Advice on career/job path that fits my needs.
January 26, 2018 11:13 AM   Subscribe

How can an exhausted, sensitive (HSP), traumatized, fast-learning, resilient, determined, but in need of calm, harassment-free, non-demanding, low-stress, no selling, stable job/career make a living in 2018?

I’m currently employed part time and I can’t survive on this. I had two other contracts for parts of the year that have ended, leaving me with this one job as I scramble. (All three added up to a meager, but doable salary because I cut back, did little but focus on health, and saved and prioritized)

My current boss sexually harasses me and touches me (in non-sexual ways) without consent regularly, he hovers, asks what I am up to all the time, triggers anxiety in other ways. I’ve had hands on my shoulders three times this week. Before I got this job, I was already traumatized due to bullying, sexual assaults, harassment, and abuse in various forms (by partners and others). Then this began. Needless to say this affects me greatly.

Long story short, I’m mid 30s, looking for stable work/career path ideas. One that is low pressure, needs only my (literature) BA, doesn’t ask for me to sell anything, and either has health insurance from the start or pays enough for me to buy a plan from the state exchange that covers my needs (Maybe 40k?). I am on medication for autoimmune illness. I’m due for more and additional scans and procedures.

Something I can get into relatively soon with little to no money. I am exhausted. I need stability, room to breathe, a chance to heal, grow stronger, not feel wounded every day. I am in therapy, but that’s a long process. (I don’t have much of a network aside from a few other poor folks. I don’t have anyone to stay with and am estranged from much of my family.) I've been deliberately vague about my interests and experience to avoid narrowing suggestions. I've been pursuing my interests and passions in a frustratingly not that successful way, but right now, stability and calm are my priorities. I'll be stronger for it.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (9 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
What kind of salary range are you looking for? HR might be a good fit. Especially in an entry level position you'll mostly be running payroll and putting together new hire packets. If you're computer savvy, internal IT might work.

You write well and clearly, so you may want to consider an entry-level marketing position. You can work your way up to a fairly high salary as well if you can pick up on the nuances of the job quickly. Graphics and UX/UI work also pays well if you have the skills to back it up, and it's a very in-demand career.

Also consider signing up with a temp agency. They can match your skill sets and you can try out new places before committing.

All jobs have some stressful components, but you definitely don't have to put up with workplace harassment on top of it. I'm sorry you're dealing with that now.
posted by ananci at 11:34 AM on January 26, 2018

Do you have any experience in copy writing, copy editing, and/or proofreading? Even with the broader trend towards freelancing, many companies and organizations still keep an in-house communications or publications staff. Stress levels will vary depending on specific workplace culture, though. Here's a search for full-time, in-house editor jobs that might give you a sense of some options.

I'm sorry for what you're dealing with at work, and wish you the best on your search!
posted by the return of the thin white sock at 12:17 PM on January 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

Admin assistant at a university. Technical writer. After school program coordinator for a school district. Literacy tutor. Medical coding. Field data collector.

In my experience, there are workplaces that are good and workplaces that are bad, rather than fields that are good and fields that are bad. That is, there are good and bad workplaces in every field. It sounds like what you are looking for more than anything are jobs with autonomy, regardless of field. With this in mind, I would look for jobs that either allow you to work from home or that are for very large organizations/companies. In my experience, these are generally the types of jobs where it is easiest to do your own thing. That’s not always true, but often small workplaces or jobs that require very close work with a small group are the ones at which harassment or personality clashes are most common.
posted by scantee at 12:26 PM on January 26, 2018 [3 favorites]

Marketing is not low stress. I do agree with the suggestion to look to admin, and the academic admin is a good suggestion.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:33 PM on January 26, 2018 [5 favorites]

Communications is also not low stress.

I'm a publicist. We tend to rank pretty high on "most stressful jobs" lists. Working with publicists in any capacity will raise your stress level rather than lower it, especially if you are writing for them.

On a separate note, I'm so sorry you're having to deal with such a toxic work environment. Hope you find something that fits you perfectly very quickly.
posted by zarq at 1:09 PM on January 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

I'm a technical writer and I'd definitely suggest it. No emergencies, great pay in large metro areas, can be done remotely although most places want you in the office at least part time.
posted by woodvine at 1:28 PM on January 26, 2018 [3 favorites]

Communications is also not low stress.

In my own experience, it really depends on the workplace/organization. I worked in the internal communications/publications department (newsletters, incentive programs, safety bulletins, etc.) at the headquarters of an industrial company for several years, and 95% of the time it was a basic 9-5 gig with a very predictable, manageable workload. There are many places where that's not the case, of course, but it really can vary.
posted by the return of the thin white sock at 2:08 PM on January 26, 2018

Technical writing, technical editing, or instructional design, especially if you're part of a team and have a good boss or lead who is willing to do the internal client interactions and just feel you stuff to do. Basically, you spent a lot of time taking technical or complicated information and translating it into understandable language.

If you're good with software, you might want to teach yourself some of the eLearning authoring tools, like Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate. That will net you a higher hourly income, and, generally, you also get a little more slack in the project schedule, because it takes longer to create eLearning modules than instructor-led.

Good luck!
posted by dancing_angel at 5:56 PM on January 26, 2018 [5 favorites]

This is super late and you are probably not looking for answers anymore, but I am basically you without the sexual harrassment. I will say that I have done copy editing and it felt good, strongly considered technical writing, and have worked in academia for 3 years. That is to say, the recs here are sound.

Throwing in: academic library paraprofessional. Basically, library jobs for people without library degrees. VERY low key and low stress work, so long as you aren't at a front desk anywhere.
posted by adelaide at 10:10 PM on October 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

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