My unfortunate afternoon at the Career Fair gave me cause to re-evaluate parts of my life. I had also recently gone through a flirtation with an engineering firm here in town; a brief whirlwind of phone calls, intense conversation, and dressing-up, which left me feeling both used and rejected when they decided that they just weren’t that into me.
Never one to resist over-thinking something, I have made this a time when everything goes under the microscope for inspection and analysis. Faith, family, hobbies, passions, pets: I need to know what’s working for me and what isn’t. I’ll have to get back to you on all that.
Meanwhile, I still need a job. One advantage of having restaurant experience is what a portable profession it is, as long as there are a few decent places nearby. One problem with living in a small town is how few good restaurants there are. See my dilemma? Hold on; let me draw a diagram:
While not exactly to scale, it’s fairly accurate. My career options out here are somewhat limited, especially considering that we’re planning to move back west of the Cascades in a few years. Even pulling back from a “career” type search to a plain-jane “job” search produces a similar diagram, although the time scale favors the latter. I haven’t run through all the restaurant options yet; indeed, I just got a callback this afternoon from one of the more promising candidates. However (comma) I’ve been trying to phase my way out of the restaurant biz for a few years now, and trying to get into a field that’s more suited to my talents.
All of which has me trying to think outside the box where income and profession are concerned. I’ve found some interesting work-from-home opportunities involving writing, taking surveys, and web content analysis, but I’m not sure of the return I’ll get on my time there; I’ll have to do some more digging on that. Besides, I don’t know how keen I am on working full-time from home. I definitely need some sort of “pre-fab” community, and going to a workplace with other people on a regular basis would likely provide that.
I could do handy-crafty work part-time, too. After my recent epic solo ascent of Kamiak Butte, I decided to upgrade my walking stick with a metal ice cleat on the bottom and a camera mount on top, and that project is coming along nicely. I’m going to make an etched-copper top to cover the camera mount, and fit a small compass in there:
It could be the sort of thing I could make fairly easily and sell for a few dollars online, in local shops, or at the Renaissance Faire. None of the material is terribly expensive, and the process hasn’t been very hard for me to learn. This probably falls into the “hobby-that-makes-some-money” category, but every bit helps.
There is another creative outlet I have, employing several of my higher skills, that I could potentially tap for revenue. Dare I? Since this blog is no longer affiliated with my college courses after I graduated in December, I feel somewhat less constrained about what I do and how I do it. Still, there are ethical considerations, especially after all the second-guessing I’ve done about capitalism, globalism, and other -isms. If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m thinking of adding some “revenue-producing enhancements” to this very blog. Nothing very obtrusive, nothing Big Corporate (unless I sign up as an Amazon affiliate), but something to bring a few dollars across the table. I don’t think that’s all too much to ask for. In fact, I see it as an opportunity to continue this project in a new direction. If I focus on supporting local businesses and craft-folk I know, getting them some ad space here, we may help each other out. I will also have to confront the ethical, economic, and environmental issues of internet commerce and advertising head-on, which should provide some interesting food for thought.
I’m going to broaden the scope of the blog somewhat as well, as though that weren’t obvious by now. I think that low-cost, low-impact living is an important topic in these perilous times, and one I can address with some expertise: recipes, how-to articles, philosophical essays, current-events, the blog-o-verse…that should be enough to start with. I’m going to try to post twice a week on average, though I don’t have a definite game-plan yet past that. I’ll work up some themes and topics, based on what’s going on around here and what I see happening in the region and world.
Thanks again, everyone, for sticking around. Spring is right around the corner here, and I think things are about to get interesting once more.