Career Notes

My brain is fried today, like a box of Popeye’s chicken but not nearly as tasty. Lots of stuff on my mind and wading through some life challenges.

So, why the heck not just toss out one those challenges and use y’all as a sounding board?

My career is in shambles. I am a journalist (editor and writer, with some layout/design skills as well) with nearly two decades of experience. I am currently stuck in a place that is not a major media market and not a hotbed of other opportunities either that might fit with me (like corporate communications and such). I’ve been making a decent living for some years as a freelancer, with clients who employ me from other states to do work on their magazines, newsletters, etc. on a regular basis.

Problem is that because of cost-cutting, I’ve lost several clients over the past few years (several of them non-profit organizations, but one of them a fairly major management magazine, too). I have never been able to rebuild, and it’s killing me.

Moving isn’t an option, and I cannot make work appear, so I find myself looking now at graduate programs (which would mean a second master’s degree for me).

Thought about dental school, since there’s a paucity of dentists nationwide and in my area in particular, but I can’t make it through organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry or calculus.

Thought about counseling programs, but they all require substantial work under another person with certification for a year or two or three before I could hang out my own shingle.

Currently looking at graduate IT programs, since I write about information technology fairly often. That seems my best bet right now.

But, for those of you who follow me regularly, any ideas, or input on my current one? I’d love to hear from you, if only to talk about this with someone other than my wife for once.



26 Responses to “Career Notes”

  1. 1 LightWorker
    May 22, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Deke, I’m reluctant to say this, mainly because I suspect that you believe your problem is outside of yourself: that is, a problem that requires manipulation from the outside, rather than from the inside. This usually leads to resistance on the part of those that believe I’m all wet.

    And when I tell you that you’re NOW amply employed, making sufficient monies to maintain health and hearth, you may be tempted to envision a rack with me on it.

    You can go about this in two ways:

    1. With a grateful heart, you can bask in the knowledge that God has met your needs in the here and now, and that under his watchful eye you’re always fully protected, and fully employed, with all your needs fully met, or…

    2. You can move massive ideas around that you call obtaining more clients, changing careers, or expanding your career path. This, too, may work, but it’s laborious, and time-consuming–a slow, and ponderous approach to achieving what you wish.

  2. 2 Deacon Blue
    May 22, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    I won’t put you to the rack or anything, but believe me, I know my industry, and there are a lot of things going on in it that ARE making it increasingly burdensome.

    Fact is, I DON’T make enough to meet my family’s needs. We’re sinking downward and backward and while there were good reasons for me not to consider a career change and possible education a couple years ago, it needs to be done now. Something needs to be done, as this is a world where it’s not always feasible to trust that one’s career can be a lifetime supporter of one’s life.

    I am reminded that faith is great, but faith without works is dead…and it’s time for me to have faith that God will provide in the interim while I work toward longer-term solutions that he can put His blessings toward.

  3. May 22, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    Eh. God lets people starve every day, so keep moving those massive ideas around… one thing to keep in mind…You CAN get through math and chemistry. Don’t be a pussy.:D Just be sure whatever field you go back to school for, to blog much wisdom about juggling work, school, and life with something resembling sanity. I need this. Please.

  4. 4 32B
    May 22, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    I think the IT grad program is a good choice esp since you write about it often and, I’m assuming, the ability to write about it means you know the subject decently well…yea? I know a lot of people getting into the health care/medical field so I think the dentist idea would probably be my second choice….if you can get pass chemistry and calculus. I agree with Chris…you can get through those classes. I know many people leaving retail to take anatomy & chemistry for the first time but some people have a mind to grasp harder concepts and some don’t. Math and numbers come easy for some and not for others…follow what comes natural for you esp since going back to school is another debt.

  5. May 22, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    First, what are your dreams?

    “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic.” ~Goethe

    “Our doubts are traitors/ And make us lose the good we oft might win/ By fearing to attempt.” ~The Bard

    Second, what LW said.

