I've quit my job and now...
June 28, 2008 5:37 AM   Subscribe

I have finally quit the job that in which I experienced so much grief.

I know how to look for work and am making strides in that direction. I am also starting with a psychologist on Tuesday so I can better understand why I stayed for so long and why I would consider suicide a useful way to solve my "career problems."

But in the meantime, I would like you to help me in my brainstorming. I want to remain busy, even if it's at volunteer or low-pay positions around Houston. Of course, like everyone else and their niece, I have gobs o' technical and writing experience that could be useful, but I would also consider cleaning out animal kennels, too. (Animal Kennels meaning that I would consider pretty much anything.)

I don't think I care where, per se, though I suppose I would be more up for something that's useful to a community rather than just making Wal-Mart/Starbucks/McDonalds/Coke richer.

Can the mefi community just throw some quicky job/gig ideas at me, please?


posted by tcv to Work & Money (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Volunteering at a hospital can be rewarding. If you have time, you could learn to be an EMT (but this requires a bit of time, commitment and strength of stomach at times). If you volunteer to usher at the theater, you can often see the shows for free. Working in a local library also has its perks.

That's all I've got right off the top of my head.

posted by singerdj at 5:53 AM on June 28, 2008

My suggestion is that you look at the energy companies, because frankly that's where the money's at right now (and we are an oil-and-gas town). Are you still wanting to do IT support type of work?
posted by Houstonian at 6:14 AM on June 28, 2008

Congratulations Mike!

Volunteering resources: Volunteer Houston (there's a temp job op in there too for someone with writing experience), Volunteer Match, City of Houston Volunteer Initiative. Every art organization, hospital, non-profit will have their own volunteer opportunities too.

If you have any interest in a health related field there's a huge variety of jobs here both in and outside of the Med Center. One entry level full or part-time job in hospitals is Patient Transportation or Patient Escort. They make about 17-22K a year. You can see if you like hospital culture before you do something requiring more commitment.

You sound like you're already doing this: think of your full-time job now as working on getting the life you want. Eat well, exercise. Love and care for yourself. Break the habit of negative thinking. Check the employment opportunities on the website of every organization or business you like in town. Find out what the places that interest you are looking for. Take a class at your closest community college. Jobs with other students and/or classes are great places to be around other people in transition. This is both comforting and a great resource for ideas.

Stay positive. The world is wide open for you now. You'll find the right path. Good luck!
posted by dog food sugar at 6:41 AM on June 28, 2008

What about starting your own freelance writing business? Contact design companies and drop off a brochure and some samples. Lots of people need content written or edited for websites, brochures, technical manuals, etc.

Check out freelanceswitch.com and countless other websites for guidance. This could very well be a brand new start for you.

Good luck!
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 6:56 AM on June 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

I went through about 6 months of unemployment about 10 years ago and found a nice way to make some cash. I put an ad in classifieds offering my services as a tutor.

I basically said in the ad that I could help with most subjects and with SAT's, ACTs and GED, as well as in home computer lessons. I put the ad in on a Wednesday, by that Friday I was completely booked for the next few weeks. I tutored older people trying to get their GED. I tutored high school athletes in algebra as they tried to stay eligible to play. I worked with senior citizens on setting up their computers and helping them learn to email.

10 years ago I charged $20 an hour. Today you could probably get more than that (and gas money for traveling as well). I made my own hours, made lots of new friends and in the end made almost as much money as I did on the job I lost.
posted by UseyurBrain at 7:11 AM on June 28, 2008 [5 favorites]

Sometimes the most rewarding job is the one where you can help someone else change their own life for the better. Considering your experiences with depression, I wonder if you might be interested in helping other people who might be going through similar or more serious troubles.

Crisis Intervention of Houston is one place to look. You might also want to look in to the Mental Health Authority of Harris County, TeenLink Houston, etc.

You might want to check out other community mental health agencies and local affiliates of national mental health awareness and advocacy groups, like Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMSHA), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) --Metro Houston, West Houston, Mental Health America (MHA) of Greater Houston.

Here's a whole list of groups you might find interesting to get involved with.

No matter what you do, I hope you find yourself in the best possible role for your strengths and interests.

Good luck, and keep us posted on what you decide.
posted by mynameismandab at 3:47 PM on June 28, 2008

I'd vote for focusing on getting a job, any job, over volunteering, unless the volunteering is needed to get some experience for a desired career.

The longest time I was unemployed was for 6 months, after I graduated from university. It was also pretty depressing, as I spent each day halfheartedly looking for jobs while everyone else was out working. I finally took a job that was totally unrelated to my desired career field just to get out of the house and start making some money. It was the best thing I could have possibly done.

I got my motivation back, learned a lot of great new skills that have helped me, and got back to socializing with the outside world.

I'm a big fan of volunteering, but assuming you aren't independently wealthy, I think your time would be better spent looking for a paying job, even if the pay is minimum wage.
posted by Flying Squirrel at 8:24 PM on June 28, 2008

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