If you checked out my About page, you know that I'm in the market for some means to augment a puny income - the unfortunate side effect of this retirement thing. In the not-too-distant-future, that need will become substantial. So it's time to get cracking and figure out what options are out there, just in case the obligatory lotto tickets fail to deliver. They haven't treated me very kindly so far. I don't have high hopes for that option. As a consequence, I'm still in the market for ideas and writing down what I run across as I go.
These days, we have the Internet to delight and torment us. It's full of job boards, advice columns, get rich quick schemes, scammers and plenty of people with no idea what they're talking about. None. It didn't take long to realize that I could easily spend the rest of my life reading all that stuff and pursuing unproductive strategies. Gonna need a plan to get this done before things get out of control.
The ideal solution
To keep from spending a lot of time poking my nose into stuff that's never gonna be anything I'd ever do, I figured the first task is to define the ideal money making situation for me. Here goes:
- I do nothing, I show up whenever I want to, leave whenever I want to, other people work hard and make money that they give to me so I can pay for all the things I need. Oh, and I don't have to put any of my own money into the business nor any of my own resources.
A quick Internet search suggests the best fit for me would be as a member of an autocratic royal family presiding over an isolated, non-belligerent kingdom totally lacking in foreign relations and with particularly doscile subjects.
A subsequent search failed to find any immediate openings for such a position. So..... onward.
The best case scenario
Having left a source of employment that paid reasonably well and for which I was reasonably well suited, I certainly don't want to turn to some new full-time employment at lower wages to do a job that I'm not at all suited for just because I'm old and it's what's available. What would be the point of 'retiring' if that's the way it's going to go down?
And I doubt I'd be successful convincing the Mrs to sell everything and move to Ecuador where the cost of living is only 39% of that in the USA. At least, not yet. Ella no habla español. ¿Comprender?
It would be great to find a new part-time gig that provides enough income to keep us in the style to which we've become accustomed and still leave us a little time to enjoy being retired. What we really need is something that helps fill in the deficit between our retirement benefits and our financial needs. It's a plus if it also provides healthcare benefits. A big plus.
Searching for all that, I was pleasantly surprised to find that there ARE many companies that offer benefits to part-timers! Some examples that are commonly cited by websites that keep track of such things:
Elsewhere, I read that the job types most likely to offer benefits to part timers are:
- Registered Nurse (4)
- Automotive Service Technician/Mechanic (4)
- Surgical Technologist (4)
- School Bus Driver (4)
- Certified Pharmacy Tech (4)
- Bank Teller (4)
Eventually, it always seems to circle back to those dang job boards
Even with an eye on certain targets, it's still necessary to hit the job boards to see if our favorites have any openings. Doing so, I've found that the companies that offer benefits to part timers are actually far more numerous than indicated by the list above. That's just the tip of the iceberg, as a quick search on any of the major boards should convince you.
Most of the job boards allow us to make searches using keywords for 'part-time jobs with benefits' and will also allow narrow hits down to a particular city, etc. However, these searches, being keyword searches, don't always return what is expected. Some of those returned records may NOT actually be part time or may NOT offer benefits. I've learned to read the descriptions carefully to keep from getting fooled!
Here's some of the ones tried:
OK, I've looked at those job boards, etc. Now what?
Due diligence. Done. What's available has been looked at. If you're like me, one (or all) of the following probably happened:
- A suitable opportunity was found and excitement has welled up for starting the application process
- No suitable opportunity was found and things are starting to look bleaker
- Stomach turned when considering the prospect of going back to work and a groan leaked out of the corner of the mouth when thinking about having to go through all that hiring stuff once again
Interviewer: "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?" Me: "Forest Lawn Cemetery". Interviewer: "Thank you for coming in. We'll get back to you." Me: Thinking yeah, right. Interviewer: "Next!"
