Discount Resident Contrarians Now Available
Hi everyone - I want to respond to all of these but I don't have the ability to at the moment as much as I'd like.
Thanks for everyone who is sending well-wishes and I very much appreciate the it's-a-wonderful-lifing that is happening with paid subs right now. Nobody should feel obligated to do that but it's nonetheless very, very nice. Love you all - will be better at communications soon.
Well, congratulations. The worst thing that could happen happened to you. Now you're going to get a new job and every time you're afraid of being fired in the future you'll be able to say, "I was fired in the middle of a recession and it wasn't that bad." Works wonders for self-confidence.
In the meantime, getting a job is basically three skills:
If you feel weak in any of these I've helped probably more than a hundred people with them at this point. And I know other people who do it professionally.
Also, in terms of expectation setting, the median pay for a non-technical corporate writer is $93k. 80% make more than $80k. Top 20% is $140k. Iirc you were making about $100k which is, as those numbers show, just average.
Why not try to pitch your services to as many US-based startups as you can? There's this thing about being a 'fractional worker' that kind of makes sense. The idea is that you sell a fraction of your work week to a bunch of companies that individually wouldn't need your full-time effort. Startups would seem ripe for this kind injection of writing talent - most would never need a full-timer, but they might be happy to pay for 10% of a writer. This should work whether you're a kind of close-to-the-customer writer or a close-to-the-engineers writer.
The benefit of this approach is that it might be accomplished by spamming startup CEOs with a well-written pitch letter. So it wouldn't depend upon you having an established network, which you probably haven't, given that you're not a bullshitter.
I think you shouldn't limit yourself to just being a writer. Also consider roles like "Project Manager", etc. which have a lot of writing as well.
I have a few ideas for you. These are all stopgap measures, though some could probably be built into businesses if you live near a well-to-do suburb and are into that kind of thing. You want customers who are financially comfortable, so that will mostly be professionals of some kind. They don’t have to be, like, cardiologists, though. A single person making $80K, for instance, probably would not consider it out of the question to spend $90 a week having someone run all their errands for them, if the person was reliable and did a good job. If you have a Whole Foods or other high-end store near you, that’s a good place to advertise. Yuppies, buying organic vegs that cost $7/lb, right?
-Run errands for people. Make clear that you’re flexible — groceries, dog to vet, pick up kid, dry cleaning, drive grandma to the airport, pretty much anything legal you can do in a car. I live in an expensive metropolitan area, and think you could charge about $30/hour for that here. Since you’re male, people are especially likely to want references. Consider doing free errands for a friend for a few days, so that they can honestly be a reference for you (well — semi-honest. You don’t want them admitting they’re a buddy of yours.).
-Tutor: I you have good SAT scores, you can tutor kids for the SAT. If you’re just good at SAT verbal that will probably work too — they can find somevody else for the math. You have to take the SAT to have scores to show, but you can take it online almost any time. Commercial tutoring companies charge $100/hour for SAT tutors, and they charge double for situations where the student needs intensive tutoring immediately, to prepare for an SAT in a coupla weeks. So if you charge $80/hour you’re a bargain. You can also tutor for one of these companies, and that will ensure that you have plenty of students — *however* the one I know about charges students $100/hr and pays tutors $26.
-Edit people’s dissertations, focusing on prose style. You don’t have to understand their field, and for some people you might even get away with skipping out on knowing the format for footnotes, etc.their field requires. Ideally what you want is a grad student at a US university whose first language is not English. What you could mostly do for them is correct grammatical errors and make the prose crisp and clear (prose by people who are not native speakers is often muddy, because they’re not entirely comfortable with English). You don’t want starving grad students, you want the children of wealthy foreign families. Many grad students from abroad are in fact from wealthy families, because most US universities expect them to pay and full — they are not eligible for the various fellowships and loans. For that, too, you could charge $80/hour. If their dissertation is in a field you know nothing about you will need to spend a lot of time with them getting clear about what they are *trying* to say, so that you can then say it clearly. Warn them in advance about that, and make clear you would charge $80/hr for those calls, too.
Hope this helps. I’m doing OK now, but do not come from money. Have worked as a diner waitress and a hotel maid.
Please post a resume or LinkedIn link. That'll help people who may be hiring better understand if there's a chance of a fit or not.
"Writer" is pretty generic. What industries/jobs do you know stuff about other than writing, making you more useful as a writer in those areas?
Now paid subscriber.
Although I'm not a religious person, I will pray nonetheless.
Oh gosh, that sucks. You'll be in my prayers for sure.
You woll have prayers from me. I will think about uour situation and may reach out.
Subscribed, and good luck! I live with the same terror, but remember that people lose their jobs all the time and are just fine. You’ll be too.
As someone who has always hated their job and loved being right, congratulations.
Yeah, I've had that experience.
"Ah, shit. This is *that* call, today. Bugger."
I'm sorry. Will be praying. You are a guy with incredible skills. We need to find an employer who appreciates those skills.
Don't know of any open positions to point you to but I hope everything goes well for you!
I just finished Part One, Chapter One of RET Handbook of Rational Emotive Thetapy by Albert Ellis. He maintains "the thesis that, in all probably the various irrationalities have biological roots and stem from thre fundamental nature of humans ." You seem much more rational than irrational. Stay calm and carry on!