Career Counselling

I’ve been with the government long enough that I could maybe, possibly retire in a few years with a partial pension. The idea is tempting, except that I still have a kid to put through university and I’d have to do it on a partial pension and then live on this partial pension forever, even when I’m old and decrepit.

So, I’ve been looking into a post-retirement career and I need some suggestions. Here are the 3 top criteria:

  • I’d want it to be totally different from what I do now – nothing in an office.
  • Re-training needs to be relatively short and not too expensive.
  • The job should be easily transportable, so I won’t be stuck in one city or even one country in order to do it.  (See Violetsky, I’m planning ahead)

Here are the only ideas I’ve managed to come up with so far:

Barber: I wouldn’t want to colour or perm or “style” hair, I just want to do basic haircuts and use that buzzy machine and maybe do a shave once in a while with a nice lethal straight razor. The clientele would be easy-to-please old men, little boys and maybe a few lesbians. The only downside to this option is that around here you can’t just train to be a barber anymore, you have to take the whole freakin’ hairstylist course. And it costs a lot. And I don’t want to spend months at Beauty School with gum-chewing teenagers with bad skin and big, over-processed hair.

Personal Trainer:  The course is manageably short and affordable. There’s a lot of demand, especially among the older set and rock stars. I enjoy nagging people about their health and fitness. The only downside I can see is that I’d get really pissed off with clients like Oprah who sneak off and snarf down an entire fried chicken and basket of biscuits as soon as your back is turned which ends up making you look like the worst personal trainer in the world.

Psychic Counsellor – Seriously. It’s a real profession. It’s kind of the poor man’s shrink. Oh, you still pay through the nose for advice, but only through one nostril. And the beauty of the job is that there are no years of medical school or counselling training to go through. People give you money and complain about their lives and you pull some pithywords of advice out of your ass and they go away happy. Just saying you’re psychic, gives you great legitimacy among certain groups of people. The drawback to this one is that I’d have to learn to be psychic in a few different languages if I want to travel with it.

Dog Groomer: The learning curve is manageable. The job is transportable and there’s plenty of demand and money to be made at it. The clientele is adorable. Drawbacks include the owners, getting bitten, and smelling like dog all the time.

So, as you can see, I need help. Any and all opinions, ideas, suggestions are welcome. I’m also open to general mockery. Thank you.

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43 responses to “Career Counselling

  1. Well I like general mockery myself but I have never been able to earn a living at it.
    If you do develop this into a lucrative option be sure to let me know.

  2. I think Psychic counsellor would be the best bet.

    You dont’ have to necessarily have any official training or credentials. And you potentially can make lots of money, with very little actual work.

    Lotsa stupid people out there who would pay good money for this, too.

    Another good one to consider would be Dominatrix. It’s not prostitution, because you dont’ actually have sex with anyone. You just beat them up. It pays about $200 an hour.

    So I hear..I learned this on a special I watched on (believe it or not)…TVO!

  3. Hannah – Learning the antique business is quite intensive if you actually want to know what you’re doing. and what if I wanted to move to the south of France? I’d have to quit and find a whole new shop.

    Bandobras – I believe there are many, many comedians and comedy writers who make a very fine living off mockery. Also, I could be a politician and make a mockery of the entire democratic system. Or lawyer and make a mockery every day of the entire judicial system. Or I could just stay where I am and make a mockery of the entire concept of “work”.

    Friar – Psychic — I know, eh? It’s like having a fake licence to print real money. Dominatrix sounds like hard work though and a lot of cash outlay for costumes and equipment. A lot of that stuff is heavy and would be hard to pack up and move overseas with if I ever wanted to do that.

    Tom – I don’t know why I didn’t just come to you directly. And I DO like to taste wine, but that sounds like something you need years and years to perfect if you want anyone to actually take your opinion seriously. And given a knowledgeable opinion is pretty much key to making any money at this. Just tasting the wine gets you nowhere (except maybe a good night’s sleep).

    Jazz – Weeeeellllll. I suppose it’s an option. Do you reckon there’s a lot of demand for old lady hookers with grey hair and Birkenstocks

  4. From a demographic point of view, you couldn’t go wrong with the personal trainer option. There are and will be lots of folks who do not want a 20-ish hard rock bod as inspiration but would prefer, well, someone more like themselves – at least age-wise.
    I’ve thought about my post-career thing as well. I need to work to 60 (another 14 yrs.. started late in gov. and need the full pension to finance the villa in Mexico) so I have time to decide… but being a gigolo is the leading contender…
    Starting a Led Zeppelin tribute band is the second option. But they need not be mutually exclusive.