    What do you lack right Now? Are you hungry right Now? Do you have sufficient roof over your head right Now? Not tomorrow, not even at midnight or six a.m. tomorrow morning, or an hour from Now, or even a minute from Now, but right Now?

    “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?… And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe ye, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we drink? or Wherewithal shall we be clothed? … for your heavenly father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. … Take, therefore, no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” ~Jesus.

    I don’t mean to be preachy, Deke. You know what is best for you. Follow your dreams, I don’t care how ludicrous it may seem. Remember what Julius Ceasar did when he landed on Britain? He turned to his men and said, “Okay, boys, burn the boats.” He was outnumbered a wee bit, but guess what? When you commit yourself, the Universe steps in to support you.

    Seems to me the worst part of your situation is fear. What will tomorrow hold? What if I can’t get ___________?

    Okay, so, what if? What’s the worst thing that happens? You lose your house? Your car? Your computer? Your wife? Your children? Your life?

    Here’s a blogpost I did back in September on a similar question. It helped me. May it bless you also. http://silknvoice.blogspot.com/2008/10/stuff-and-poverty.html

  6. May 22, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Thanks to everyone who’s commented. I don’t want to go into deep detail about my situation, but while there is roof over head and food on table, things are pretty grim in many ways. There are very critical things that aren’t getting taken care of and have no hope of getting taken care of under current circumstances or even forseeable future circumstances.

    I think one of my biggest worries about trying to tackle things like chemistry and calculus is that I would have to take (and pay for) such classes before ever entering a program. I would, in essence, be gambling. Going to school full time would afford me the ability to have some student loans that would pay for the schooling. Taking a small handful of prerequisite classes that were never part of my undergraduate years (and for which I have little natural aptitude) would require money directly out of pocket, and require me to take them one at a time, with the very strong chance I would fare poorly in my grades for those classes, thus ensuring wasted time and still no ability to enter a program that requires those classes. Time certainly wasted. Money possibly wasted as well.

    Yes, I suppose one could argue that I’m being a bit of a pussy, but I also have to weigh the odds and be aware of the fact that I have limited resources to deal with. And limited time as well. The sooner I enter a program that I feel can play to any of my strengths and get out of it, the sooner I can begin re-forming my career track. Not something I really want to do at the age of 41, but the world has changed a lot since I entered college the first time.

    And Seda, as far as dreams…well, when I finish my novel, I’ll probably try to fish around for someone to publish it. If that happens, great, my dream has been realized and perhaps I can be a full-time fiction author one day. Absent that, no occupation is going to net me my dreams at this point. I love writing and editing, and as a career, that is failing me as fewer companies and media outlets value real writing and they go to things like “citizen journalism” or hiring people to write online content for pennies, being willing to go with people who have no skill whatsoever. I feel much like I suppose steelworkers and auto worker have felt at various times…a life poured into doing a job well and expecting that you’ll progress, and then finding that the places you can do your job are becoming less, or hiring people who don’t have a fraction of your experience.

  7. 7 LightWorker
    May 23, 2009 at 5:05 am

    “Eh. God lets people starve every day….” Chris

    I see you’ve been talking with God! We, all of us on planet earth, let “people starve every day.” We blame God for these things, because we don’t understand our part in permitting (creating) the very things we say we would like to see abolished.

    Do you doubt that we have sufficient resources to feed the entire world? Well, we do, we simply have to do just one thing to make it so: SHARE!

    We (collectively, not individually) don’t share enough because we believe that by sharing we’re giving up some of that upon which we depend. We don’t share because we believe that the others’ lack is their fault. We don’t share because we believe that charity begins at home. We don’t share because we don’t always feel an affinity with the other.

    There are many reasons why we don’t share, I’ve merely shared just a few of the myths upon which we build that reality.

    Those that share know that there’s plenty, and more where that came from, and don’t feel diminished by their sharing: “Divine Love operates unspent.” C.S.

