While I continue to seek a position (anything! I'll take anything!) in my old line of work (herding cats), the options are few. There are positions advertised in Chicago, NYC and the D.C. area, but moving is not an option. Meanwhile, I'm looking outside my field using my transferable skills or even jobs I did while in high school and college - restaurant server, retail sales associate, pushing grocery carts at Krogers. So far the results have been the phone not ringing.
The Department of Labor suggests job retraining for those of us drifting in this altered employment universe. While my long-term goal is to make a living off writing, I still must have plans B, C and D in place. Things move pretty fast, you know. And while nothing would please me more than to be able to write that post telling you that not only have I gotten a literary agent, but that also she or he has negotiated an awesome deal with a publishing house and also they see big things for this novel and want two more from me and also Nora Ephron or that chick who beat James Cameron out for the Oscar, I think it was his ex-wife, somehow heard about the manuscript and they want to talk screenplays......
Oh. Sorry. Whisper the words #amwriting at me and my brain starts spinning tales of wild! mad! crazy! success!!!! with red carpet walks and book signings that celebrities want to attend!!!!!
A few bills paid and a nice five day trip to France while the kids are tucked up somewhere getting reacquainted with Grandma and Grandpa would be okay, too.
So the writing is what it is - a labor of love that might some day pay a bit. It's what I want to do. But I also have to be realistic, damn it. I want to be Lisa.
So the job retraining thing seems legit. I've been doing my research. First I looked at The Hot Jobs for the Future. Okay, so here's some promising stuff.
Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! There's still a chance for me to finally be an actress! Wait - no. If you've seen the Commute Chat set of videos on YouTube, you know that's not going to happen.
Someone still needs to write the books, the screen plays, the TV shows, the music etc. Positions requiring a high level of creativity and originality should still be highly valued.
....Reality TV will have a minor impact on the demand for actors. Unique personalities and talented people will always catch our interests and will be in high demand, at least until we tire of them.
Nevertheless, I'm buoyed by the line up there about needing someone to write the books. Pick me! Pick me!
But wait. The silver hair and crows feet scream SEASONED!!!! otherwise known as old. Don't most writers begin early to establish their careers?
Taking another bite of the reality cupcake (which tastes like defeat frosted with desperation), I narrowed my search a little and found The10 Best Jobs for Over-Forty Women. Gee, it kind of hurt my arthritis to type that. (I may look over-forty, but I'm eighteen on the inside!)
Some days I really wish I'd had the good sense to find a job with a solid company when I was twenty-three and to have just stayed in that job forever and ever and ever. Played it safe, you know? No wait - if I'm rewinding - I wish I'd gone to that interview at the big insurance company instead of accepting the job offer from the low-paying not-for-profit! No wait - if I rewind further - I wish I'd never switched my major from Secondary Education to French! No wait - go back again - I wish I'd never changed my plans to go to nursing school in Cincinnati to become an R.N. so that I could go to Ball State to be a high school teacher, but party a lot first! No wait! one more rewind. I wish someone had said to me HEY STUPID! YOU'RE A WRITER! HOW ABOUT CONSIDERING WRITING AS A CAREER????
And there I am again. (Looks at the list above) Okay, let's deal with the reality, shall we? I've made notes. Notes mean I'm serious about this. I even wrote using black ink instead of my favorite purple felt tip.
Community Service Coordinator/Manager - I could do this. It's very close to what I've done in the past. Would probably have to go back to school for my Masters in Public Administration to stand out in the crowd and make new contacts.
Personal Financial Adviser - Only if you want me to teach people how to fail with style.
Environmental Scientist - Does knowing not to mix bleach with ammonia qualify me? I'm thinking the biology and chemistry classes would be an obstacle I might not be able to overcome.
Registered Nurse - You don't really want me in charge of medications and needles, do you?
Computer and Information Systems Manager - I'm a user. That would be like putting the person who takes the meth in charge of making the meth. The end result is never pretty and things often blow up.
Education Administrator - More schooling. A possibility. Although I know a few of these who've been laid off recently so.......
Strategic/Crisis Communication Professional - My strategy for Crisis Communication is shrieking Mathman's real name and then shouting "Who in the fuck caused this mess?"
Accountant - Stop laughing. Oh, okay, laugh. The very idea is hilarious. I have to ask MathMan to do most of my math after I get past the counting of fingers and toes stage.
Human Resources Specialist - Another maybe. Would require schooling, I think and, because I once made my living pushing professional credentials, would also require membership and courses toward certification through SHRM.
Small-Scale Niche Farmer - Well, I do have all that experience herding cats and I used to have a huge garden....
The other possibility I've been considering is library science. It combines the things I love - publications, words, research, information, technology, community. Plus it's Oedipally ordained. My mother-in-law was a librarian. I have several friends who are librarians like Liberality and Suzy and Randal! How could I forget Randal? and whomever else I might be forgetting and offending and I'm really sorry about that.
And yes, I'm also looking at programs here in Georgia for the Masters in Fine Arts with a focus on creative writing. I guess if you pinned me down with your knees and dangled a loogey over my face, I'd say my dream job is writing novels and screenplays and corrupting young adult minds through a position in some mid-level academic scene in a college town with a great faux-English pub. Unless, of course, I could land a spot in Oxford.....(Oh, Harold! there she goes again!)
See you later, lovers, I've got daydreaming to do. And as three million and seven people say on Facebook each week Thank God It's Friday. What are your weekend plans? Long-term goals? Dream job?