four weeks later, and put the proposal out there. I mean, sure, any working parent is going to put the screws into you to try & make you feel like your job is on the line for putting them into that kind of lurch, but if you were thinking about quitting anyhow, what's there to lose from asking straight up? You can always change it to giving notice if they say no. And who knows: After 3 weeks of trialing new nannies, daycares & grandparents, maybe they'd be interested in re-hiring you on better terms.

It's sucky idea from a financial standpoint, but it would

a. give you time to schedule doctor appointments and deal with your car (to replace or not to replace...Has my car become a Money Pit?)
b. give you time to reeeeaally get clear on what your financial needs are and how you might better address them.
c. give you time to look further into what resources are available to you and if there are reasonable changes you could make to your life that would aid in your current financial crunch.
posted by Ys at 8:43 AM on March 17, 2010

I'm only addressing one of the issues you mentioned. Students frequently have trouble repaying their loans, especially right after graduation. The student loan program is pretty flexible, in my experience, and tries to avoid letting people go into default, as long as you stay in touch with them and can pay at least something, even if that's kind of irregular for a while.

I'd suggest calling them and explaining your problems with medical bills. They can probably explain what your options are and send you the necessary paper work. You may not qualify for an economic deferment, but you may qualify for a forbearance, another type of deferment, or be able change your payment plan.
posted by nangar at 8:51 AM on March 17, 2010

Are you eligible for food stamps? Can you check to see if you are?

I still make too much for an economic deferment.

I think your loans will be tied to your income due to new legislation, but I don't know if it depends on your 2009 W-2 to prove that you've had a loss in income.
posted by anniecat at 9:01 AM on March 17, 2010

Can you apply for SSI? I don't think you should quit, because it'll be ten times harder to pay everything off and everything source of income helps. That being said, I think you should look into all the disability benefits and see what turns up.
posted by biochemist at 9:35 AM on March 17, 2010

Could you reduce your hours? Find a place that is closer? Rent out a room to make up for the reduced hours? Have the children come to your house instead of you going to theirs?
posted by Vaike at 10:11 AM on March 17, 2010

Hold on to your job. Look for another one with better hours and less of a commute.

I know it's horrible. But being unemployed will make your stress worse. If you are physically able to work as a nanny it is one of the more flexible jobs out there. Unless you can get office work, which, if you can, might be better.

Retail--standing the entire time. Food service--standing the entire time.

If you're making money under the table, consider fudging that and getting the economic deferment anyway, or take nangar's good advice about contacting them.

Also consider getting social security disability. It takes forever and you need the advice of a good lawyer before you go that route.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:14 AM on March 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

I think you should quit (my opinion only...) because it sounds like the stress is killing you. Anyway, here are some random thoughts:
--ratchet back your lifestyle (ie: ditch the expensive iPhone contract and get a cheap pre paid cell phone, cut cable, etc)
--apply for SSI (easier to do when you are unemployed), food stamps, and anything else you qualify for
--put your student loan on deferral
--look at developing a who bunch of smaller sources income instead of having one big stressful job such as:
--rent out a room in your house--or rent out the whole thing if you have a free or cheap place you can live such as with mom
--watch kids before and after school (not the whole day as this is more stressful)
--be a pet sitter when people go on vacation
--try to bring in a couple of hundred a month from your etsy site, blogs, etc
--check out Cragislist "gigs" on the days you are feeling OK
--look into freelancing your visual arts services
--maybe get a part time job if you still don't have enough money
posted by MsKim at 10:19 AM on March 17, 2010

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