Making a Life

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FAlley's picture
FAlley
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Making a Life

Where are the jobs?

Where can someone go to make a living?
The internet? Moving to a different country? A different industry?
The world is changing, and this online community is a great place to search for answers for all of us.

Some people on the internet (Simon Black) say the only way for the future is international diversification (getting out of the country, holding a second passport, foreign bank accounts, etc.). The internet is now a tool that allows someone to sell there wares from anywhere on Earth to anywhere in the same sphere. And entire industries are disappearing to be replaced by God knows what.

There have been a couple of great pieces from Charles Hugh Smith (http://www.peakprosperity.com/martensonreport/future-work?page=1, http://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/future-work/64944) on this topic, and I would like to see us continue to explore it independently.

txgirl69's picture
txgirl69
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Manufacturing?

I have seen a couple of articles on the web saying that manufacturing companies can't find people with the skill set to run their machines. One company is so bad off, they are starting a training/schooling section within the company.

Right now Boeing is desperate for people. I know for a fact they have recently hired several individuals without any background in aircraft maintenance (Seattle area). I was shocked. The thing about working for Boeing; you need to be a good money manager. Save, save, save when you have work, so when the pink slips are handed out, you have enough to get by on until the next contract comes up and Boeing calls you back to work.

The military can open doors too. A security clearance can do wonderful things. You also make connections that can land you a job after you separate from the military (my case). Not to mention, if you get in a good career field your skills can make you marketable as a civilian. I've seen it over and over...

I went to a private school for my B.A. and used all of the GI Bill and loans too. If I didn't have school debts I would try to make it farming/working for me, even if it meant scaling back on everything.

Maybe this'll give you a couple of ideas and places to look.....

V/R,

Rita

 

 

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Tim_P
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 I started my career as an

 I started my career as an aircraft mechanic and 25 years later, find myself working as a software engineer in a non-aviation related industry.  I don't think my current gig will hold up to the coming troubles, so I'm rebuilding skills that I've allowed to fade.  I used to be very good at structural sheet metal fabrication and am working to get back there.  Welding is another area that I'm working to rebuild.  I've long been able to fix almost anything and am working to improve my abilities there as well.  My guess is that there will always be a need for people that can fix and fabricate.  In good times, people can afford to throw away good stuff because it stops working.  In tough times, they either fix it or do without.

Look at what mechanics in Cuba have done with aging American cars and I think you'll see the type of skills that will be needed in the future here.  If spark plugs are no longer available, you need to find a way to repair the ones you have.  That's the type of stuff they have learned and the type of mindset I think we need to develop.

Tim

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Wendy S. Delmater
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Tim_P is absolutely right

All I can say is that the new normal means learn how to do more with less, and help others to do the same. I believe your wealth will become your skills. Here are the skills our family has stockpiled against an uncertain future:

Me: gardening expertise, seed saving, canning, sun-drying foods. I can crochet and teach English and have flash cards and text books and supplies to do so.

Husband: can fix or build just about anything (unless it is made of wood). He's especially good at fixing electronics but has experience with small engines, pneumatics, solderiung, plumbing, electrcical, and gravity-fed systems. Family has timber land so he knows a little about lumberjacking. Knows how to weld (we are getting him an oxy/acetylene torch and weld setup.) He can teach math and science, and we have text books on those and practical things like rigging.

Son: woodworking, tile, went to school to be an electrican (skipped the jounrneymen exam when the 2008 crash killed construction), large engine repair, chimney-sweeping....

Step-daughter: seamstress. And when I say seamstress, I mean "no pattern requied." She can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear and anything up to a wedding dress or lingerie out of Goodwill scraps. She can do leatherworking, too.

And here are our plans toward even more skills. Hubby wants to learn to knit. I want to learn to spin yarn: when we get our rabbits I want angora rabbits, whose fur can be spun into yarn. We also want to learn to tan their leather: rabbit fur lined gloves anyone?

So what are the skills you have or could get? And please - no going into debt to get skills. If a currency is devalued often the debts are not.

You might want to live near a flea market. These will become very important as traditional stores start to fail. Not only will they be a place to ply your trade as a repairman or craftsman, but they will be a place to buy and sell local foods and locally made goods. Learn to haggle for a good price: I suspect that "priced as marked" will happen less and less in a post-SHTF world.

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Rhizoid
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stuck in limbo of career transition

Hi everyone...

I'm struggling in this lonely space of living among complacent sleepwalkers in the suburban commuter milieu of western Long Island, and have been out of a full time job since August 2008, working in marketing at Deutsche Bank's Commercial Real Estate Division, and I am at pains to decide on a new path to follow. 

At present, I have assets in silver and and more in an equity portfolio I manage.  I don't know whether to sell them in order to fund my reinvention, or to take up what Charles Hugh Smith calls 'hybrid work,' while continuing to manage my investments.  

