Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

Here are some possible new jobs for me, should I decide to go back into the work force and give up on freelance writing as a career.

1. Private investigator. In Virginia, you must be licensed. Apparently this requires 60 hours of training. The Department of Criminal Justice oversees this. Here's an article about it from I like the idea of being a fat Stephanie Plum or Kinsey Millhone. I don't want to cut up bodies like Kay Scarpetta, though.

2. Energy auditor. Since green is the next big thing, I thought I'd look into being somebody who goes in your house and says "hey, use weatherstripping and change out your light bulbs" and you give me $100 for that advice. There are several sites on the Internet that advertise certification for this, and they range in price from $195 to $8,999. According to this site, you need to have a B.A. in engineering and certification from a proper authority. Yikes.

3. Pumpkin grower and seller. Pumpkins are big things in the fall, what with Halloween and pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. I've got some acreage. This seems promising if I can convince my husband to plow up some new ground. Maybe I could grow the world's largest pumpkin. Or at least the county's. Nothing like sweat equity. They need to be planted soon, though. Must start doing the convincing if this is to be a reality.

4. You want fries with that? I was looking at and most of the ads were for service people at fast food industries. I noted a lot of ads for Arby's. They sell roast beef as well as fries. I admire folks who work behind the counter at these places because frankly I don't think I can do it.

5. Join the Army. The other abundant advertising on some of the job sites are for the Armed Forces. Uncle Sam wants ME to sign up. I am afraid of guns plus I am too old, so I don't think so. I'm also fat and out of shape. Definitely not army material.

6. The U.S. Census Bureau. Right now in my area apparently they're hiring for field survey workers. That is not the 2010 census, the site says. I guess it's prep work for that. Anyway, according to an article in The Roanoke Times the other day, people get bitten by dogs and threatened with shotguns whilst performing this work. Sounds very exciting, doesn't it?

7. Web master. I think this has promise. I need to learn HTML and figure out design and shoot, there you go. Just have to put my mind to it, right? Well, no. You might want to have a computer science degree. I have a degree in English. Hmm. Not much going for me there, is it.

8. Distributor. Seems like if I can find a product people want and get the distributorship for it, then I could become the person around here who sells it. I guess this could be like Avon or Longaberger baskets, too. I haven't the faintest idea how to go about this but if you type in "how to be a distributor" lots of stuff comes up so I guess I'd better go read it.

9. Nonprofits. I have a strong interest in this, but haven't seen many job openings. I think working for a grant foundation or historical preservation agency would interest me. No one is hiring right now but maybe later, when that stimulus money starts to work.

10. Government. I would love to work for my county government, but they have a hiring freeze on until the 2010-2011 budget. Unless someone leaves and they replace them I have no way of getting on there. Most of the neighboring localities have the same hiring freeze thing going on. Maybe when the stimulus money actually starts to work.

11. Healthcare. The help-wanted ads offer many choices for nurses, nursing assistants, and bed pan people. Alas, I am not someone for whom health care has ever held much call. I faint at the sight of blood and vomit when someone else does. Maybe something in the administration offices?

12. Genealogist. I would love to do this for people. I love the research and I know my way around the courthouse. I already have most of the published history books and know how to find the ones I don't have. I have done this for one or two people but I haven't yet figured out how to leverage this into some kind of steady career. Not only that, our county is loaded with history and with other people with a similar interest who are already doing this. We're the Seedbed of the Republic, after all. So do I put up a sign, business cards in the courthouse? Hmm.

13. ???? . I'm not going to list a 13th idea, because I'm interested in seeing what other folks might suggest. So what else is out there for an English major with an introverted personality? Any really off-the-wall, quirky ideas?

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; you can learn more about it here. My other Thursday Thirteens are here. This is my 98th one.


  1. I say grow pumpkins... or sunflowers, gourds. Heck, girl, you already own land so make it work for you.

    The Blue Ridge Gal

  2. Sit down on your sofa and wait until you don't want to work anymore, lol !

  3. Don't do 4 or 5! How about teaching English as a second language.

    You could definately be a good copy writer or the person who writes the text to others websites.

  4. I'd like to be a private investigator too. Happy TT!

  5. I'd love to see you write your novel, because I'd love to read it!

  6. How about writing term papers and essays for high school and college kids. I bet they would pay great wages! Oh, wait, that is immoral and unethical. Oh well, it seemed like a great idea at the time. Maybe offer classes to highschool and college kids on how to write a good paper? 4 weeks, 2 nights a week, after school, go through the basics a step at a time, helping them, overseeing them, but they do the writing??

  7. You could always combine the PI and genealogy work. Sometimes those ancestors can be tough to track down!

    I definitely recommend against fast food. *Shudder* Been there, done that, won't ever again, no matter how desparate I might be.

  8. First thing you do is do a little copy editing for the advertisement for Seedbed of the Republic! With your background in writing, sifting through facts and making judgement calls, I think you'd do well as a genealogist. With all of your interests in history, this would be a good fit. Getting started as a researcher requires research, but you're good at that! I'm not sure how well it pays but that is part of the research too! I hired a researcher in NJ and I think I paid him around $20 an hour. He didn't find anything for me, unfortunately!

  9. Go with the pumpkins! Definitely the pumpkins!

  10. No matter what you do or what your background, networking's the best way to find yourself something new. Even pumpkin growing -- I mean, you'll need to sell those puppies, right?

  11. I vote for Kinsey Millhone! I just love her. Plus being a private eye is sort of like freelancing, right?

  12. I vote for pumpkin grower or private eye. Stay out of the Army.
    You can sell pumpkins at the Farmers' Market.

    You could be a pumpkin grower AND a private eye at the same time.

    Think about it.

  13. Put in a crop of herbs along with the pumpkins and gourds. Maybe some heirloom vegetables. While the crops are growing, you could tutor kids who have problems in English or substitute teach if you're feeling brave. You'd be great as a library assistant, but I doubt many libraries are hiring.

    Remember those guys who used to go around with a pony and a camera and take kids pictures? You're a good photographer, so maybe you could train one of your cows and . . . no, bad idea. Forget I mentioned it.

  14. Becky, you are cracking me up girl!


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