How can I make myself more employable?
April 8, 2010 10:34 AM   Subscribe

I need to figure out a way to redirect my career/skills to accommodate an eventual move to another, less metropolitan part of the US. tl;dr inside...

At some point in the future--let's say a year, possibly two--my partner and I plan to leave our large metropolitan area and move to Florida (and not within commuting distance of any large cities, unfortunately. Location is not super-negotiable; we will have familial obligations that necessitate us being nearby). I have what I think of as a somewhat limited, city-centric skill set: I'm a writer and editor. Here's the thing (and apologies in advance for the length)...

- I have writing/editing background in advertising and IT and I've done some freelance work for commercial websites. But I'm not what you'd consider a journalist.

- I know how to use InDesign/Illustrator/Photoshop/Dreamweaver/Quark/etc., but I'm not a graphic/web designer by any stretch of the imagination.

- I know how to use HTML and CSS and CMSs, I understand how PHP works...but beyond that, nada.

- I have an MA in what could be vaguely termed advertising/communications.

My question is:
What would be a good career development path for me? The job market down there is rough (and most of the white-collar jobs seem to be in the medical/military fields), so I think my best bet is to cultivate new skills while I still have the opportunity.

I'm not mathy, but I would be interested to learn something related to programming languages or software or website development. Specific suggestions are most welcome. (I can afford to enroll in a certificate program, if that helps.)

I've never taught before, but there are colleges in the town we'd be moving to. Should I try to somehow get experience as an educator while I'm up here?

Should I just try to cultivate more freelance writing/editing gigs that could be done remotely? I'd be very happy to do that for a living, but I think of the three options I've listed, it would be the least lucrative/successful.

Or should I try to go in a whole different direction?

I really, really appreciate any suggestions you might have -- and if you think I've overlooked an option, please say so. I'm not expecting concrete solutions. I just want to do as much strategic planning as I can.

[Anonymous because I'd rather not have my coworkers discovering my plan just yet.]
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Florida is a large place. It would help to know where in Florida the OP is planning to move. That said, a lot of Florida caters to tourists, so look into hospitality management.

A lot of Florida also caters to older people so look into gerontological fields.

posted by dfriedman at 10:36 AM on April 8, 2010

Have you thought about technical writing? Experience writing + interest in technical fields - seems like you already have necessary skill set. I've known a few people who did this for a living, and they all telecommuted.
posted by ansate at 10:45 AM on April 8, 2010

Check out job listings for the part of Florida you're moving. I would suggest learning more programming and trying to move into a webmaster role somewhere, selling hard on your marketing experience and your ability to learn the tech side.
posted by beerbajay at 11:10 AM on April 8, 2010

Should I just try to cultivate more freelance writing/editing gigs that could be done remotely?

Yes. If you are at all suited temperamentally to do this, do it. Freelancing to IT clients in Silicon Valley and NYC or wherever you live now will pay a hell of a lot more than anything with a payscale pegged to a small town cost of living.

The thing about being a freelancer is that you have to be really good at your job. If you have loyal clients that don't want to have to find someone as excellent as you, people won't care where you are moving to; they'll just be glad you can do the work remotely.
posted by salvia at 12:25 PM on April 8, 2010

I'd stick with the writing and editing, but start cultivating contacts in the health care and pharmaceutical industries. I'd think they're be lots of opportunities to do technical or marketing-oriented medical writing for hospitals or health care organizations down there.
posted by lunalaguna at 6:03 PM on April 8, 2010

« Older Music that doesn't travel well   |   Vegetarian pu-pu platter Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.