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July 21, 2011 6:04 AM   Subscribe

Almost 60, physically disabled (can still drive and walk) male on disability. What jobs can I get to supplement my income? I've read the posts here and googled 'til I can't see straight. I was thinking proofreading, medical billing, delivering pizza etc. I looked into Leapforce and Guru but didn't go to college. I worked in the service industry -electric, alarms, building maintenance- never sat at a desk but am computer semi literate, thanks. Thanks.
posted by jara1953 to Work & Money (18 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Telemarketing or phone service. You'd be sitting at a desk all day making and logging calls. These jobs have a high turnover and require minimal skills--generally just customer service plus being able to use whatever computer system they have to log calls. If you are computer literate and can show that you could learn how to use their system, I think you have a good shot. Pay isn't bad for what the job is (meaning it's above minimum wage but definitely a supplemental income).

I worked a job like this for a short time and had absolutely no experience with it when I was hired. Most of the people I was working with didn't. It's a lot more boring than delivering pizzas, though.
posted by Polychrome at 6:24 AM on July 21, 2011

You could look into data-entry jobs.

A temp agency might place you at something reasonable.
posted by entropone at 6:26 AM on July 21, 2011

You could work as an Amazon Mechanical Turk:

Basically you do tasks that require a human. The pay probably isn't great, but it's something you can do from home in your spare time.
posted by DrumsIntheDeep at 6:27 AM on July 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Have you considered this?
posted by troywestfield at 6:44 AM on July 21, 2011

I've seen folks your age do fantastic jobs at being the concierge-type people at airports, museums, tourist attractions, help desks in department stores, and that sort of thing. People who have a wealth of knowledge and information and the time to sincerely give one-on-one assistance to others. :)
posted by jillithd at 7:07 AM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: What about freelance writing for the big content mills? They pay per article and usually the only real requirement is that you be a fast learner since you will be writing on things you may know nothing about.
posted by Loto at 7:25 AM on July 21, 2011

Best answer: Building maintenance consulting. You could build out a business where you help develop maintenance plans for owners of small properties. You would hire someone (on contract) for any physical work or refer people to services.

I would imagine you might also be a good property manager.
posted by acoutu at 9:50 AM on July 21, 2011

You might find that you are valuable as a counterman at a plumbing supply house, or at a HVAC supply shop, although those kind of jobs can call for being on your feet more than you might be able. Some of those businesses have "phone countermen" however, who strictly handle orders phoned in by contractors and plumbers for pickup or delivery, and those are typically desk jobs.
posted by paulsc at 11:09 AM on July 21, 2011

Telemarketing and call-centers (such as in-bound customer service for big firms) also need people for verification and quality control. That is, sitting and listening to recordings of calls and making sure the operator was polite, mentioned the company name 3 times, attempted to up-sell, and read the legal fineprint verbatim. People tend to make less than they would if they were actively selling (no commission) but verification and in-bound customer service are a lot less stressful. Some places even pay decently (AmEx used to). Emergency services (ambulance, police, fire, 911) also need people to answer phones from distressed people.

Pizza delivery can be hit and miss I am told. That is, it can look like good money at the start, but isn't that great once you account for all the miles you are putting on your car if you use your own.
posted by K.P. at 11:21 AM on July 21, 2011

Medical billing is certainly a real career, but you should be aware that there are an immense number of advance-fee scams that masquerade as job opportunities in medical billing. If you decide to pursue jobs in that field, turn around and run the other way at any job that requires you to put up a dime of your own money for "training", "software" or any other reason, or anything where entry level positions pay you as an in independent contractor or at a commission or piecework rate.

In general, you should be careful of any opportunities that seem too good to be true - the compensation for an entry-level job in a medical billing office is usually typical-to-low for a semi-skilled clerical job.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 12:12 PM on July 21, 2011

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you're collecting disability, you cannot legally hold a job.
posted by Capa at 12:13 PM on July 21, 2011

Capa, they allow for part time jobs as long as the income is below a certain level.
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 12:15 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Ooh, ooh! I know! I just read this article in Wired, about the company Task Rabbit. The article mentioned one specific 'runner' who was about your age and really liked the flexibility and variety of tasks he could choose to complete. Plus, it sounded like you could be specific about picking tasks which might accommodate your needs.

Me, I live in Rural America, but if I lived in NYC (which it looks like you might?) I would totally do this. Good luck!
posted by stellaluna at 12:42 PM on July 21, 2011

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you're collecting disability, you cannot legally hold a job.

The income cap for people on disability is currently $720 per month. You can work 9 months earning more than that as a "trial work period" and still collect benefits.
posted by hwyengr at 2:45 PM on July 21, 2011

Focus your search on real-world jobs.

Medical billing, data entry, article writing - all these low-level online-only jobs have either been outsourced, or are on the verge of being outsourced.

But they can't outsource pizza delivery or store greeters!
posted by ErikaB at 4:31 PM on July 21, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks everyone, I"ll look into these tomorrow.
posted by jara1953 at 5:16 PM on July 21, 2011

Any news? We're dealing with a similar situation and would love to hear about your experience.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:16 PM on August 16, 2011

Response by poster: I filled out an application with Task Rabbit yesterday. They just came to NYC. Thanks all.
posted by jara1953 at 4:11 PM on August 20, 2011

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