Friday, February 28, 2014

I'm in the money? Nah, but I made a couple bucks

I've been short on cash lately after getting a root canal and crown. Yeah, that's an easy way to spend a 1000 bucks -- even post insurance. Nonetheless, I've been looking at a few ways to get some extra cash after the holidays.

I listened to a lot of Dave Ramsey stuff and I like his idea of getting ahead in life by working second jobs and investing in your future -- i.e., taking control of my actions and improving my life. No more stupid spending, etc. But the dentist was essential

That still lead me to a way to make some extra cash, so I went searching on the internet. BTW, there's a lot of crap out there about getting money. Make bloggers seem to prey on people; they offer a way to make money online but they charge people for crap information.

I came across a couple sites (here, here, here) that have substantial info. I like it because it's not "free" $ per say. It does require work and thought. Here's a list of the articles I read:

'I Need 100 Dollars Now' -- 5 Options But Work's Involved!
'I Need 200 Dollars Now': What You Can Do
Question: I Need Money Right Now - What Can I Do? (ANSWERED)
I Need Money Now Desperately - Options To Get Help With Financial Assistance Today!

I did give some of the methods a try. Granted, I needed a few extra bucks but I was not desperate -- there's a big difference -- so I wasn't pouring my heart and soul into a letter to a big name celebrity.

I choose a more direct route: Shucking snow and recording voice-overs. I make some quick dollars after the last couple snowstorms. Right after the snow stopped, I went up and down my block offering to shovel driveways and sidewalks.

After I got a few takers, I came back with my snow-thrower and shovel and went to work.

I spend about 4 hours total and made $130. That included a job well-done tip :)

Not too shabby, if you ask me, because it turns out to be $32.50 per hour. Yeah, that's before taxes, but what Uncle Sam doesn't know won't hurt him, don't you know?

A few days later I created a fiverr gig. I studied a little theater in college so I am pretty good making professional speech tracks.

I sold two of them and they were both to the same person. So I made 8 bucks from that. Fiverr takes a buck for each gig. Not too profitable.

All in all, it was pretty good I made a little extra and have a few more good ideas to try over the next couple days.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A New Career Choice: Nursing?

I've used the big job boards for finding work. Monster and CareerBuilder have a lot of jobs but I think there's a lot of crap on there too.

Granted, the jobs I was looking at I would not qualify for without some additional coursework but I could not believe how many staffing agencies post so much duplicate jobs on there with different locations.

I was looking at nursing jobs. There is one agency just listing and listing and listing their nursing jobs with different locations.

I'm sure they "need" to staff those locations but, geez, it's hard to find other listings when they dominate like that.

So, I've been looking at different careers -- particularly ones that don't require sitting all day -- because I feel like a couch potato after sitting all day at work.

I don't think it would be that hard to take up nursing because I already have a science background. (My degree's in biology.) I like working in a emergency situations, so nursing might be a good fit.

I've been looking into what I need to do and it seems that I have a couple options. There are programs that allow me to do a master's degree in nursing without a current RN license.

I would end up getting that license as I go through the program. That would be pretty sweet.

I then end up with a master's degree in nursing, which means I would be an advanced practitioner nurse.

Anyway, I was mentioned about job boards. They really are crap. I wonder what success ratio people have when using them.

There has to be a ton of people applying to the same jobs, so it's got to be competitive, I'm pretty sure of that.

That said, I found my last job on one of these boards but -- ironically enough -- I ended up going through a staffing agency. The agency did not list the job 10,000 times with different cities, though. I was just lucky to see it and apply.

After I was hired, I found out that they ended up with more than 1,000 resumes sent to them.

That's a whole lot of resumes. Imagine being a recruiter trying to go through that much.

Yeah, I can see that's a job I don't want. I may revist this nursing idea again in the future.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Friday, February 7, 2014

Career Choice After Colleges - My Mistake?

I spent the week at work. I work in a call center for a utility company. It's fun on 2nd shift, 3rd shift, and the weekends, where we get downtime.

But if I had to say it, yeah, this place sucks. I never thought I'd work in a call center answering the phones after college. What's worse is that the phone doesn't ring. It just beeps and the next thing I know is that there is a caller in my ear.

This job is like working in a factory. There's little creativity, and my reviews are based on a statistical performance -- i.e.,

  • How long are my calls?
  • How many calls do I complete in a month?
  • How many times do I have to call a supervisor for help?
  • Did my call follow "the script" the company prepared?

To me, this is crazy. I thought the whole point of working with people in this industry was to resolve the customer's issue -- not trying to hurry up and get them off the phone to make great numbers that management can tote around.

Yeah, I don't fit in, I guess. That's why I like the odd-ball shifts, where I only handle emergency calls.

These calls are fast. I meet all the monthly stats for my calls because emergencies don't require you to talk your head off for 10 minutes, explaining a customer's account.

For an emergency, you get the essential info, give instructions on what to do and who's coming to the scene, and you're done.

Wham. Bam. Thank you, mam. Of course there are variations, which throw a monkey wrench into the situation but that's cool with me -- like trying to assess the situation and determine if they person on the other end really does have an emergency.

Late nights

I will admit that I like working with people on the odd-ball shifts. I did a 3rd shift stint for 6 months not too long ago.

People -- even customers -- are more relaxed during "off-hours" and I like that. Sure, you get your own brand of drunk nut-jobs calling in emergencies at 1 a.m. on a Friday night.

Although I'd rather be on 2nd shift, where I'm at now, I don't mind 3rd as a break. I find that there's a lot of downtime on this shift but the calls I get are serious, such as fires and explosions.

It kind of reminds me of the old adage hurry up and wait. We hurry to get "working" but then have to "wait" until calls come in.

Story time

It was me and a dispatcher. Like clockwork at 3 a.m., the dispatcher knew work would peter out and it was break-time until 5 a.m., so the dispatcher kicked his feet up and sleep.

There was nothing to do -- no emergencies to send trucks out to. But as long as one of us were holding the fort down it was OK in his eyes.

Did I care? No. But do I agree with that behavior? No. Am I going to rat this person out? No. I'd like to keep my job thank-you-very-much.

During those nights, I have time to watch the sun come up and think. I know I don't want to do this job "forever" but I need a way out. The question: How do I get out?

That question plagues most of Americans, who are saddled with debt and working to make ends meet.

Their biggest problem is they keep buying more and more crap and get more debt.

Sure, I have college debt, but I still live at home and don't really spend money on stupid crap.

But I'm still not sure how to jump ship from this place. Of course, I could just quit but then I have no money coming in and am not an "upstanding, tax-paying citizen."

I'll figure out what I should do.