Changing Careers in Tough Economic Times
When the going gets tough, the tough get going — to new careers. Instead of sitting back feeling sorry for themselves, the more resourceful individuals will take stock in their personal attributes and accomplishments and somehow figure out how to put them all to good use in another job, career or field entirely.
Over the past year we have seen an ever increasing number of applicants trying to find work as a nanny or even a housekeeper, with absolutely no previous paid experience. For some, this is indeed a dire change and stressful decision. Having left jobs as senior managers, law clerks, medical professionals, computer technicians — and a host of other positions — it is usually a severe hit to one’s status, ego and certainly income level when it comes time to apply for a job that usually includes diapers, cleaning and answering to people who could easily have worked for you previously!
However, with these emotional issues aside, many domestic jobs can turn into some very enviable positions indeed. As an example, let’s take Sandra – a composite of real applicants currently on file. She was a bank loan officer making over $50,000 a year base, plus commissions. She worked 10 hours a day, took work home, and ended up with an ulcer worrying about each loan — if it wasn’t approved, she made no commission.
She was hired as a nanny at $400 a week. At first she was depressed because she made less money and felt she was in a very menial position. But when push came to shove, she realized there were many weeks where she really made only $400 at the bank. Now she had a weekly salary with no taxes taken out, no stress, and got to play games and watch TV most of the time. If she made dinner for the entire family she was invited to stay to eat with them. When weekends came she was frequently invited away to help with the children and traveled to some very exotic places for free and earned overtime pay!
Another composite is Tony, a very successful commercial real estate developer — until two years ago. Tony was always a frustrated gardener and found a job as a caretaker for a large waterfront estate. His salary is about 1/3 of what it used to be, but he loves it because there is no stress. No numbers to meet, no clients to impress, no sales to clinch.
There are many domestic positions that are totally suitable to just about anyone’s background. Families are more interested in hiring a mature, trustworthy individual than finding someone with years of paid experience.
If you have been out of work for a long time, your unemployment benefits have been exhausted, and you’re ready to move back with your parents or even lose your home to foreclosure — don’t give up yet! The domestic field probably has exactly what you need to get by, provide income, and even give you a chance to reduce your stress and examine your options for now and the future.
Think of it this way: it’s better to mop someone’s floor than to be standing in line at a soup kitchen or the welfare office applying for food stamps.