    “I don’t want to go into deep detail about my situation, but while there is roof over head and food on table, things are pretty grim in many ways. There are very critical things that aren’t getting taken care of and have no hope of getting taken care of under current circumstances or even forseeable future circumstances.”

    If you wish to see immediate improvement in your situation, you will have to do something that’s going to be more difficult than writing a novel, or taking classes for which you feel unequal to.

    You’ll have to see your situation in a new way: replete with opportunities, and filled with abundance, and not as “pretty grim in many ways.” You’ll to have to see all your needs as being met, rather than acquiescing to the thought that there are “very critical things that aren’t getting taken care of and have no hope of getting taken care of under current circumstances or even forseeable future circumstances.”

    “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.” C.S.

    And you’ll have to persist in that new mindset. This is not magic, as some will insist. This is not wasting your time, as you might insist. This is how we create the situations of our world in the first place.

    I challenge you to think a new thought, to speak forth a new reality, and to do something that supports the new idea.

    For example: Give away (to someone less fortunate than you) the money you think you will need to see you through the day. This very act of trusting the universe, the Infinite Unseen, the God of your understanding, to supply your needs, will send you and your world the message: “I have enough, and some to spare.”

    I know that’s going to be a hard thing to do. Unless you’ve made a habit of seeing things this way in your past, the old way of thinking will prevail unless you take up the new task with herculean effort.

    Think of it as writing a chapter or two in your book of life, fleshing out the plot (your new direction) with action, dialog, thoughts, and feelings. You’re the protagonist in the story, and you’re going to write it the way you wish it to end, despite encountering one travail after the other.

    In short, you’re going to write it as an author who’s in charge of his story, and you’re going to write it anyway you choose.

    There’s a new book out called, “When Everything Changes, Change Everything.” I don’t always endorse books, but this one is supremely relevant to our times.

    Here’s an exerpt from the promo:

    “The text combines psychology and spirituality for the first time in a very practical way, offering strikingly fresh ways of coping with the many changes that are now occurring in the lives of people everywhere-changes in the global financial scene, in politics, in people’s careers, in the setting of group and individual priorities, in social constructions and behaviors, and in family and romantic relationships. Really, in everything. Neale’s suggestion: fight fire with fire. When everything changes, change everything in the way you live your life. Offering Nine Changes That Can Change Everything, the text makes this idea remarkably easy to implement.”

    I cosign with Seda.

  8. 8 32B
    May 23, 2009 at 10:36 am

    WTH @ this thread! 😉

    That is a huge gamble having to take classes you aren’t naturally comfortable with, paying out of pocket, and not sure how well you will do. My first organic chemistry class I took twice and I have always taken science classes. Calculus I took twice as well and I do well with numbers. But I was prb 19 or 20 yrs old….you don’t have that luxury right now. If IT gets you in, out, and on to a career to help your family then do that. God helps those who help themselves.

  9. May 23, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Well, 32B, you’ve pretty much clinched my convictions about avoiding higher math and science.

    I mean, I have just about zero aptitude for the nuts and bolts of science and math. Information technology has coding, sure, but it’s more like learning new languages than learning new science. I made it through trig in high school…and my college level statistics math course ended up with a C that I think was a mercy grade from the prof. I did great in honors biology in high school but the moment I entered honors chemistry I was totally clueless.

    @ Light Worker:

    I understand what you are trying to convey both philosophically and spiritually, but there are limits to what I can do. Yes, a change in mindset is important and necessary and that’s already in the works…but it’s mostly about getting past my insistence on maintaining the career I’ve had for so long and it’s about getting over fear and guilt and procrastination and paralysis of my spirit and getting on with what needs to be done.

    This isn’t just a matter of giving away what I have and trusting God…this is a matter of getting off my ass and handling my responsibilities. Believe me, I’ve bled and given and kept quietly faithful. God has made sure I haven’t been rendered homeless, sure…nor lacked for meals, sure…but I have a daughter who needs dental work and I have 8-year old glasses on my head that need replacing and I have a son who’s about to go to college in a little over a year. We’re already so deeply in the hole that the only way it’s going to change dramatically is for God to send me a winning Lotto ticket. I’m faithful, but I’m not into fantasy fulfillment and the idea that if I sit tight and just change my mindset, everything will fall into place.