  5. Mystery novel writer. I can see it now. A series with a 40-something single-mom protagonist solving crime in an unnamed capital city. The villains: venal civil servants, club-going Byward Market barbies, trough-swilling politicians, geeky IT types, Rockcliffe matrons, Embassy staffers, hockey players… Bodies in the canal, bodies in the tulip beds, bodies at centre ice at Scotiabank Place.

    Just think, you could be Canada’s P.D. James. And you can write anywhere. Have laptop, will travel.

  6. 3 of the 4 would mean being on your feet all day. Harder task the older you get. Trainer means staying on top of your game and being in top physical shape forever. You’d also be competing with “gum-chewing teenagers ” who have youth on their side.

    psychic therapist sounds fun. lots of money, little training, flexible schedule, transportable, and more. but how about the guilt you’d have for blowing smoke up you clients who-has while lining your pockets….. wait maybe you’re onto something with this one.

  7. I think three words in your post sum everything up perfectly and succinctly: “I need help.”
    And I ain’t even psychic.

  8. Are you psychic? I think that would be the first prerequisite to be a psychic reader. I have had my palm read a couple of times which was fun.

  9. Trashee – Exactly what are you implying about my aging physique?? Eh??? And speaking of aging physiques…gigolo?

    Alison – There’s not a lot of ready cash in that business. I could work my ass off for a year and never see a penny. That doesn’t seem to be very prudent. Did I mention kid/university? Foreign travel? Villa in France?

    Reeky – The jobs might require one to be on one’s feet all day, but there’s nothing to say that I would actually work all day. It WILL be retirement – so maybe I’ll only work 4 hours a day or only 3 days a week. And I wouldn’t necessarily have to compete with the young folks. I’d specialize in older people who won’t want young hardbodies looking after them. And I reckon one of the bonuses of that job would be incentive to stay in shape. But you’re right, psychic sounds a lot easier and more lucrative.

    Bob – Yes, I do need help searching for a good SECOND JOB for when I retire from the FULL-TIME JOB I now am EMPLOYED in. How are things with you?

    Trashee – I’m truly incredible, despite my aging physique.

    Linda – You can learn to be psychic. I did a whole post on it once called How to Become a Successful Psychic.

  10. Well… I’d not leave aside Real Estate… you can be going around, dealing with people… it’s not an office job I guess.

    In that same direction…services for new canadians: they need a place to rent, some advice on how to do stuff here, career counseling, going around with paperwork… Plenty of new money in new pockets wiling to be helped!

  11. You work for the government? The Canadian government? We were told you didn’t have one. Propaganda is a messy business. Thank god for the internet or I’d never know the truth about anything.

    To your quandary, I think you should be a psychic dog groomer. In this economy, it’s important to have a niche’.

  12. Be a dog walker. Fresh air. Petting company. Lots of money in pet sitting.

    Working in a winery is an excellent plan. Loire Valley Wineries.

  13. The son of a friend of mine makes a respectable living going round the world cooking – he acts as the resident cook in ski chalets to finance his snowboarding habit and then on luxury yachts for the summer. You can cook, right?

    Oh and on the “psychic” front, have you read Christopher Brookmyre’s book “Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks”? He is one of my favourite authors, very funny, very Scottish and very scathing. “Attack..” is him having a go at psychics and it’s brilliantly entertaining.

  14. Why on earth would you assume you need knowledge to be a wine taster/critic.
    Just like psychicery there are thousands of insecure idiots just waiting for someone to tell them what they think about anything.
    Just get down a few pretentious phrases and then ramble on about the terroir of the latest plonk etc.
    Still I don’t understand why you want to leave the bosom of the silly service. Just go in once in a while to justify staying on the rolls and pick up the pay, seniority and vacations that just get better and better the longer you are there. Any actual effort at really working is just wasted and frustrating so stop trying. The bosses don’t care anyway so coast.
    Then when you are actually looking to stop working pick up the by then munificent pension.
    Why quit such a plush job only to go work elswhere for probably less money.

  15. BARBER!!! There’s a barber shop in Kanata, and I love going there – hanging with all the old guys shootin the sh*t.
    I can’t believe that you’d need to go through a whole course for it…booooooooooooo!

  16. TTP – I don’t know…real estate sounds very high pressure and there’s quite an extensive course to take and I don’t like the orange jackets. Maybe i coud teech englitch as a seknd languge? I can tawk it and rite it purdy good.

    Mayopie – Yes! Canada does have a government. It’s not as big as yours, of course. Canadians are really well behaved and sensible and more or less govern themselves. We only have a tiny little white house and it’s made of snow. And there are really just the 5 of us who run things, though Kirsti the Finance Minister’s daughter helps out after school sometimes. I would like to direct your attention to THIS blog post I crafted some time ago, which should clear up a few other mysteries about Canada. It’s pretty much our official mission statement…though the other guys would laugh if they heard me call it that because it would make them think of “missionary position” and that makes them giggle.

