A new job or career that has no computer use, no sitting around in chairs, and no driving a van
October 15, 2011 2:31 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a new job or career that has no computer use, no sitting around in chairs, and no driving a van. Can you help me think of ideas?

My body doesn't react well to computer work or sitting in chairs and I'd really like to find something I can do with none of these things. Also, not too many repetitive manual tasks that might cause an RSI.

I'd like to find something that can give me decent money and measure of autonomy. This is a work to live kind of deal pretty much, but I need to be thinking about the future and getting at least some security and savings so want to move on from minimum wage in a reasonable time.

It's harder than you might think. I'm an efl teacher at the moment for example, which is good in many ways, but have to do a fair bit of work at a computer desk. It is possible to find teaching jobs without, but hard to specify this exactly when looking for jobs or to make progress to a senior role.

I was considering doing doorman/security work but not easy to find jobs at the moment and bit dodgy with colleagues the law etc.

I was attracted to the idea of a specialised horticulture field like tree surgery, but then so much of it is going to be driving around in a van and sitting in traffic, which will have some of the same problems.

As you can see I will consider diverse things short term and long term ideas. I'm open to doing some more training in some field if it is realistic. I am early 30's and don't have the money to go to full time university for example.

I am British so may go back there to train work, but open to working in other countries if it is practical to do so.
posted by Not Supplied to Work & Money (16 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Opere (how are you with children?)
Salesman at a store.
Park Ranger.
Caregiver at an old age home.
Emergency services (police, fire dpt. or EMT).
posted by alon at 2:57 AM on October 15, 2011

Can you say more about the nature of your constraints? What does sitting do to you? Do you really need to avoid computers completely, or just staring at a screen for hours on end?

Auto mechanics stand most of the time and do non-repetetive physical work, but they have to consult diagnostic software periodically.
posted by jon1270 at 2:59 AM on October 15, 2011

massage therapy is very hard on the body, even though you aren't sitting much.
what about nursing? Is there a UK equivalent of physical therapy?
posted by smalls at 3:19 AM on October 15, 2011

Can you look at this the other way around? What do you love doing? If it's working with kids or teaching, then there are probably ways you could move that into a new career. I wouldn't recommend being a park ranger unless you loved the outdoors. Etc. Think hard about what you love (and what you hate), then come back and tell us about it. I bet someone can help you figure out how to work your passions, aversions, training, and physical limitations into a new career.
posted by instamatic at 3:20 AM on October 15, 2011 [4 favorites]

Airplane technician
Bicycle courier
Cannery worker
Dog groomer
Farm or ranch hand
Fitness instructor
Forestry technician
Guard for jail or prison
HVAC repair
Museum guide
Personal shopper, employed by a store
Personal trainer
PE teacher
Physical therapist or assistant
Surveying technician
Technician in outdoors field
Train conductor
Warehouse worker
Work with horses
posted by maurreen at 3:36 AM on October 15, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks so far. Regarding the nature of constraints, I have had RSI. I can 'deal' with some computer use and sitting, but I really don't want to..it really gets me down accumulating problems and trying to sort them out. If it was a case of occasionally using a workstation standing up, maybe.

The thing about things like self employed massage therapist, apart from it's hard on the body, is that so much is on computer now it would be hard to make a go of it without promoting yourself online etc.

Will keep thinking about the suggestions in this thread. Don't want to mess it up commenting on everything, but just wanted to reiterate that I don't like sitting around in chairs even if it's non computer.

It's hard to give a picture of what my 'passions' are as they're rarely connected with work. I feel that if I go into that it's going to derail the point of the question, to find work. I'm fairly interested in teaching English to adults, but as I said hard to avoid computers especially if you want to progress to a higher role.
posted by Not Supplied at 3:38 AM on October 15, 2011

Response by poster: Also, think things like plumber might be tough on the body and require driving a van a lot.
posted by Not Supplied at 3:40 AM on October 15, 2011

A friend of mine who had RSI retrained as an occupational therapist. (NHS paid for the training)
posted by plonkee at 3:48 AM on October 15, 2011

A job as an airline steward/ess might allow you to utilize language skills, work on your feet, and travel.

According to Wikipedia, "Multilingual flight attendants are often in demand to accommodate international travellers. The languages most in demand, other than English, are French, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Arabic, German, Portuguese, Italian, and Greek. In the United States, airlines with international routes pay an additional stipend for language skills on top of flight pay, and some airlines hire specifically for certain languages when launching international destinations."
posted by taz at 4:09 AM on October 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

if you enjoy art, i was at a major museum last night (smithsonian) for an evening party where the security guard was actually explaining a piece of art to us. all of the security guards there looked happy and were saying hello to us. i got the sense that if art is a passion, being a security guard (where you're on your feet the entire shift) in an art museum would be an ideal job. you didn't say art was a passion but just giving you an idea of how to find something interesting within your criteria of not sitting/computer work.
posted by BlueMartini7 at 4:48 AM on October 15, 2011

I think it's important to think about if you want to be self employed or not, how motivated you might be for career fulfillment ( success and/or money) . Like you said, self employment in any field will require some computer work.
posted by sweetkid at 6:24 AM on October 15, 2011

I believe "opere"= au pair. And I was going to suggest being a nanny. You don't need any special training, but with a few classes in childhood development, you could make in the neighborhood of $60k US, in some cities.
posted by MexicanYenta at 7:41 AM on October 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Speech therapist chipping here to say that any of the allied health professions (including physiotherapists) involve a lot of sitting around using computers to write notes, reports, funding applications, and that increases as you get more senior. In fact I can't think of a health job where you wouldn't spend very significant amounts of time sitting down either writing notes or interviewing patients.
posted by kadia_a at 9:01 AM on October 15, 2011

On a tangent, about the RSI, do you know there are alternative keyboards and mice? Those might or might not help.

Also, I've seen desks designed for people to use while standing.
posted by maurreen at 9:31 AM on October 15, 2011

Elementary school teacher? you have to do some sitting and some writing, but not as much computer use as higher grades.
posted by leahwrenn at 2:14 PM on October 15, 2011

Don't become a firefighter or EMT/paramedic as others have suggested. We spend a lot of time sitting, either in the station (firefighters) or in the truck on calls (EMS).
posted by skyl1n3 at 1:37 PM on October 17, 2011

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