6.08.2007

the job front

It's a good-news-bad-news kind of post, so let's get the bad news out of the way first. There's a resounding silence on the job front. No weekend spots at all.

However... it's looking like this is leading me to make another change in how I earn my living. I'm excited about the potential, but I'm concerned about our income during the transition.

I've discovered that colleges and universities hire people to take notes for hearing-impaired students. The notetakers attend classes with the students, take notes on a laptop, then email the file to the student. This sounds like a great fit for me in many ways: I'm a great notetaker, a fast typist, and I like the idea of attending different classes at area colleges. The work is flexible and cyclical, following the school term, and I like that, too. The pay is not fantastic, but it's all right, and it has the potential to increase greatly with experience.

I heard about this work shortly after we moved to Canada, through someone who might even be reading this post, the wonderful "V". We were working with V so she could take care of Buster while we went to New Jersey for US Thanksgiving in 2005. (Alas, that was not to be, as by the time the holiday came, we had lost him.)

At that time, I was very intrigued with the notetaking idea, but I quickly found a good law-firm job, and that was that. But now that I'm unemployed, I've had time to investigate it more thoroughly. I've discovered three different agencies that hire "computerized notetakers", as they're called, and I'm preparing my applications with all of them.

Of course there's a catch. Work wouldn't start until September, and I've already been unemployed a month. I have some income from writing and editing work, but it's not adequate.

There is some legal word-pro work I can get, with a schedule I really don't want. But for various reasons, it's not really feasible to do that temporarily while I keep an eye on the notetaking route. One precludes the other.

I'm seeing an avenue through which to transform this job loss into an opportunity for change, and I want to take it. But I have to figure out the finances to make it work.

May I add this is the stupidest time in the world to be throwing a party? No, I'm not cancelling. And no, I'm not making it pot-luck. Just come and enjoy.

12 comments:

James said...

Whether it's pot-luck or not, we'd be happy to contribute something. :)

Scott M. said...

Ditto.

L-girl said...

Thank you both, that's very nice. Maybe I'll take you up on it... I'll be in touch to coordinate.

So Scott, does this mean you and Dawn are attending? (I hope so!) I have you on the list of rsvp holdouts to send a follow-up.

Scott M. said...

Yep! I think we RSVPd at the game...

The only thing that would prevent me from attending is if there's a problem at work. Things are looking pretty good on that front fortunately!

L-girl said...

I think we RSVPd at the game...

Ah-ha! Dawn said "I think so" and I wasn't sure what that meant.

Here's hoping work does not interfere.

Woti-woti said...

You might want to check out the U of T, York markets for editing post-grad level papers, thesis etc for students whose first language is not English. Especially in the maths/sciences. I heard that there's quite a demand for this here at Queen's and it's not as daunting as it sounds--ie it's 'proper' written English and presentation that's the problem, not actually communicating. Plus you don't have to go to class.

L-girl said...

Woti, thanks for the tip! I wonder how I'd find those people... Hmmm, have to think about that and investigate.

I admit the math/science aspect is daunting, but good writers should be able to translate almost anything.

I actually find the prospect of going to class a big plus - but of course nothing beats working from home.

James said...

I admit the math/science aspect is daunting, but good writers should be able to translate almost anything.

In the end, it's really no worse than legal jargon -- probably, not as bad as. :)

Woti-woti said...

I'm told it's easy here b/c Queen's is a relatively small and compact campus. Interested editors simply use the bulletin boards in the main faculty buildings, plus there's a big Grad Club here (which also doubles as a live night club). It sounded to me that once you got started, word of mouth did the rest. The other way would be to start at the top, and see if the Uni. admin. dep't. could help. Re: the math/science, I was told in no uncertain terms that the 'editor' IS NOT expected to proof the technical stuff, just the English (although it helps if you can follow the logic to spot flaws).

L-girl said...

In the end, it's really no worse than legal jargon -- probably, not as bad as. :)

I bet it's not! But I don't edit that stuff, I just format the docs. Or I did... Allan still does. :)

L-girl said...

I'm told it's easy here b/c Queen's is a relatively small and compact campus. Interested editors simply use the bulletin boards in the main faculty buildings

Hmm... So if I knew someone there, he might post a notice for me?

The other way would be to start at the top, and see if the Uni. admin. dep't. could help.

Good idea.

Thanks so much, Woti. If you have any specific hints (who, what, where) please do email.

impudent strumpet said...

OMG! That is the coolest job I've ever heard of! I would, in all seriousness, drop everything and start note-taking for a living, but for the fact that I'm completely incapable of taking notes. Going to random classes? Perfect! Learning the material? Perfect! Writing it down in a way that other people can understand it? Impossible!