    Now is the s time for me to make a long-overdue change that can pay off in the long run and then trust God to help me make that path work and to get me through the “short run” of a new education without losing that roof over the head and that food on the table.

    I’m blessed and have been blessed, but abundance will only come when I move and give God something to bless.

  10. 10 LightWorker
    May 23, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    A reminder:

    25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
    26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
    27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
    28 [[[And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:]]]

    What good is God if he can provide for the “fowls of the air,” and the “lilies of the field,” and neglect us?

    Could it be that the “fowls of the air,” and the “lilies of the field,” never once question God’s willingness, and ability to provide? They just sort of take it all for granted.

    We need to take God for Granted, and He will grant to us All We Can Take.

  11. 11 LightWorker
    May 23, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    “I’m faithful, but I’m not into fantasy fulfillment and the idea that if I sit tight and just change my mindset, everything will fall into place.


    “I’m blessed and have been blessed, but abundance will only come when I move and give God something to bless.”

    I agree, somewhat (“According to your faith be it unto you.” You can’t have what you don’t have.).

    I’m not saying you should sit on your ass. If you’re thirsty and water is in sight, it would be foolish to ask God to bring it to you to avoid drawing it yourself.

    What I am saying is this: What you’re thinking, saying, and feeling right now will either make you are break you.

    And it appears that you’re handling the internal (spiritual) requirements, and I applaud you. Were it not for our belief that things take time, our manifestations would be instantaneous.

  12. 12 Mrs Blue
    May 23, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    This is Mrs. Blue chiming in, I must say I am surprised and impressed that you put this out in the open. I think a lot of your commenters gave you some good food for thought though as your wife, I do have a bias. 😉

    While I want you to find work that can satisfy your soul, the sad truth is while we are not starving today, we are middle aged and living check to check….not really what either of us thought would ever happen. I suppose if we did not have kids it would be one thing but we have kids and we have to make some choices.

    You know I have supported you staying in your field for the past several years despite the fact that the writing was on the wall, its only been recently that I have gently suggested that you might have to start looking for your cheese elsewhere. Yet the search for cheese need not force you entirely into a box you are not comfortable in, I think there can be some balance. In the end though only you can answer the question of where you should be professionally and what you should be doing.

  13. 13 Deacon Blue
    May 23, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    And certainly, my love, I don’t expect anyone to give me answers here as to what I should do, and I think you realize that. 😉 What I was looking for was stuff to chew on, and some perspectives that come from outside our personal circle. As you already know, I have multiple reasons for considering some of the paths that I have…just want to make sure I’m not missing something obvious in my considerations that someone else can provide.

  14. 14 LightWorker
    May 24, 2009 at 2:41 am

    “This is Mrs. Blue chiming in, I must say I am surprised and impressed that you put this out in the open.”

    Mrs. Blue I’m equally impressed. Deacon Blue’s honesty, forthrightness, and openness continue to impress and surprise me.

    I think that’s one of the reasons why I continue to come here, and contribute when I’m moved to do so.

    Deacon Blue is a rarity, and my remarks, although seemingly airy-fairy, come from a lifetime of depending on prayer to overcome many of life’s adversities.

    Although Deke says he’s not into “fantasy fulfillment,” I must admit that I’m not either. God is not a fantasy, and He meets our needs where we are, at the level of our understanding.

    Over the years I find that God uses others to fulfill His wishes. He moves others to work on our behalf. And although He’s able to turn water into wine, multiply the fish and the loaves, as well as raise the dead, most of us cannot demonstrate at that level of dominion–to manifest the supremacy of Spirit over the flesh, and matter.

    But we can demonstrate at the level of our understanding. We can all know that God provides for us even as he provides for the “lilies” and the “fowl.”

