Finding a Disability-Friendly Technical Job
August 8, 2012 6:45 PM   Subscribe

I can't keep living on disability. I can't go back to school. I'm not good with people. How do I find a part-time job that I can do? Are there no very-part-time CS jobs aside from freelancing?

SSI is not covering my costs of living. I need a job that's within my abilities. I can only work 3 weekdays, plus maybe Sunday (though working Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday would be preferable to working Mondays). 3-4 hours a day is my likely limit.

I had to drop out of school - a Computer Science major at a decent university - because of my health - not so much drop out as decide not to try yet again after being kicked out the third time, which makes it much harder to go back. I don't know how to search for part-time programming jobs, if they even exist. Is it a matter of watching the job boards and Craigslist until I find the rare <15 hrs/wk job? I wouldn't know where to begin networking with no contacts.

Outside of programming, what else should I look for? I'm dealing with some fairly serious social anxiety and degradation of social skills, and I can't always rely on my body to carry me physically for hours, or I'd be applying at coffee shops or for help desk/IT support positions. I don't mind working on a team or with people, but I don't think I could handle customers.

The other option I see is to do freelance programming over oDesk or something similar, but having a stable job (with fewer taxes vs. SSI problems) would be preferable.

So, my questions are basically: How can I find very-part-time programming (or Linux sysadmin or similar) jobs? What other kinds of jobs should I be looking for? Is there any other option I'm missing?
posted by mock muppet to Work & Money (5 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
There are a lot of free CS courses on the web. Improve your skills. Build a site, show what you can do, and approach local employers for part-time work.
posted by theora55 at 6:53 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

Would you be happy doing tech support over the phone? It's not fun, but it pays a little better than minimum wage.

Also, have you talked with the folks at Ticket To Work and your state's vocational rehab office? When my employer gets people for part-time work it's often though a partnership with someone like that.
posted by SMPA at 6:53 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

A place like oDesk might be right up your alley since you can do it all remotely. Most jobs do need to be done ASAP, though. Can you work more than 3-4 hours in a block of 24 hours if you can rest in between them? Do you have any access to mental health resources who could help you with the social stuff?
posted by dawkins_7 at 6:59 PM on August 8, 2012

I've met some people who resell stuff from thrift stores/garage sales/etc on eBay or Etsy. If you can fix computers/electronics, buying cheap or getting for free from Craigslist/Freecycle and fixing might be an option?

I knew a person on disability who did tailoring on the side. Hemming, sewing, etc. They charged slightly less than the professionals, something like $5/pant for hems. Is there something in your talents you could offer where you could set up a similar system?
posted by vegartanipla at 8:10 PM on August 8, 2012

Perhaps freelance work-from-home software testing like uTest or Pay4Bugs?
posted by metalsexkitten at 12:34 AM on August 9, 2012

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