I have of course been thinking about resumes and other work related things, but mostly I have switched from looking for a job and have instead been trying to figure out what skills I possess that could provide some income. I have determined that I don’t really have a marketable skill. I mean, I am really good at a lot of things. I can walk into any office and organize it, I can write just about anything, and my research skills are (IMHO) awesome. I am also a pretty damn good cook. However, it’s not like I can go knock on doors and ask people if they want their office organized. I mean – well I guess I could, but who in their right mind would say “Sure! Come on in!”
I am at the point now where I really wish I could trade services with people. My roommate is a carpenter – and not just a carpenter, he is an AWESOME carpenter. I could watch this guy work for hours. He makes creating things from wood look easy and effortless. With his skills, he doesn’t need a job. You see carpenters I have noticed trade services with their friends and co-workers. The siding on our house was done for the cost of material and a couple cases of beer. The guys that came and did our siding did it because my roommate helped him finish his basement. They just trade work. We have had electricians come over and do work, because my roommate at one time or another built them a deck, or put in a ceiling. No money changes hands – just guys using their skills to help each other out. They have all built and remodeled each others homes. When they are out of work – they are never really out of work. There is always someone willing to pay a carpenter to do work.
Along this line of thinking, I really wish my therapist would let me handle her office stuff for her in exchange for therapy. She is a great therapist – but she is a little bit unorganized (according to my ridiculous standards). I could make her job easier while she helps me deal with my life. Too bad things don’t work that way though. I bet however if I was a plumber and she had a leak – she might be willing to trade services – I fix your leak, you fix my head. It just depends really on what skill you are trying to trade and how badly someone needs your particular skill. People can totally live with an unorganized office.
Right now I need a bankruptcy lawyer. I am so broke I can’t even tell people how broke I am. If I could find a bankruptcy lawyer who would be willing to let me do his filing for him, or organize her office I could pay for their services with services. Again though – it doesn’t work that way. I think it should though. I think we should be able to trade skills for service. You take a few hours to file what I need filed, and in exchange I will give you a few hours of work (that you don’t have to pay for). Sounds too good to be true right? It shouldn’t be. That’s how we formed society in the first place. Trade. I feel like sitting in front of the federal building with a sign that says, “Will work for bankruptcy lawyer.”
The one skill I do have that could make me loads of money is writing. The money part comes from writing for students that don’t want to write their own papers. I can charge a lot of money for that service – there are lots of lazy college students who for the right price would absolutely pay me to get them an A on their term paper. The problem is – I have ethical standards that keep me from doing that. However, just like when people turn to crime to make a living, sometimes we need to lower our personal standards. If I charged $50 for a 10 page paper (pretty cheap) I could knock out at least 5 of those a day (more depending on the subject). That’s $250 tax free dollars a day. More than most carpenters make. So basically, I do have a marketable skill – but I would have to lower my own standards of what is right in order to do it. I am almost there. I am out of options and it’s either lower my standards or allow for judgments and liens that last forever as opposed to bankruptcy that I can hopefully one day recover from. I am really leaning toward throwing ethics out the window. It’s a dilemma.
If you were out of work, what skills do you posses that you could use to maintain your way of life or even just to survive?