The field I am considering, after months of self-evaluations and research, and discussions with others (who aren't aware of the limits to growth and global debt saturation, etc) is that of Occupational Therapy.  I am 35 years old, and have an undergraduate degree in the humanities.  So I'd have to complete 8 prerequisite courses in the sciences in order to be accepted to an OT program, and then be in school for 2-3 years training to be an OT.  

Who knows what the state of affairs in our world will be in a few years.  But it scares me to think that I will have come to the end of my education in OT, to enter a world vastly unlike even the state of affairs today.  

Am I better off opting out of a career reinvention that would involve a few more years of full-time schooling and having to sell off assets I own that have a chance of appreciating considerably in the years ahead?  Should I instead apply for and take any job I can get, and in the free time, strengthen ties with my community, learn new barterable skills, nd provide as much value for others as I can?

If anyone here can give me any ideas on what I'd be better off doing, I'd appreciate that so much...

R.

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
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dear Rhizoid

If it was me (it WAS me, I lived on Long Island until three years ago) I'd get the heck off the island and out of the NY metro area. If you want to go to school, go elsewhere, someplace that might be safer in a sudden crash or more sustainable in a "long emergency" scenario. Can't advise you on the idea of being an occupational therapist: ther are others here in healthcare might want to chime in on that: we have doctors, nurses, therapists and other health professionals at CM.

But consider moving while it is relatively painless for you. You can manage your investments from somewhere with a lower population denisty, more natural resources, and a lower cost of living. You can get out of a region that depends on burning oil for electricity and heat and has cold winters. You can move to a region with lower taxes (where I am house taxes are $500 a year, not $500 a month.).

Understand that I had a great job  in NYC (licensed NYC Site Safety Manager) where I made $100K a year and I still moved off LI. I had not even been laid off. But I'd seen NYC in a recesion and how the effects rippled out to the suburbs during the tenure of Mayors Lindsey through Mayor Dinkins (I'm in my mid 50s.) Crime increased and it got very scary to go into the city, and LI's economy was devesated. Right now the NY metro area is very dependent on jobs (and taxes) that flow from the investment banking industry, and that's toast or on its way to being toast. Other reasons to move: the commutes are hell, the traffic is hell, and there is no way people can feed themselves without things being trucked in from  southern NJ, FL the midwest or even CA. If things get bad you will be happy you surrounded yourself with non-New Yorkers, and sustainable farmland.

If you've never lived outside of the area you have no idea how different the rest of the country is. I'm originally from farm country outside of Pittsburgh, and I could not wait to leave the NY area even before things went south in 2008. I chose South Carolina but had I not met my new husband online I would have opted for somewhere in the midwest.

This is just one woman's opinion, but it's a strong one. Get while the getting's good.

ao's picture
ao
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not good
Rhizoid wrote:

Hi everyone...

I'm struggling in this lonely space of living among complacent sleepwalkers in the suburban commuter milieu of western Long Island, and have been out of a full time job since August 2008, working in marketing at Deutsche Bank's Commercial Real Estate Division, and I am at pains to decide on a new path to follow. 

At present, I have assets in silver and and more in an equity portfolio I manage.  I don't know whether to sell them in order to fund my reinvention, or to take up what Charles Hugh Smith calls 'hybrid work,' while continuing to manage my investments.  

The field I am considering, after months of self-evaluations and research, and discussions with others (who aren't aware of the limits to growth and global debt saturation, etc) is that of Occupational Therapy.  I am 35 years old, and have an undergraduate degree in the humanities.  So I'd have to complete 8 prerequisite courses in the sciences in order to be accepted to an OT program, and then be in school for 2-3 years training to be an OT.  

Who knows what the state of affairs in our world will be in a few years.  But it scares me to think that I will have come to the end of my education in OT, to enter a world vastly unlike even the state of affairs today.  

Am I better off opting out of a career reinvention that would involve a few more years of full-time schooling and having to sell off assets I own that have a chance of appreciating considerably in the years ahead?  Should I instead apply for and take any job I can get, and in the free time, strengthen ties with my community, learn new barterable skills, nd provide as much value for others as I can?

If anyone here can give me any ideas on what I'd be better off doing, I'd appreciate that so much...

R.

Stay out of OT.  You will pay a premium price for an education in a field that is approaching saturation levels employment wise, with steadily shrinking market share due to encroachment from other professions (and pseudo-professions), steadily growing loads of burdensome and legally onerous paperwork, and, most importantly, progressively shrinking levels of reimbursement (which is where your salary will come from).  The situation is unsustainable in the long term but most people in the field don't even realize it yet.  Remember the reversion to mean principle and also the fact that when an employment situation looks good is just around the time it starts deteriorating (i.e. the peak before the plunge).  Up to 5 years ago, I would have recommended it  but not now.  The worm has turned.

P.S. Western LI is one of the LAST places I would want to live with what is coming.