Actually, it really doesn't matter which of the above occurred. I've come to realize that I'll also need a more immediately accessible, short-term option to drag in some cash and keep the creditors at bay. Even if the 'perfect' job description has been found, it will still take quite a while to go through the hiring process. So what to do in the interim and/or instead of pursuing gainful employment?
Self-initiated solutions that could turn into long term solutions
If I'm the one in charge, I don't need to wait for someone else to tell me 'go'. I can get started immediately. But, doing what? Luckily/unfortunately there's no shortage of ideas out on the web for things that can be done using our own initiative. Some require pre-existing skills while others don't require much in terms of pre-training nor initial investment. Here's some of the common suggestions I've run across:
Quite the list, huh? But now we've come full circle. We're right back into that familiar state of information overload and this has reverted into the same old project requiring lots of time sifting through numerous options. It's a smaller circle this time, but still big enough to eat up a chunk of life.
Know thy self
Sure, several of those options look like they might suit me, but I decided to take a pause and calculate my personality type to remind myself of who I am and what's practical for me. The one I took is:
I think, therefore I am - INTJ
There are plenty other sites to choose from if that one doesn't do it for you. Simply Google for personality type tests. My test came up with the INTJ type for me. Heavy on the introversion side. Make a note. Guess I shouldn't think too seriously about options that involve a lot of interpersonal interactions. Clicking through to suggested career choices I got:
- Natural science
- Natural science education
- Information systems
- Computer science and software engineering
Wonder if this helps. Back to the Internet to search for suitable niches for INTJ types. Found a more exhaustive list that includes jobs to AVOID at:
Overlaying the info from that page onto the options in the table above, I conclude it's best to focus on those options that involve analytics, computers/software, writing, tutoring, and consulting. And, as you've already guessed since you're reading this, 'blogging' is among the options that I've decided to pursue.
So that's me. But maybe not you. Go ahead and take the quiz. Get your own type, look at the career suggestions and then the list above and see what might work for you. Or come up with your own ideas. The important thing is to just get the ball rolling. Tick, tock.
This little exercise actually was more helpful than I'd imagined. Not because of any new startling revelations but because it helped refocus on the realistic options instead of the over-hyped suggestions currently making the rounds on the 'net. Specifically, driving for Uber and/or Lyft. While those may be great for others, probably would be a disaster for someone like me. I'd be happier transporting inanimate objects. That's good to get straightened out early on.
And the alternatives are .... ?
Unfortunately, I'm more than a little familiar with blogging and know that it can take a year or so for it to start generating income - if it ever does. Problogger.com has some interesting things to say about this path as a means to make money. It's good to have that process started, but, unless I'm extremely lucky, it's not gonna help float the boat anytime soon. Maybe never will.
So is this site really a good idea? I think so. At the very least, it serves as a means to summarize research on this topic and deposit it somewhere that will be easy enough to find again in the future. There's plenty of value in that. But I'm still gonna need something, short-term, that's a bit more reliable means to fill the pockets.
Another option in the list above that I've been meaning to look into for a while now is 'selling stuff on eBay'. By 'eBay', I'm guessing what they really mean is e-commerce - which might actually include eBay, itself. There will come a time in the future when a certain amount of 'downsizing' will be necessary, especially if I'm ever successful in convincing the Mrs to make that move to Ecuador. So getting up to speed with selling stuff online makes a lot of sense. The targets that I know of so far to look into are: eBay, Craigslist, Letgo, Amazon, Etsy, and Tindie. I'll share what I find as I wander through those options in the coming days.
Wouldn't mind tutoring and/or leading an occasional workshop to make some $. Not sure how to get plugged into doing that. Looks like another research topic.
And, finally, I hear that it's possible to make money if you just know how to operate a motor vehicle. I can still do that. Based upon my personality profile, driving people shouldn't be my first choice - if I can avoid it. I've read about services like PostMates and Amazon Flex. I plan to give those a look, too, and will report back.
So keep checking back to see what's been learned and maybe we'll be able to share some helpful tidbits with each other.