Friday, September 12

A tad off-topic

This has little to do with frugality, but I thought I would put it out there to all of you:

My husband, Tim, is on unemployment. We have applied to the Dept of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). This place works with people who have disabilities that create barriers to getting or keeping jobs.

Tim's eczema definitely qualifies: It's so severe that he's pretty much constantly got a staph infection (which means employers don't want you at work, infecting other people). Or, in a really bad flare up, there are days where he can't wear clothes. Also a problem for most office situations.

We finished the application process yesterday and should hear back within a month, but as long as two months. If he's approved, he'll work one-on-one with a counselor to figure out what he wants to/can do.

Tim thought he had the answer in learning medical coding. (I personally think that idea has some inherent problems, but that's neither here nor there.) But today he learned that most medical coders need at least a couple years' experience before they're allowed to work from home.

This avenue isn't completely closed off -- we might be able to get some employers that would let him work from home as needed, and some of the programs have on-the-job training which would help him get experience.

But I'm still wondering: Is there any jobs that he could do from home -- or at least partially from home?

Anyone have any ideas? I hate to see him frustrated and worried like this. He really wants to find something he could do.


Blogger Revanche said...

What kind of work experience/skill does Tim have? I've been browsing a lot of freelance jobs, and depending on what he's had some experience in, there may be a few freelance opportunities out there. Also, he might want to consider learning web design and maintenance. It's not quick and easy, necessarily, but it's a valuable skill and he can do that anywhere he can plug in a computer!

September 12, 2008 at 9:04 PM

Blogger Abby said...

Revanche, thanks for responding (per contest rules, you get an extra entry!)

He worked for two years at a label-making place. People ordered different size/shape labels on various materials, he would set up the machines to cut them correctly, then check the "peel." Strange, but true.

Otherwise, this is where things get dicey and why he'll probably need to do a worker retraining program: He has an Associates working with computers from a vocational school; but he doesn't really enjoy doing networking type things. And of course that is the kind of job where you need to be in the office, hooking things up and fixing computers.

He has worked in construction which is not terribly useful in this circumstance.

We talked about web design but with ADD and borderline-dyslexia he was very clear that programming would not be an area he'd like/excel in.

He is proficient in Microsoft Office and types at a reasonable speed. Something ala 50-60 wpm. He has a good phone presence.

That's about all I can think of. His resume is on the computer that imploded. So we don't have access to it until the tower gets fixed.

September 12, 2008 at 9:20 PM

Blogger Rachel said...

The only really successful thing I've done from home is work as a transcriptionist. It required an intial investment by me of around $120 for software and a good used machine. But the trick is finding someone to work for.

You might try looking for transcription services -- sometimes companies outsource everything to independent contractors, and sometimes even ones that do in house work outsource their overflow. The company that I worked for was a local company that did special education hearings that were recorded and then had to be transcribed for the parents and school district. It wasn't a huge amount of money after self-employment taxes, etc. but it wasn't too bad. I have a friend who still works for the company (she's a stay at home mom with three kids) and earns a decent income to supplement her husband's earnings.

September 13, 2008 at 11:00 AM

Blogger Abby said...

Thanks, Rachel. I mentioned that idea to him yesterday. I am pretty sure there are courses he can take through worker retraining for transcription.

I think he's more hesitant about this because of he has some hearing loss. But I pointed out he can turn up the volume as loud as necessary because he'll have headphones on.

You did three comments in a row (busy gal!) so I went ahead and gave you three entries.

September 13, 2008 at 11:37 AM

Blogger Revanche said...

I also had in mind the idea of call center type work. You mentioned that he has a good phone presence, I wonder if there are opportunities for him to either take customer service calls from home, or as Rachel says, transcribe for doctors.

You might even want to ask your medical practitioners about whether or not they use freelancers for any of the transcription of records, etc.

September 13, 2008 at 6:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot of companies have their customer service agents answer those calls directly from their own homes. That might be something he could do.

September 19, 2008 at 4:34 PM


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