Mirv's picture
Mirv
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Dear Rhizoid

I agree with AO.   A more important question might  be: what (activities) do you like to do?  Starting from that, try matching  your enjoyed  activities  with what will be needed to produce real wealth in the new paradigm after the reset.  By the way, I urge you to review Chris Duane's silver shield writings at dont tread on me . com regarding independent finance based community development after the reset...............................  you know a number of us here are rooting for you.  And, if you decide to get involved in hands on construction of new devices (eg for the solar energy field) please consider contacting me about shop space/tools/parts/training.............................. best wishes

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
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A quick thought, Rhizoid

 Okay, actually two thoughts:

 

1.  NYC will not be any place to be in a major crunch.

2.  What about Physical Therapy?  If you're set on an advanced degree, PT will be -- IMO -- a skillset that (when things really go south) will still be needed.  All kinds of people unaccustomed to hard work will be nursing any number of chronic problems, and a person with the skills to keep them up and running will be a person in demand.  

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
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Making a life

FAlley,

I'm a convert to the Sager way of thinking - Community brother. There is nothing we can't handle if we have our community heels dug in deep enough. If we stare down a modern dark ages - community.

There are going to be a lot of hitches, but I've lived in the country all my life, and seen a few other nations (though not with enough experience to truly speak for them) and my thought is that bugging out is going to invite a lot of problems, so unless you're in a place where you're absolutely in danger (Houston TX, NYC, Chicago, LA... etc), find a decent community, talk to your neighbors, plant edible things and (Echoing Safewrite)learn skills.

My take is this:
If you move to a foreign country - you're an outsider. Doesn't matter if you're a European in Europe, or an African in Africa. If you weren't born there, you'll never fit in seamlessly. If you're like me, and dream of getting away to say, Panama, forget it. I'm a white guy who can't speak good Spanish, apart from ordering burritos, and talking to kids. I'll stand out like crazy.

If you relocate to the country from the city - you're making a mistake. You don't know the life there, and even with all the time and money you may have, you'll just be resented for snobbery, unless you're abnormally engaging and have some woodsy roots. Country people are xenophobes. While this might seem like a generalization, that's because, in my experience, it's generally true.

If you expect to live in the country for the agricultural benefits - huge mistake. Unless you have some skill that precludes you from manual labor (such as MD/Veternary medicine, blacksmithing, engineering, alt energy, etc) you're going to end up a serf. Look at history. People lived in the country because they were too poor and indentured to do anything else. They lived in abject poverty, and at the behest of land owners who exploited their labors to ship food to people in cities. 

I see no reason why this dynamic will not return.
So, we should all cut strings with the "cornucopia delusion", where we think the countryside will be overflowing with food and game. Bugging "out" into the country will probably be a death sentence, for sanitary reasons if nothing else.

Short story? Build a life in the place you're at now, if it's realistic. Grow as much as you can now.
As the old folks did, they canned in the summer, before the fall and winter.
I think of our society as entering its Fall (and autumn) and it'll soon be winter. Can and prepare now, in place, and get things in the ground for when the sun breaks again.

Cheers,

Aaron

 

ao's picture
ao
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nope
SagerXX wrote:

 2.  What about Physical Therapy?  If you're set on an advanced degree, PT will be -- IMO -- a skillset that (when things really go south) will still be needed.  All kinds of people unaccustomed to hard work will be nursing any number of chronic problems, and a person with the skills to keep them up and running will be a person in demand.  

Sager,

Unfortunately, the same thing applies to PT as to OT except the situation for PT is a little better in terms of their professional flexibility.  The strongly skilled PT will survive but the average and below average will fall by the wayside.  Plus, there are a lot of personal trainers, athletic trainers, exercise physiologists, massage therapists, etc. who are looking to enter the PT field as their fields struggle more, thinking that PT will be their salvation  ... but they're mistaken. Plus, it will be harder for a new graduate to compete with more seasoned professionals who are not exiting the field because, by and large, they can't afford to retire.  Plus, it will also be harder for new entries to break into the insurance systems since many of them will be locked out of insurance contracts because the insurance companies have already signed up all the providers they need.  There are other changes that are coming including joint insurance company/large healthcare system ventures which will turn these folks into wage slaves but I don't have the time to go into them. 

In short, it's an idea that looks good now but won't be by the time this person gets out of school.

 

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Lnorris
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Making a life

Hi Rhizoid,

I think healthcare is an admirable choice but I would have to agree with many of the above comments. The debt load would be crushing if you consider what your starting salary might be. I've been a PT for 23 yrs and I see students coming out w/100k plus in student loans. I'm not sure I could justify any degree costing that much.

Healthcare is a changing industry. Medicare is insolvent and at some point the reality that we can't afford the care we're giving/receiving will dramatically change our industry. I often wonder how many years we have left with the way things are.

There will always be people who are sick and need rehabilitation how we get paid for our services and to what extent is the question. Email me if you want to talk more about it.

Lnorris

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Aaron, if you've never been

Aaron, if you've never been to Long Island, NY, think twice about your answer. That goes especially for the area Rhizoid is talking about, the western part of LI (Nassau County).  It's very, very populous. It is even more inhabited than many cities around the country: per the 2010 census Nassau's population is 1,339,532. Plus it is on the border of the NYC borough of Queens. NYC has over 8 million people. There's no moat between Nassau county and the borough of Queens; it's more of a cultural divide and the real estate is all on Long Island.