    This is why I urge you and Deke to fill your thoughts with abundance (rather than lack), with gratitude (in the face of dire straits), and to know God’s continuous care although your current situation seems bleak.

    This will keep you open to new opportunities, and to those angelic ideas when they wing their way into your mind. Fear, worry, concern, anxiety merely generate more of the same.

    What I learned over the years during times of tribulation is that God gives us His ideas, and those ideas meet our needs. I didn’t win the lottery. I didn’t find a hidden cache of money. But what did happen again and again: others were moved to offer me precisely what I needed at that time to meet my human needs.

    I don’t see why it can’t be the same for the two of you!

    Mrs. Blue, I just read Deacon Blue’s latest blog post addressing yours. I could hear the tenderness and love in his words.

    You two are going to be okay. Just know that God loves you, and cares for you. He won’t let you down.

    I’ll be praying, too, on your behalf.

  15. May 24, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    What LW said!

    It has impressed and amazed me to see, continually, how we (especially Kristin) have manifested abundance. Sometimes it’s been in really surprising ways. For instance, three years ago we set an intention to create a community that was really supportive for our children. We liked our house, our neighborhood, and were happy where we were, but wanted more. Our landlord had made clear her intention to keep the house and rent it for a long time. We invested heavily in our garden – and then she sold it, and evicted us. We ended up moving into a friend’s house, which she was selling. Even though we had no down payment, we were going to buy it, but it had some serious dryrot problems, and the bank wouldn’t loan. A month later, we found a place, kind of rundown, but, by some miracle, it became affordable. We bought it, and suddenly found ourselves in exactly the community we wanted.

    This kind of stuff happens constantly. The Universe feeds on our gratitude. And there’s always something to be grateful for.

  16. May 25, 2009 at 12:16 am

    Every class I take is a pain, even in subjects I am good at. One of the things I see is that none of it is rocket science (unless you shooting for rocket science) My difficulty comes from decades of not having to retain chunks of data for later regurgitation on demand. I just don’t want you to sell yourself short. making grades over 40 in many ways is a learned skill, and you can learn it. It is different from learning with a fresh, empty sponge between your ears, but you are resourceful and intelligent. I have a lot of faith in attitude and desire…and being responsible for the welfare of others is powerfully motivating. Dentistry…hmmm. Have you considered that working as a writer (which seems to be a calling… you probably aint giving that up) combined with another job that keeps you in front of a screen for many hours a week might might just drive you to burnout?
    And yes, light worker, I have been talking to God. I know we are responsible as his body for letting people starve. Yep. Some of em will starve tomorrow. Maybe before life slips away you could email em, and remind them to have gratitude. Direct them to bask in the knowledge that God has met their needs in the here and now, and that under his watchful eye they’re always fully protected, and fully employed, with all their needs fully met.

    Thank God some people move massive ideas around. They do put a small dent in the problem.

  17. 17 LightWorker
    May 25, 2009 at 4:00 am

    What Seda said!

    “Maybe before life slips away you could email em, and remind them to have gratitude.” Chris

    No, I’ll just ask you here to show YOUR gratitude for YOUR abundance by sponsoring one of those children who’re so in need of your support. There are many such organizations in our world working to alleviate the suffering that you seem to care so much about. Here’s one:


    “Thank God some people move massive ideas around. They do put a small dent in the problem.” Chris

    I agree: but we all can do more! The “dent,” as you call it, doesn’t have to be small–collectively we can practically eradicate this blight on humankind.

    I stand by my statements. I have a lifetime of proof to support them, and that constitutes my authority.

    “This kind of stuff happens constantly. The Universe feeds on our gratitude. And there’s always something to be grateful for.” Seda

    Well put, Seda. It’s not easy breaking down resistance to these concepts. Some folks have allowed what they think they see to harden their resolve not to see another way–another approach to the resolution of our problems.