    Violetsky – The pet walking/sitting thing is actually something I’ve thought about too. Do you really think that would be enough to pay the mortgage on Villa Violetsky?

    Bandobras – Are you maligning my workplace? ‘Cuz it sounds like you are. It IS rather soul-sucking — which is why I thought I’d like to move on in a few years, while I still have some soul left.

    Ian – Maybe I could train in the US. They still have barber schools. I like shit-shooting

  17. Thank you, that was extremely informative. Especially the part about the “loonie.” I’m a little surprised to see you still use ducks as currency, but luckily I’ve been saving a few for a rainy day. If I’m going to live there, I’ll probably have to get a bigger wallet, but that is a small price to pay for medical marijuana.

    How many ducks will I need to bring to trade for pot? And, even though health care is free, who will take care of my ducks if I’m hospitalized? These are the things I’m going to have to know before I make the leap.

  18. I vote for getting a job at the Gap. In no time at all you’ll have bypassed all the shiftless kids working there who come and go all the time, and you’ll be the manager. Then you’ll be able to put your feet up, set your own hours, and rake in the dollars.

    Plus the Gap is worldwide, so you could always get a transfer to Australia or maybe go for management training in Japan or something like that.

    I’m kind of in the same boat — we sure could use a second income around here but I’d want it to be something that doesn’t require overtime, lets me work only when the kids are in school, and doesn’t require a lot of time or expense to train. So when you pick something, let me know and maybe we can embark on our new careers together!

  19. Massage Therapist…….
    After school tutor….
    Substitute teacher…
    It really depends on how much time you want to put in.
    You could do international courrier jobs and ride planes all the time.

  20. 1. Actor: Lots of older people start acting with enough success to make a living. I personally have heard of at least two.

    2. Nursing. There is great demand all over this country, anyway. A traveling nurse makes $100,000 a year, with housing being provided for them. Of course, you do have to go to college first, but I think you can do a two year course, and then you work local for several years and then you can travel. By that time, you can retire.

    3. Art shows: I once sat next to a lady who made a fortune selling stuffed clowns. Very little expertise, sewing skill but no real artistic talent, lightweight to pack up and travel with.

  21. dude you got some weird language here 😛

    im voting with the hooker and phone sex worker idea.. and if i was to hire a hooker, i would so go for the one in the birks, seeing im a birks girl myself.. i know we would be really comfortable

  22. I’m with Cedar. Phone sex. You can do it inside or outside, even on a mobile phone! You could be cooking or cleaning or painting your toe nails, who would ever know? Hmm, come to think of it I could use a job. I may just try that out for you and let you know how it goes.

  23. (Puts “Dominatrix” on list of jobs to look into for the next unemployment bout. Thanks, Friar.)

    I know it wasn’t on your list, but I’d totally hire you as my social responsibility secretary. You could yell at me for having a 3.something Earth carbon footprint, nag me until I actually take out my recycling, and be my vegan conscience. That would be sweet, and you’re already all trained up for that.

    Too bad I don’t have any money.

    Oh, well, I guess I’d have to go with “phone sex worker” then. And mystery writer. Both.

  24. Cedar – Oh baby…oh yeah…that feels soooooo good. Oh ya baby…do it…harder…faster..come one baby… (how about email sex worker?)

    Mayopie – Your crazy American capitalistic mindset has misconstrued some of the information. A) We don’t charge for pot. It’s free. It’s what helps keep the country mellow, making government unnecessary. And B) A Loon is not a duck and a loonie is not a bird, but rather a unit of currency, much like your wampum or George Washingtons. And, C) if you do have a duck and are hospitalized our health care system covers free pet care. No worries, mon.

    Lynn – The Gap? Eeewwwww. I don’t even have to shop there anymore now that my kiddie is over 10. Be forewarned – all that Gap stuff you’re investing in will become “gross” and “babyish” in a few years. Then there’s be a quick stint at Old Navy, then on to the big boys: American Eagle, American Apparel. There are lots of good ideas here from other commenters – I’ll let you know if I come up with something.

    Justfergrins – Thanks for the suggestions. I have no patience to work with kids, so school stuff is out. And I don’t like touching strangers that much, so massage therapist is out to. I like the international courier idea and I’ve read up on that once a long time ago, but I also really hate flying. It’s going to be tough, obviously.