I suggested that he could move somewhere semi-rural like I did. I agree that he'd fit in better in a place like that than he would on, say, Old McDonald's Farm. But somewhere less populous than western LI is, I think, safer and more sustainable. Example: my new home Lexington County has a population of  262,000. Columbia SC, the next door state capitol, has 129K people. The closest city of one million or more is Philadelphia. We are surrounded by farm country and timberland on all sides.

There are 7 colleges in Columbia (but I wonder how long that will last once the student loan fairy dissapears) and lots of opportunity if you have relevant skills. There are lots of techical schools, too. My 30-yr-old son, who moved here from Florida's Spoace Coast due to no jobs down there, now works for AutoZone and is going to get a certificate from Midlands Technical School in diesel mechanic work.

ao is right: think 5 to ten years down the road. Things will be different then.

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Lnorris
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nope

 To add to what you've said the APTA has developed a DPT program which lengthens the educational program (6+ years undergrad/grad) and adds that much more cost to the degree.  I'm not sure about the seasoned professionals part as employers, especially acute care hospitals look to hire new grads to decrease their labor costs.  Unfortunately, we are only in the beginning of a dire crisis in healthcare.  The aging population 70's + are living with diseases that they might have died from already 3 decades ago.  Now they're being kept alive on anwhere from 1- 20 medications that they take 2-3 times a day for DECADES to manipulate the chemistry in their body so their  organs can continue to pump, filter and detoxify until the body simply succumbs from heart failure kidney failure etc. or an infection.  In the meantime, every part of the healthcare system gets a financial piece of the pie as they are recycled through the system over and over again.

I can't wait for the baby boomers to finally wake up and realize that the Medicare benefits that their parents have enjoyed are not going to be there for them.  

Sorry end of a long week...am going to plant leeks to make me happy!

Lnorris's picture
Lnorris
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nope

 To add to what you've said the APTA has developed a DPT program which lengthens the educational program (6+ years undergrad/grad) and adds that much more cost to the degree.  I'm not sure about the seasoned professionals part as employers, especially acute care hospitals look to hire new grads to decrease their labor costs.  Unfortunately, we are only in the beginning of a dire crisis in healthcare.  The aging population 70's + are living with diseases that they might have died from already 3 decades ago.  Now they're being kept alive on anwhere from 1- 20 medications that they take 2-3 times a day for DECADES to manipulate the chemistry in their body so their  organs can continue to pump, filter and detoxify until the body simply succumbs from heart failure kidney failure etc. or an infection.  In the meantime, every part of the healthcare system gets a financial piece of the pie as they are recycled through the system over and over again.

I can't wait for the baby boomers to finally wake up and realize that the Medicare benefits that their parents have enjoyed are not going to be there for them.  

Sorry end of a long week...am going to plant leeks to make me happy!

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A. M.
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NYC

Safewrite,

I think you misread... I specifically said you're anywhere near an urban metropolis such as NYC - GTFO.

Certain cities (Portland, Oregon - for one) will do OK, and others... not so much. From my perspective, you're going to fare just as well at least for the initial jolt on the momentum of a dead society than you will trying to establish something fresh in an unfamiliar place with limited resources. If you have the resources, awesome. Most folks these days are working on a hideously limited budget, though, it seems.

Anyway, We're in agreement. I wouldn't go anywhere near the Eastern Seaboard south of Vermont and North of the Carolinas... and even then, not without a significant amount of planning involved.

Cheers,

Aaron

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ao
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Lnorris
Lnorris wrote:

I'm not sure about the seasoned professionals part as employers, especially acute care hospitals look to hire new grads to decrease their labor costs. 

By way of explanation, the dynamics of employed physical therapists (including those employed by acute care hospitals or large health care systems) are different from those of the self-employed.  The patient load for acute care hospitals is largely a captive audience.  The referral occurs via the physician and the payment is primarily through insurance.  For the self-employed private practice physical therapist, word-of-mouth referrals are common and the significance of this source of referrals is growing with each passing year.  Also, in a deteriorating economic and societal situation, services paid for by cash will gradually climb as a percentage of total services provided whereas services paid for by insurance will start to shrink in comparison.  This shrinkage will occur for a variety of reasons ranging from unemployment situations where patients lose their insurance coverage to steadily increasing co-payments and deductibles to employers progressively shifting insurance premium costs onto their employees.  Obviously, this situation is in flux and dependent upon the implementation of Obamination Care.  As a consequence, the quality of the care provided is much more likely to influence the self-employed physical therapist's bottom line than it is to affect the employed physical therapist's bottom line.  For this reason, a seasoned (i.e. more experienced and highly skilled) therapist) will probably fare better in a more open market system (i.e. the self employed rather than employed venue) than a new graduate will.  I realize, of course, that we don't have a completely free market system and that anything from an presidentail executive order to mergers between insurance companies and large healthcare organizations (developing exclusive and exclusionary contracts which squeeze the small independents out of the market) can come into play.  The point is the cream will always rise to the top so one wants to position themselves to be the cream. 

