I've been researching the computerized notetaking gig - gathering information, laying the groundwork - and have been increasingly excited about the possibilities. I was looking forward to the work, and especially the change of lifestyle it would bring. The pay turned out to be better than I thought, and the hours per week would be perfect.
Yesterday I found the catch, and I can't find a way around it.
There aren't enough work weeks. Notetakers work during class time only, not during reading periods (I didn't know what those were, but apparently Canadian college students have study breaks before exams), or during exams, and of course not between terms. I was told the rule of thumb is seven weeks on, seven weeks off. The pay is nice, but not enough thta I could work only half the year.
If I earned more money from my writing, this would be the perfect compliment. But although that happens occasionally, I can't count on it or plan for it. That's why I need the day-job in the first place. I could certainly supplement the notetaking work with writing and copyediting jobs, but it would only be supplemental, not an entire second income.
I've thought myself silly over this, but I can't come up with a way around it. Very reluctantly, I must give up the idea. Damn.
All work has a downside, and I easily recognize the downside that disappears as this option falls through: the insecurity of true freelancing. The constant hustling for work, the inability to turn down jobs, no matter how odious or inconvenient, because you don't know when the next offer will come in. I've done that, and that's why I settled on the steady day-job at a law firm.
I really wanted this notetaking gig, and I was willing to accept the downside with the bargain, at least to try it for a year. But now that I see it won't work, I can focus on the comforting prospect of seeing a steady paycheque deposited into my bank account every two weeks, and the luxury of paid vacations and sick time.
Trouble is, I still have to find one of those!
My dilemma: If I don't find a job with my preferred schedule, when do I give up and interview for jobs with conventional full-time schedules (which will feel something like going to prison)? There's no clear answer to this.