Thursday, January 24, 2008

Just My Luck

Ten years ago, the economy was humming along. "Help Wanted" signs as big as buses graced most retail establishments.

I remember joking with other at-home dads that when we finally got ready to re-enter the workforce, the hiring boom would be over.

So here I am, the butt of my own joke.

At least there's craigslist. Makes looking for work a little easier than in the old days. Downside: everytime I visit, I wish I had thought of craigslist.

I expected to find a lot of telemarketing jobs posted. Crappy work-at-home schemes, too. They're there, but I've been surprised to see real jobs -- for teachers, engineers, nurses, dentists, plumbers, accountants.

Some of the postings are pretty funny. One self-described "upscale family" was looking for a nanny. They had tried agencies, but "they have not done a good job of finding us a perfect fit." Big surprise. Among other qualifications, the ideal candidate must "represent a healthy lifestyle." I guess that's code for "no fatties."

Today I saw an ad for a small cake repair person. Now I've seen everything. Except for the job I really want.

And what is that? Freelance teacher. Must be able engage students in hands-on, inquiry-based learning related to engineering and design. Lead workshops which culminate in the class building a bridge large enough to walk on or a dome large enough to gather under.

That job isn't likely to show up on craigslist. I need to create it.

Someone I admire wrote, " But what I really want, more than anything else, is to continue to live off the stuff I invent."

Yeah, that's what I want. Now to figure it out.


Meg said...

Peter, if you're looking for work as a freelance engineering/physics sort of teacher, have you checked out homeschool groups near you? A good number of the farming blogs I read also deal with homeschooling, and from what I gather, one of the more challenging elements of homeschooling is figuring out how to teach higher level math and science to a high school kid in a meaningful way. It seems like a popular strategy is for a group of homeschoolers to pool their resources and hire an outside person to teach Spanish or Chemistry or whatever to the whole group of students.

If you search for a message board or a listserv, maybe, of Twin City homeschoolers, you might be able to make some connections. It sounds like what you want to do is exactly what the homeschooling families I read about are looking for.

Just a thought. I have an English degree and don't want to teach or write copy, so I know what a challenge it is to find unconventional work in a specific field. Good luck!

peter hoh said...

Thanks for the tip. I will look into that option.