 

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Poet
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Anecdotal Experience

Let me give you an anecdotal experience with physical therapy, as I had to get some last year and the year before.

The business I went to is owned by a licensed physical therapist. Let's call her J. J owns that business and is partner in another. I think she has a bachelor's degree and has been in business for herself for at least 20 years now.

The main key person at the place I go to, let's call him T. T works for J and has worked for her for close to a decade. He is a licensed physical therapist and he has a master's degree.

The person who worked on me, let's call her S. S had just graduated with her doctorate degree in physical therapy in 2010, but had to work for free under their supervision for a few months to get some experience and hours.

When I needed physical therapy again in 2011, I went with S again, as I was familiar with her. S had passed her licensing exam. She was working part-time at that establishment, and part-time at another establishment - six days per weeks (not quite 8 hours per day), no health insurance, for probably $45,000 per year.

S. was supervising another Ph.D. candidate, R. who was also working for free to get the experience and hours. R. was working on other clients.

I would love to hear what Lnorris has to say on the above.

I think it's like that with other professions, too. Doctors, CPAs, lawyers, etc. Those who got in early had a good chance of success and spent less time and money to get to where they were. If they were smart, they capitalized on it. Everyone coming after spends a lot more time and money to get a lot more credentials, but the success level is harder to reach and requires more resources. ERoEI, right?

And every year, the schools keep pumping out more graduates to compete in the market, but the market is saturated. In fact, in many fields, markets are contracting. Only those who are well-situated can continue to maintain their position or grow by cannibalizing the shares of others.

It's like college, right? It used to be that having a bachelor's degree practically guaranteed someone a good job.

Another anecdote: My wife is going to school part-time for nursing. There are people in her classes who already have bachelor degrees in things like chemistry or biology or international relations. I encourage and support her in this, because even though nursing may become somewhat saturated, it is a good set of skills to have, and this will be an economic step up for us. She plans on getting her master's degree eventually. Maybe even become a nurse practitioner.

Poet

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Full Moon
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health care

 POET , I hope your wife is right .   My daughter finally ( at age 28) had the money saved to go to school for nursing.     Crazy thing is her younger sister (age 17 ) is a CNA at an elderly care home  and  says  she will never want to be a fat, grumpy nurse ,who sits and passes out pills to shut people up and make them sleep.   1 CNA to 8 people   how many nurses are needed I wonder ?   Anyway they choose where their hearts lead  even if the pay sucks .

  I  dread the day I need either ones help but there comes a time we can not do things on our own and we need the help.    My mom said  if she makes it that  far .. to just to push her wheel chair out on the deck on the coldest night of the year  .     Lovely  dinner conversations we do get going .

  I hope it works out for your wife .

  FM 

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Poet
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Your Younger Daughter Is... Young

Full Moon

I think your older daughter should go for the nursing if that's her dream.

The pay grade and typical unionized benefits alone make a lot of sense over the course of a long career, even if the retirement promises may not eventually be kept. Average salary of a nurse is roughly double that of a CNA. Even if the field becomes saturated, the pay will still be significantly better than the median wage in the United States.

Plus barriers to entry for a CNA are low. People who are laid off from other jobs will be trying to look for quick training. They will look to the supposedly recession-proof health care industry and look to careers in medical assistant, CNA or LVN before they decide on RN - due to the lower educational requirements.

Besides, who said a nurse is stuck doing elder care or forced to be fat and unhappy? There's ER, ICU, NICU, L&D, oncology, surgery, and of course even a doctor's office. There are ways to advance that training with a Master's or Ph.D. A nurse anesthetist can make six figures.

A CNA takes orders from an RN. In a medically litigious environment, as my wife's phlebotomy teacher once told her, "Sh*t rolls downhill." The ones lower down are gonna get blamed if something goes wrong.

Poet

Lnorris's picture
Lnorris
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Anecdotal Experience

 Hi Poet,  

What you're describing are the clinical affiliation/internships that therapists do as part of their degree program.  I'll give you an idea of the 'degree inflation' that the field has experienced since I graduated.  What used to be a 51/2 year entry level masters degree program with 20 weeks of internships is now a post baccalaureate degree plus 3 years of additional education including 36 weeks of internships.  

Part of the reason the DPT was created was to achieve direct access so insurance would pay w/out a physician's referral.  The problem has always been that Medicare requires a physician's referral to pay for any of the rehabiliation services.  Insurance companies follow medicare guidelines as far as that is required so I have always been against this since its inception.  There are cash models that are being tested t/o the therapy realms.  As long as a practice is in an affluent area it will probably be modestly successful.

These kids might as well be going to medical school for the cost.  I heard from one of my colleagues recently that one of his students who is graduating with a DPT has 250k of student loans.  It's insane and not worth the debt for the salary that they start at.  

Most of the therapists who own practices work there part time and do home care on the side to supplement income as therapy volume tends to be cyclical for a variety a reasons.  If you want benefits the best packages are at the medical centers because they can afford them.  The small practices hire part time work to save on the benefits.  

