Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Life on the Dole: Options A Through Z

Plan A:
Be hired for a full-time human resources executive job with a great salary and fabulous benefits, including health insurance.

(Well, duh!)

Plan B:
Consider a wide range of full-time job options that come with health insurance and a modest salary.

(Long as it’s legal, moral, and ethical and doesn’t involve a chicken costume, that is.)

Plan C:
Apply for work at the Department of Labor.

(Didn’t the unemployment office’s “She-beast” threaten to quit?)

Plan D:
Take on two or more part-time/contract/temp jobs—any field, any hours, any title, any pay, any location.

(The plan known in some circles as “delivering pizza in the evening for Domino’s while working half days as a Starbucks barista.” And, um, what about health insurance?)

Plan E:
Start my own business as a _____________________.

(Insert dream career here as soon as I figure it out. Wasn’t  human resources supposed to be my dream career?)

Plan F:
Go back to graduate school to earn a second master’s degree.

(Yeah, great plan; my first master’s degree is making me so desirable in the job market that a second degree should make me twice as desirable. Um, wait, two times nothing: still nothing.)

Plan G:
Go to beauty school.

(Hey, does that come with free haircuts?)

Plan H:
Sell the family heirlooms.

(Hmmm . . . so far I’ve inherited lace doilies from one grandmother and frilly aprons from the other. Anybody know what these valuables are fetching on the open market?)
Plan I:
(Are scholarships/ student loans/health insurance hidden somewhere inside that teeny-weeny car?)

Plan J:
Become a contestant on the TV show Survivor.
(All the things I love: Communing with nature. Eating fresh, raw, natural food. Losing a lot of weight in just a few weeks. Comes with shot at $1 million.)

Plan K:
Get chosen for The Amazing Race TV program.

(Cheap vacation; exotic locales; yet another shot at a cool $1 million. Bummer, have to share the big check with a teammate.)

Plan L:
Become a Big Brother house guest and live with TV cameras 24/7.

(Hey, a chance for free room and board. As long as I could get past conniving house mates stealing my toothbrush and blabbing my secrets.)

Plan M:

(I’m sure America will be entranced by my riveting impersonation of a HR manager. Has the line “You’re fired” been done yet?)

Plan N:
Get my own reality show.

(How about “Survivor: 101 Ways to Survive Without a Paycheck” or “The Real Unemployed”? I hear Emmy calling. Hope she’s bringing food.)

Plan O:
Win the lottery and never work again.

(Could somebody please lend me a dollar so I can do that?)

Plan P:
Enter the world of busking (street performing).

(Can I really stay quiet long enough to mime? Can I master the art of being a robot? Pretty sure people would pay me NOT to dance.)

Plan Q:
Make and sell unique handcrafted items.

(Genius idea! In this economy, crocheted pot holders or purses woven from soda cans will sell as fast as soybean hotcakes.)

Plan R:
Sell my hair.

(Since I have an abundant natural resource.)

Plan S:
Become a pork chop hijacker on the streets of Atlanta

(We at least know that job pays well.)

Plan T:
Stand on a street with cardboard sign: “Will consult for food.”

(Will someone offer me a burger or throw coins in my hat to see me perform instant HR on demand? Or, will people say to their friends, “Don’t give her any money. She won’t buy food; she’ll just blow it getting a caffeine fix.”)

Plan U:
Dress in a chicken suit and stand on a corner flapping my arms to advertise a restaurant.

(Bleck, darn feathers keep getting in my mouth!)

Plan V:
Explore a new career, Option One: Apply for a job at Tootie’s Poop Patrol.

(If 19 years in the business world doesn’t qualify me to shovel poo I don’t know what would.)

Plan W:
Explore a new career, Option Two: Here’s one I saw recently: “San Francisco: Nitpicker wanted. Looking for someone based in San Francisco to remove lice and eggs from people infected with lice. Qualified candidates should have valid driver’s license, great close-up eyesight, feel comfortable going into people’s homes, be personable, good with children, and extremely detailed oriented. Squeamish people need not apply. A good sense of humor a plus! . . . We will train qualified applicants . . . Candidates who apply out of sheer desperation will be strongly considered.”
(I especially like that last line.)
Well, I’m coming up dry. That’s all I can think of. But, not being one to leave any option unturned, I called my Mom. She’s usually an out-of-the-box thinker, and she does not disappoint me this time. Here’s what I got from her: 
Plan X:
Mom says, “Marry an alien.”
(Honestly, that woman NEVER misses a chance to campaign for grandchildren. Um, does she mean “alien” as in a person with no green card or does she mean “alien” as in a little green person? But . . . has she not seen a single episode of “V”?)

Plan Y:
Mom says, “Marry a 112-year old rich geezer.”

(Are we picking up on a theme here? Uh, Mom, about those potential grandchildren . . .)

Plan Z:
Mom says, “You can move in with us.”

(Nooooooooo. I’m not THAT out of options! Now, where DID I put my application for that nitpicker job?)

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But Seriously. . .Wondering About Your Own Options? Check Out What Color Is Your Parachute? 2010: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers by Richard N. Bolles
Author Richard N. Bolles has been the voice of solid career advice for 30+ years. Updated annually with job search advice current for today's job market, What Color Is Your Parachute? 2010: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers has sold more than 10 million copies and has been translated into 20 languages. Not only does Bolles offer solid job search tips in today’s difficult economic times but also tips for discovering your life’s passion. Readers will come away with solid job search skills and additional career options.

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Photo Credits:
Wedding: Sherry Main from USA
Jobless Not Hopeless T-shirt:


Anonymous said...

I'm looking at Plan O.

Amanda said...

I already did Plan Q. Huge WASTE of money. Craft supplies are expensive!

I've been thinking about a sort of Plan F(a): Getting my PhD. Isn't that the next step up from a Master's degree? My master's degree is in science, though. Dunno if they do doctorates in your field.

Which leads me to Plan F(b): Become a mad scientist. I don't remember Frankenstien worrying about paying the bills!

Already did Plan D while I was working on my degrees. I thought the whole POINT of the degrees was so I wouldn't have to work at the mall forever! (And now I'm overqualified... the city animal shelter wouldn't hire me to scoop poop.)

Plan Z also scares the living daylights out of me, but it's also been offered. (Well, by my mom, not yours.) I'd rather go back to working at the mall.

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