Where can I find "low-tech" jobs online?
July 27, 2006 6:55 AM   Subscribe

Where can I find "low-tech" jobs online? We just had a baby and so my wife has to stay at home and take care of him. However, she still has some free time and she would like to do some stuff from home. She's a medical doctor with a bit of IT experience (mostly as a user, though). So I was thinking to find her some work online, maybe entering some data or as a translator (she speaks English and German, German is her mother-tongue) or maybe other "low-tech" jobs like this... So do you have any idea where can I find such jobs? Thanks!
posted by panzerboy to Work & Money (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Medical transcriptionists can often work from home and only need a little bit of technical knowledge and familiarity with medical terms.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:02 AM on July 27, 2006

Google is hiring quality raters. I've been doing this for a couple months now. Work is easy, hours flexible, and it's pretty interesting. Her language skills and advanced degree should make her a shoo-in. Pay is around $15 and hour. Actual employer is a temp agency, but their checks are good, so no complaints.
posted by cosmicbandito at 7:02 AM on July 27, 2006 [2 favorites]

I'm a translator. I don't think of it as "low-tech." I think of ditch-digging as low-tech (then again, those ditch-witches are pretty cool). Anyhow, I would think that someone with formal medical training and language skills could do quite well as a translator. Translating is a skill unto itself, and not something she'll necessarily posess, but if she's good at it, that would be a good option. There would probably be more demand for G>E translation than E>G. How's her English writing ability?

Your profile doesn't say where you are. If you're in the USA (actually, even if you're not), she could join the ATA as a way to make contacts; there may be a local chapter with meetings she could attend, and there's an annual ATA convention that is a major schmoozefest, and would be a perfect networking opportunity for her.
posted by adamrice at 7:05 AM on July 27, 2006

Response by poster: cosmicbandito, thaks for the link. However, it applies only to United States and Canada and we are living in Switzerland (I should have probably mentioned this in the original post).

Too bad, it would have been interesting.
posted by panzerboy at 7:05 AM on July 27, 2006

She's had a baby, not a brain removal. Doing low-tech unskilled labour, not only will her skills degrade, she'll be making a fraction of what she could earn if you both thought more creatively about finding her some work.
posted by zadcat at 7:06 AM on July 27, 2006

Response by poster: zadcat, this would be only temporary until the baby is at least 6-8 months old so that he can eat something else than breast milk.

And I said "low-tech" because I didn't know any better :-). Observe the quotes.

Can you please give me an example of creative thinking? We are willing to search for any type of work-from-home that matches her skills then choose from there what would be the best alternative.

I hope that now it's understood what I meant by "low-tech", I certainly didn't mean to offend translators, or medical transcriptionists, or nobody for that matter. I have much respect even for the guy who picks the garbage than for the people who prefer to do nothing and live on wellfare.
posted by panzerboy at 7:11 AM on July 27, 2006

[I think the term you might have wanted is low-impact?]
posted by whatzit at 7:29 AM on July 27, 2006

My mother's boss (an Orthopaedic surgeon) does quite a bit of consulting for lawyers involved in claims involving medical injury. Granted he has to go to court to testify quite a bit which your wife may not be able to do but I'm sure there are aspects of this that can be done purely from home like analysing medical reports for lawyers or insurance claims?
posted by PenDevil at 8:17 AM on July 27, 2006

Would she be interested in teaching or consulting? She could give medical talks at community centres, teach courses at your local university or act as a consultant for companies, law firms, and other organizations. Then she could earn more like $75-$200 an hour.

I've been a consultant for many years, and, since having my son, I've been thrilled with how efficient it is, in terms of dollars per hour.
posted by acoutu at 8:29 AM on July 27, 2006

I wonder who does the writing for websites like WebMD. Seems like a work-from-home-on-your-own-time job that might be perfect for a doctor?
posted by JMOZ at 8:42 AM on July 27, 2006

As an aside I think caring for an infant is pretty high tech if done right. I applaud your wife for her priorities.

Perhaps free lance writing? Or perhaps the local newspaper would like a column written by a real doc on medical topics?
posted by konolia at 10:05 AM on July 27, 2006

Yes I know many teachers who consult in trials and evidently it is very low-impact or at least not within the traditional structure, as they can teach and consult on the side. It involves going to court when you actually have to testify, but I believe it is a pretty laid back position otherwise. Well paid too boot.
posted by geoff. at 11:21 AM on July 27, 2006

Maybe she could start a blog where she writes about medical "stuff" and answer questions. Could be quite popular, and you can earn money by having google adsense on it. I think they pay pretty well for medical keywords.
posted by toreo at 3:26 PM on July 27, 2006

sounds like she could do pretty well as a (medical) translator - into German if German is her native language - but it does take quite a bit of effort in the beginning to get clients, and she may not have the time or energy to do this.

it's going to be a trade-off - the work she can find quickly and easily is likely to be mind-crushingly boring, and the interesting work will be harder to find.

No harm in sending her resume to some medical translation agencies though (these should be easily google-able) and see what happens.
posted by altolinguistic at 3:37 AM on July 28, 2006

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