It's a sad statement on what the cost of education is costing the upcoming generations.  Higher education seems to = indentured servitude.

 

 

Full Moon's picture
Full Moon
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 14 2008
Posts: 1258
nursing

 Well if they were in it for the money they will join in with Pfizer and Merck  right  !?!      Nursing school is going fine for the 28 YO  time will tell if she can afford to continue .   And  no where on earth will I find someone with a bigger heart than the 17 YO .   She will wash hineys and kiss old folks and take care of their bodies when they leave them  behind  .... even when there is no money left . I had to dry tears last night when  a favorite resident died on her .            These two  have sisters that would not and could not do either .  Nursing  should be a calling  not something you worry about the $ pay.    AND  those that are doing it for the $$ will not last  .   IMHO

 FM

 PS   I can tell you It was not easy getting either one  their schooling  ... it seems they want  you to have medical records and vacinations to do either .   Just a heads up to those thinking about it .    

 

Rhizoid's picture
Rhizoid
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 23 2010
Posts: 8
re: living on LI and making a life

safewrite,

I appreciate your response very much.  And I appreciate everyone else's responses here very deeply, too, and I want to respond to all of you, as well.  Regarding everyone else's opinions on career change into OT, during the present state of affairs, I agree that it would be a big risk, and probably, ultimately, a foolish move.  I have no training in anything healthcare-related, so I'd have to start from scratch.  For many, if not most, OT masters programs, the requirements include not only the 7 or 8 prerequisites, but also many hours of volunteer work under a practicing OT.  Not to mention all the money it would cost me to train just to become an OT.  From that persepective, I'd probably be better off lowering my cost of living, getting a job driving cabs at night, and caddying in the mornings, or tending bar.  Safewrite, I'll respond to you' first, since you're a fellow Long Islander, (or at least former), and know that experience.  

I do consider moving, and have been considering it since I was 17.  I'm 35 now.  In fact, aside from college in Baltimore, which I guess counts as living away, I've lived in Santa Fe, NM; Leuven, Belgium; the Hudson Valley of upstate NY, and currently northern NJ.  I went to school in Santa Fe in 2004-2005, and lived there until 2006.  That's where I discovered permaculture and Kunstler's The Long Emergency.  That's kind of when everything changed for me, as far as perspective goes.

In 2006, I returned to LI.  I was depressed for a year, and then my parents sold the house I grew up in (right near the peak in house prices), and then a few months later, in fall 2007, my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.  She died three months later.  Life since then has been incredibly difficult.  Not that I want to be, or sound like, a victim (which I fear I do), most days it's so hard to feel any optimism or clarity about where I'm going while living here.  My dad is a barfly, and drinks a combination of 5 or six pints of strong beer every day, followed by vodka at home every night.  He has a girlfriend he met at the bar he goes to, and she has two young kids.  He's 63.  She's 52.  Her kids are 12 and 15.  They're like his new atomic family unit.  His girlfriend doesn't seem bothered by his functioning alcoholism.  I moved upstate NY last year because I needed to get away from him.  That didn't work out for me, because the town I moved to was a place where I knew no one.  And I missed my friends on Long Island, so I would drive back frequently to spend time with them.  But since I had nowhere of my own on LI to stay, I'd stay at my dad's, and put up with his unhealthy lifestyle.  That would put me in a rut.  Which I'm still in.  Then my younger brother, who lives in northern NJ with his wife, and has a seemingly successful job working for an elevator safety consulting company, told me to move near him.  I've been living in northern NJ since October 2011, and have seen my brother maybe 6 or seven times sice then.  I've gone to a few meetups of people enthusiastic about permaculture and sustainable living, but when I've been asked what I do, and tell them I'm not currently employed, the people move on.  I'm renting a 14x16 studio in a sad apartment building there, and nobody in the building is all that neighborly.  It's painful.  

So, right now, I'm back on Long island, sitting in the study room of my favorite library in Nassau County, writing this.  I came here today, from my dad's place, where I've been for the last four days because my sister is about to have her first baby any day now, and I want to be near when her baby is born.  I intended to get things done at the library today, like fix up my LinkedIn profile, upload resumes to job-searching sites, write some emails, compose a good generic cover letter, do more research on Occupational Therapy, and read a few of the books on my Kindle.  In about 30 minutes, I'll get a text from my dad telling me to meet him at the bar.  Then we'll go out to dinner and talk about my sister and the better days past, and how quickly time is going by.  I'll want to talk about the future, and what I'm doing, and what he's doing with his life.  He hasn't worked since January 2009.  He worries and bothers me to such a degree that the only thing that occupies my mind is how much he enrages me.  