    The old way of benign neglect hasn’t worked, but it’s easier to maintain it than to replace our comfortable, well-worn, but ineffectual beliefs, with new ones–especially if those new ones appear to offer, to the untrained eye, very little concrete help.

    “And yes, light worker, I have been talking to God.” Chris

    Then surely He reminded you of this:

    3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
    4 [[[Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.]]]
    5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

    Thanksgiving will get you through His gates (the best way I know to enter), and praise will get you all the way into His courts. There He will hear your petition: you can ask what you will, and your words will become the Will of God.

    As sheep in His pasture, it is the Shepherd’s responsibility to care for, and protect the sheep. He’s doing just that, but as long as you believe that the Shepherd doesn’t exist, or that He’s missing, or that He’s just neglectful, then that’s what He will be to you.

    Let me let you in on a little secret: God’s Will for you, is your will for you. And God will never intrude on that. Your beliefs about yourself, your world, and those in it, constitute your will for God.

    And God always deliver, whether you like it or not! [Read that last sentence again….]

  18. May 25, 2009 at 10:37 am

    When you really break it down, all life is just a constant exchange and flow of energy. And the energy you release out into the world, is the energy you receive back from it.

  19. 19 Deacon Blue
    May 25, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Light Worker, Seda…don’t get me wrong. We’ve been blessed in many ways. Our home is one of them. As I posted once before, the house has been paid off thanks to my father. Otherwise, we would be without a roof. 😉 My concern here, career-wise, is that I need to provide and need to move forward. I can’t afford to slip slowly backward one step at a time until I have nothing for my kids and no way to maintain our health, build some savings, fix the porch, etc.

    God has worked in my life in so many ways when I needed Him, and I imagine that’s both because of faith and what we’ve given to others in the world.


    Chris, one of the reasons I’m thinking IT is because it could fit in well with my writing, and my other skills. I don’t have a problem being in front of a computer. I’m not burned out. I lack clients and the ability to generate more of them, and I lack opportunities to practice my trade in a way that will be an adequate salary to justify a commute.

    I would prefer to keep writing and editing alone…but that isn’t feasible right now and might not be feasible in the future. I need a backup and/or supplement

  20. May 26, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Sorry I missed this discussion.

    Since Deac and I share some of the same worries about our career fields, this is a discussion I’ve been having internally for a while.

    I was wondering, if you’re going to spend two years getting a master’s degree, have you thought about law school or something similar? I understand that a good background in writing and logic goes a long way in law school.

    While I understand the need to make pratical choices, I’m also drawn to Light Worker’s comments because they echo things my father has told me over the years.

    He has had many different jobs and lost many different jobs and he’s always told me that his calm has been his belief that God will provide. It seems crazy to me, but I’ve seen God make a way in his life when it seemed like all was lost.

    So, I think it’s cool that you’re thinking about other jobs, that’s smart. But, don’t let yourself be stressed out. Don’t let your questions consume your ability to enjoy the blessings you have right now.

  21. 21 Deacon Blue
    May 26, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    Thanks, Big Man…

    I think the stresses are more in looking at things my family members absolutely need (not simply want) and realizing my means don’t provide for those things.

    The thought about law school is interesting. I hadn’t really considered that, but I’m not sure. Law is tricky. There are many different kinds, some of them that pay worse than being a journalist…LOL…and others that require so much out of you that the family will suffer.

    Plus, I’ve always thought there were too many lawyers in this world anyway.