    Sheryl – Actor is good. Would I have to remember lines and stuff? ‘Cuz I’m not too good at that. I’ll investigate. Nursing is totally out of the question. In Canada you need a 3 or 4 year university degree to be a nurse and I don’t like being around sick people. I can handle a day or so with a sick family member or friend, but not sick strangers days after day. I can’t sew and loathe doing crafty stuff. Unless I just sell rocks I find on the beach, I think this one is out as well.

    Marinkina – Ya, whatever…

    Jobthingy – Okay then…who knew? Muumuus and Birks. As long as I don’t have to stand on street corners.

    Louise – Hey, do you think people would actually pay me to nag them and yell at them about stuff like that? I could totally get into it. You never know when I’ll show up at your house or follow you to a mall or restaurant. Or I might just call out of the blue. Or you might not hear from me for days, making you really paranoid. OH! This could be fun… Thanks.

  25. Hey XUP – cuz I’m the curious sort, I ran Marinkina’s text through Google translate. Here what came out. It’s pretty deep.

    1 p. “There should have one hundred friends, and should have one hundred shekels” too good rhymes:)
    8 p. You will never lose your job. When finished, you can post photos pictures (yes indeed, and would announce a competition for the best picture Audrey (-:), application and photo craft projects from plasticine …
    9 p. Hundred poods!

  26. Trashee – Ya, I did that too, which is why I said, “whatever” – it’s probably some spam thing and I should delete it. The first one sort of made sense. I’ve gotten all sorts of stuff in Russian in the last week, but most of it was caught by my de-spammer.

  27. sure you think it’s Russian but just remember you’re on here in the public interweb talking about leaving the government.
    Like Monty almost said, No one expects the Canadian inquisition.

  28. I’m thinking a travelling Official Taster. You could offer to taste highly placed Public Officials food first…all over the world. Only take the jobs you want. Of course, there is the risk of poisoning…but we don’t hear about that happening very often. What do you think? If not, I really like the dog walking or sitting thing. Seems like the Personal Training would be right up your alley if you could get over your inability to accept mediocrity in folks.

  29. You can’t make a living from writing blogs? How disappointing.

    I would suggest something similar to your Psychic Counselor; i.e. New Age Therapist. You sit in your easily transportable tepee on some hill with your view while treating your patsies, uh, I mean patients by putting crystals on their bodies and chanting gibberish while beating a drum. Hardly any learning curve. Gibberish is easy to learn.

  30. Bandobras – Who’s Monty??

    Lola – Pfft … like I care if a public official gets poisoned. And people who hire personal trainers don’t pay good money to be allowed to be mediocre. They WANT to be berated and vilified. It’s a lot like being a dominatrix, come to think of it.

    LGS – Ha ha ha. I can totally do gibberish. I might have trouble keeping a straight face while spouting new age gibberish, but I guess every job needs its challenges

  31. Why limit yourself to psychicery, personal training, wine expert,
    Become a life coach. You can berate people for failure in nearly any area.
    Cajole them with witty adages and deep thoughts and charge through their obviously too fat wallets for the abuse.
    Never boring cause you get to choose what type of abuse/advice to grant them any given session.
    ANd generally you won;t have to touch them so the germ thing shouldn’t be too bad.
    You can even do it online and then the germ thing will only be a problem for your computer.
    Only down side is having to listen to whiny, self absorbed people, unhappy with where they have progressed to in life.
    Come to think of it that sounds a lot like the silly service again.

  32. Psychic Counsellor!!!!! That is your real calling XUP, if you haven’t realized it already. I have often wondered if you aren’t a closet psychic counsellor already

  33. i really love how well you know yourself and the dangers of some experiences, “And I don’t want to spend months at Beauty School with gum-chewing teenagers with bad skin and big, over-processed hair.”

    i looked into being a stylist too and it was way too much $$$, and i love the idea of a dog groomer too.

    how about a phone sex chat line?

    as for “demand for old lady hookers with grey hair and Birkenstocks”, you know there has to be don’t forget your fetish peeps.

  34. Bandobras – On the surface it sounds promising. I’m just a little worried that “life coach” means I’ll have to spend a lot of time with one person and get all involved in drastically changing many aspects of their life. That doesn’t sound so good. It sounds a lot like “wife”.

    Lost – I’m going to set up my closet right now and start my psychic counselling career. Thanks!

    Leah – I don’t think I really want to delve that deeply into anyone’s sex life. It’ll just make me feel all yucky all the time and give me nightmares, I think.

    Cedar – Are you tutoring now?

  35. Yes, didn’t you hear the U.S. is going through hard times and since a lot of people are hard up, we could use it to our advantage to earn extra cash to deflate… inflation…

    If you think about what I just wrote there I am freakin awesome….seriously…