I could try to make an effort to stay in NJ, and find a job with a temp agency or go through the pain of deciding that I have nothing going for me, and apply to dishwasher jobs at restaurants or pizza delivery positions.  I just can't stand the thoughts of living alone anymore.  Or living with my dad.  I read Joseph Heller's Something Happened several years ago, back when I was at Deutsche Bank, and I remember thinking, "I pray the narrator of this story isn't me one day."   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Something_Happened

But it would be nice to not have to live alone anymore.  I had dreams of living in an ecovillage or a cohousing community.  Having visited some in NM and Martha's Vineyard, I pine for living arrangements like those, as opposed to living in a studio apartment in a town where I don't know anybody, and where I'm not employed.  

I gues maybe that was part of why the idea of retraining to be an OT appealed to me.  It would mean being around people in a classroom setting again, and presumably liking it, and studying in a career field that, according to government statistics will see a "much faster than average growth rate" at 20+% over the next 6 to 10 years.  

I guess part of my initial enthusiasm for the possibility of a fulfilling life through a career in OT had to do, perhaps, with my deeper desire to feel accepted by my peers and even friends and family.  Everybody seems to have a "normal" life around me.  The levels of normalcy bias in Nassau County seem to be at absurd levels.  But maybe that's just me.  I agree with the statement that we don't see things as they are, but actually see them as we are.  Nonetheless, the way of life on suburban Long Island is not for me.  

Maybe, on the surface, it looks painless for me to leave Long Island for good.  I've tried that.  One thing my mom said to me when I was living in New Mexico for two years, was "Why do you want to live so far away from the people who love you?"  I had good friends there, but I felt in her voice that I needed to go back.  And I did.  And it was a decision that allowed me to spend a year and a half with her until she was dignosed with pancreatic cancer.  And then my dad descended into alcoholism and denial, and became a different person with this different woman, and then my brother got married and moved to New Jersey, and then my sister got married and is now going to have a baby.  And I'm concerned about my dad, and have seen many therapists and counselors and even life coaches just to figure out what to do.  

Luckily, I bought silver in 2010, when it was still below $20 an ounce.  But that's another story.

I've been following Chris Martenson and Charles Hugh Smith on and off; but mostly on; for a few years now.  I don't contribute to these forums nearly as much as I wished I could.  Maybe that's because of insecurity, or preoccupation with my dad and my future, fear, ADHD; I don't know.  

I'm sorry I'm all over the place in this message.  I'm just trying to speak what's on my mind before driving in a few minutes from the north shore town where I am, and down to my hometown where my dad is and go have dinner with him.  

I know, tonight, I'll want to take about working, mine and his.  He thinks OT is a great idea.  But he's skeptical of, or indifferent about, "peak oil" and ecological overshoot.  But I can't imagine what he's been through in hiw own life, either.  

When I write next, I'll be sure to be more coherent.  For now, I'll quick say that so far in this thread, I have the feeling that the prospect of reinventing myself as an occupational therapist at my age seems to be more of a bad idea than a good one, and also, Long Island is crowded and expensive and I long to leave, but it's the place I know best and it's where I have great friends and my dad and sister and in a few days, my nephew or niece.  Whether those are good reasons to go through the increasing hardship of making a life here on Long Island where nobody I know is mindful of the challenges ahead is something I'm going to have to chew on tonight, and for the foreseeable future.  

Ok, time for me to go join my dad for dinner.  

Blessings to all of you...

 

Lnorris's picture
Lnorris
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 28 2011
Posts: 105
nursing

 I'd say you're right.  Most of us who get into healthcare do it because we want to be able to help and truly love being around people.  I've shared many laughs and tears w/patients and family alike over the years.  You can't put a price on having a hand in helping someone take back their life after a traumatic, life-altering injury, share the grief as a loved one dies, or celebrate the victories that some patients achieve.  There are some whose stories stay with me and always will.  

Millie Pickle's picture
Millie Pickle
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: May 8 2009
Posts: 5
Re:Making a life on LI

 Rhizoid

I did not find your writing scattered at all. In fact it expressed your complex situation quite eloquently. I think I share many of the same elements of history you describe, although your family situation is actually more positive, but we all have a different basket of challenges. I was born and grew up in New York and Vermont, and lived in New Mexico for 15 years. I moved there from VT to live with my brother, and it was exciting, so different from the East Coast while still in the same country. I live in New Zealand now. I came out here to live and work in an ecovillage (which never got off the ground). Within 2 weeks of landing here all my plans were completely shredded and I was off the map. 

I am writing this from the other side of the coin. I left family and friends behind and moved myself and my two sons on our own to New Zealand 10 years ago. It has been incredibly challenging and lonely, and also full of alienation. If it is difficult to blend in in a town in the same state, it is that much more so to blend in when the whole country is based on Pacific Island and British tradition. The way I talk, think, act are all foreign to the people here. Though it was the best decision for me and my boys, if I had some of your family and community strengths all focused in one location I would not be here. I was going to be on my own regardless, and I made my mind up that if I was going to have to do the hard yards, I would like it to be somewhere good for the kids. 

I would like to share my opinion on the value of a community versus the value of strangers with similar beliefs. It is really quite simple. When the rubber hits the road you want to be near the people you love and who love you. That trumps permaculture and eco-villages. I have gained a great appreciation for staying in one place, and I would not move from where I am now unless I absolutely had to. Having traveled, as you have, it becomes clear that everywhere you go has advantages and drawbacks.