    But still, it is something to chew on…

  22. May 27, 2009 at 1:59 am

    forget IT. anything that can be outsourced, will be outsourced.

    been saying this for the past 20 years, now even the NY Times is quoting leading economists saying that. where did i get my info, lo those many eyars ago before the burst of the first tech bubble?

    my day job as a tax accountant. which is also going the way of all things as home software becomes easier and easier to use. the only people who need professional tax preparation are those wanting refund anticipation loans [which i disapprove of on a moral basis. the banks charge 300-350% for these advances. USURY! THROW THEM OUT OF THE TEMPLE!] persons who are afraid of math [???] and persons who have truly complex or questionable taxation issues: schedule c,d, or e filers.

    people would ask me, where’s the money? i’d reply, if you can stomach it, go into nursing or allied health: sonogram tech, radiologist, anesthesia, lab tech. NO WAY TO OUTSOURCE, you go on to get a higher certification, you can gross 75-100G a year. and i don’t advise med school, the government, insurance agencies take the joy and the dollars out of it.
    next fields: specialized auto mechanics.
    both satisfying on a gut and intellectual level, lots of problem solving, and you see the fruit of your labor.

    so what do i do? i’m a tax accountant and i freelance on the arts and entertainment. i’m a fool in love with my work. trying to expand my freelance work and to get certified as a creative writing teacher on the high school level.
    what does my 2nd born aspire to? math professor and writer-she wants to be douglas hofstader when she grows up.
    my youngest? a concert violinist and sculpter.
    the only practical one is my oldest, culinary/baking and pastry cert. which she decided she doesn’t want to do, she’s 19 and confused.

    i look at so many i know in this downward spiral, this teetering on the next great depression, one paycheck away from foreclosure and i shudder.

    no answers but lots of sympathy. been there, done that, back there again.

    oh yeah. not going to waste time telling you to have faith. faith does NOT put bread on the table. that article in AOL on the guy who gort multiple offers and landed a job paying more than his old one by telling his church he was unemployed, i’m not buying it. the woman who got a job by posting on her facebook makes me ill. where were these jobs posted for anyone qualified to apply? where?

    btw: law school-look at the lists of unemployed attorneys in your area. it will grow over the next 3 years. yes 3. law school and bar certification. consider becoming a paralegal specializing in real estate with a bank. cash in on the foreclosure crisis. can be certified in 6-10 months.

  23. 23 LightWorker
    May 27, 2009 at 2:17 am

    Hey, Deke, have you thought about being a nurse, a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), or a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN).

    Male nurses are in big demand!

    The job is not as glamorous as dentistry, but it pays well, and in some cases only require one year of study.

    Courses are also available online, which would allow you to multitask family, what you’re currently doing, and that.

    Granted there’s going to be some classes that may still challenge, but you shouldn’t have to master them at the level that a dentist would be required to.

    Give it some thought. Here’s a link. There should be many others online.


  24. May 28, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    On the nursing thing, I found out recently that there are many programs that will train you to become a nurse, for free! All you have to do is commit to working at certain hospitals or clinics for a set amount of time.

  25. 25 32B
    May 28, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    And a friend told me some community colleges offer some basic pre-req courses (algebra, calc, biology, chem) free of charge for returning adult students looking to gauge their ability to pass those classes. Not sure what that program is called but “free” or even “reduced” tuition to try a class out beforehand is kinda cool.

  26. 26 Deacon Blue
    May 28, 2009 at 9:48 pm


    Thanks for the insights. I actually know a fair amount about the IT world. If I go that route, I would be angling for areas that aren’t going to be outsourced overseas. Fact is, not all IT can be sent away. In fact, quite a large amount of it needs to stay here. Company databases and IT infrastructure need hands-on, immediate, direct attention. I’m more likely to go a route that leads to project management or database management or something…not software development or more easily outsourced things.


    LightWorker and Big Man,

    Thanks to both of you. I hadn’t thought much about the nursing thing, but it is a good one to consider. However, the “lower” levels of nursing that require less intense schooling also have inherent limitations on salary, advancement and the like. Pick a level of nursing that’s too basic, and I will end up stuck at some point. Pick something too intense, and I may be in over my head. But it’s definitely a good idea to consider and look into more.



    Thanks for pointing out that possibility, though I don’t know of anything like that in my area. Maybe I just need to look harder. But, in any case, I’m still reluctant to go trying classes I may have trouble with, if for no other reason than every delay between now and entering some program is more of a hole I’m digging for me and mine financially.

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Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

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