Continuing off of last week’s post about what I perceive to be my value in the job market, I thought I would share my thought process regarding rejoining the workforce, including my criteria for finding new employment and my thoughts on a possible new business.
Money Isn’t the Big Factor
The whole point of selling my house was to give myself the freedom to do work that I enjoy doing rather than forcing me to work jobs I can afford to live on. Of course, I will need some income to cover basic necessities. But I’ve whittled down my definition of basic necessities such that I could live on less than $12,000 a year after taxes. I should note, however, that that figure doesn’t include health insurance (the cost or necessity of which is up in the air between current attempts to repeal the ACA and my change in employment status). Nor does it include money for travel expenses or to continue my haunt crafting.
Because I’m not holding out for a large wage or salary, you would think that will leave me open to my pick of jobs. But you would be mistaken. On the contrary – the number of jobs I can realistically take is pretty small.
Relevant Factors and Criteria
First of all, I’ve got to consider my dog, Remy. Being a self-employed work-at-home attorney has been an ideal living arrangement for the two of us. But since I’m the only human being in our “pack”, leaving to go to work creates new obstacles for caring for Remy. Giving Remy up for adoption is not an option. Caring for her is my only remaining responsibility, and I don’t intend to welsh on it. And placing her in daycare is both expensive and tedious.
My best options are to find roommates (or a partner) who can help me watch her for part of the day, find a job where I can bring Remy with, or find a part-time job so I don’t have to leave her alone for 8+ hours a day.
I don’t intend to stop travelling once the North American Tour is over, either, so I need a job that has some flexibility or mobility. A seasonal job, a job that necessarily includes travel, or a travel-related job are all ideal options here.
As antisocial as I am, I am also looking for a job where I have a lot of independence and am not required to interact much with customers, clients, or even bosses.
But most importantly, I have to enjoy the work. There’s no point in going through all of this upheaval in retiring from law and selling my home if I’m just going to wind up back in another job I hate. On that note, I also intend to avoid large corporate employers.
Finally, I’ve got to find an employer who is either willing to overlook my past employment experience or not ask too many questions about it. Kids – remember that an education closes more doors than it opens. You’d be surprised at the jobs you will be turned down for because you’re overqualified.
Some Employment Ideas I’ve Had
I’ve got a pretty long and growing list of potential jobs that fits one or more of the criteria I’ve described above.
- Haunt Jobs
- Travel Jobs
- Truck Driving
- Flight / Train / Ship Attendant, Deckhand
- Festival or Carnival Circuit
- Tour Guide
- Speaking Engagements
- Location Independent Jobs
- Travel Writer
- Blogger / Podcaster
- Virtual Assistant
- Mentor / Instructor / Guide / Coach
- Seasonal Jobs
- US Forest Service
- National Park Service
- Ex-Pat Jobs
- Foreign Service
- English Teacher
- Au Pair
- Peace Corps
- Drifter Jobs
- Food Service
- Housekeeping / Hospitality
- Hotel Work
- Street Vendor / Performer
- Other Ideas
- Morgue Attendant or Technician
- Theatrical Work
Is Self-Employment the Way to Go?
As appealing to me as some of the items on that list are, not a single one of them is perfect. Not one meets all of my criteria (though a few come close).
It might be that the only way for me to exert as much control over my future occupation as I want is to start another business. I won’t have the consistency of a paycheck (but how many jobs nowadays can even boast a steady paycheck, let alone job security?). On the other hand, I can control my hours, work environment, interaction with people, not answer to a boss, and do work I love.
My two biggest ideas for a new business are to either continue crafting corpses and haunt props and selling them online, or to establish a haunt production company.
If I spend wisely during the North American Tour, the proceeds from the sale of my home should be enough seed money to start either business. Crafting and selling corpses is a lot simpler and I could begin to see returns on that work relatively soon. The production company has a lot more risks and would be a massive undertaking. But I don’t want to produce a standard haunted house. I am leaning toward a traveling haunt performance group. (I was thinking of a haunted theatrical production company, but given the low interest in classical theatre in modern times, I’m probably better off pitching it as live entertainment.)