Your strengths are: family- good relations with your closest family members, issues with your father aside, you are at least on visiting terms. commnity- Your community is one you grew up in and you have a place there, not enough can be said for that. You have friends there. That is the greatest asset. 

The challenges are, I guess, making a living and finding a good place to live there. I too struggle with employment. Moving around and being a non-career focused mother has left me with an uninspiring resume. I too have considered expensive and time-consuming re-training programmes and came to the same conclusion that you have. I would not get enough out of it to justify what I put in.

What I have been through I would not recommend to anyone, but I did meet someone a few years ago and remarry and feel lucky at this point. I don't have family, but I have acommunity here that I would not give up for anything. It has made me a much more active community member than I have ever been. 

Millie

 

 

 

 

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1988
Rhizoid, good post

And you were coherent.

For what it's worth you have no idea how much we have in common. My dad was an alcoholic, too, and I did not get my bearings on a career until my 40s. I made friends and got the moral support I needed at Al Anon's Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings - ACA. There are meetings in Nassau County. Going to meetings made me see things clearly so I could make better choices with a mind not fogged by society's and my crazy mixed up family's expectations.

There is no such thing as normal: they taught me in 12-step that adult children of alcoholics guess at what normal is but there is only "functional" and "dysfunctional." Things either work for you or they do not. Send me a private message and we'll correspond. The commmunity here is a great place to make friends - many of my internet friends are real friends in real life now.

Rooting for you!

Safewrite

Rhizoid's picture
Rhizoid
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 23 2010
Posts: 8
staying vs going, community of family vs. community of like-mind

 Thanks for the reply, Millie,

it sounds like you have had an interesting life.  I hope things are going well for you now in NZ.  That's great to hear you lived in New Mexico for 15 years.  I'm sure you miss it there.  (It's so hard not to, once you've lived there.)  

I struggle every day about whether or not to stay on Long Island.  I've been looking on craigslist for house shares on LI and up in the Hudson Valley.  The more I think about it, the more crazy Nassau County seems to be.  

The hardest thing is that I come from an enmeshed family.  Or, maybe more specifically, my relationship with my dad is a very enmeshed one.  It's always been hard for me to establish, and assert, my boundaries to him.  That might be the reason I've gone to live in the different places I've lived in.  But it's gotten harder since my mom died four years ago.  The enmeshment has tightened.  I feel like my family is a bowl of noodles, instead of apples on a tree, or milkweed seeds that fly from the pod when it's time to break free.  

So I've been the milkweed seed, but when I'm back on Long Island, I'm in the bowl of noodle soup.  (And it's an expensive bowl of soup to live in.)

So it would be nice to become the milkweed seed again, find a better place, and better soil, and better companion plants, and grow a new tree, instead of be wilting a noodle in the old bowl I come from.  And it feels like the old bowl is only going to be a harder place to be, as those realities of debt saturation, currency-induced cost push inflation, resource depletion, environmental degradation, etc., all begin hitting home.

I'm scared to throw in the towel and make myself try to keep up with the Long Island Joneses.  I'm breaking my lease in New Jersey at the end of April.  I'm trying to figure out what the best thing I can do starting in May could be.  Go back to Long Island and live with my barfly dad and be enmeshed in his life and expectations of me?  Send in resumes to office clerk openings?  Become a golf caddy again, like I was for 13 years?  Look for a short-term work exchange gig at a youth hostel?  Be a WWOOFer?  Find an affordable house share in eastern Long Island and get a job at a Lowe's or a Home Depot or a Whole Foods?  Look for a house share in a town in Ulster County, NY, just 2 hours from Long Island, and look for work at a local SUNY school or wait tables or drive cabs?  Find a permaculture apprenticeship?  Enroll in a continuing education program for an affordable certificate in some "high demand" field like SEO Marketing?  

Stay within the trappings (and comfort zone) of my stagnated and enmeshed family, or find a more resilient, aware, creative, and sane community of strong, level-headed individuals?

 

FAlley's picture
FAlley
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 2 2010
Posts: 90
Howdy

Thought I'd give an update on where I am and what I'm up to.

Currently attending a police academy run by the Highway Patrol in Jefferson City, MO. This is a basic Peace Officer academy that qualifies me for most police work in the state, and I'll look up yet how much reciprocity it has with surrounding states.

It's actually a decently taught class. My instructors are professional and have decades of experience. I'll learn about law and the execution of the law (with an emphasis on the limits of police power, since abusing them gets the officer screwed over either civilly in court or by getting a case thrown out). Also, I'll be learning about firearms (currently have a 1911 on my hip), first responder (suped up first aid), and plenty about psychology and investigative work.

Anywho, I'm happy with this, and down the road hope I'm able to be some resource to you lot with what I learn here and on the job.

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1988
FAlley, thanks for the update

That sounds like a good choice that is working for you. Good, hard-working honest peace officers are some of the best people in the world. Great career choice. Best of luck to you.

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