I've been a freelance court reporter in Southern California for about four years, and although it's always been a "feast or famine" type of work, I've earned significantly less every year. And it wasn't that much to begin with. This year I've stopped getting any work at all. I'm down to one or two jobs a month and not making anything I can begin to survive on. At first I thought it was my lack of experience or maybe it was my agency, but for the past several months I've reached out to every reporter I know and any that I happen to come across and no one's working. Not the 30-year veterans and certainly not me. Many of them have told me they've never seen anything like this in the 20-30 years they've been reporters. And like me, many of them are looking for a new career.
I know this is an odd place to seek guidance, but I don't have any idea where to start, and I thought some of you might have some ideas that wouldn't occur to me.
It's an especially difficult situation for me because I have no education and no experience. All I have is a GED and apparently useless vocational training. In fact, going back to school probably isn't an option for me. Unfortunately, just as my work stopped, my husband was in a bad car accident. Now on top of everything else, we're trying to figure out how to pay for his surgery and how we'll ever replace his totaled car. He was at fault for the accident and we only had liability coverage, so there won't be any help from the insurance company either.
I really don't even know where to begin, but obviously my chosen career path is not working out. And honestly, it makes me feel really bitter because I worked very hard to finish school in record time. I made a lot of sacrifices to go to school in the first place, and I'll still be paying my student loans for another seven years.
I'd been working on repairing our credit for the last few years and had made good progress, but just when it had turned around life happened, and now everything is falling apart again.
I'm not even sure if anyone here can be of any assistance. Maybe I just need to get it off my chest. I don't know. But if anyone has any suggestions on how to get started in a new career, I would appreciate it very much.
Thanks for your time.
You could enlist in the Army. You get to pick your job. You will work with people who will look out for you. You can take courses at any college, at no cost to you. You can stay in, or switch to a federal job, and come out with great experience, a college degree, and more than enough money to make ends meet... only 20 years of working and you will continue to be paid for the rest of your life.
I don't have any great suggestions, just sympathy! I'm a librarian and if it hadn't been for my ability to move cross-country for a decent job I'd still be underemployed making $22,000 a year.
I hope things turn around and your situation improves soon.
First, don't underestimate your ability to go back to school. I did that mid-life and landed my current job because of it.
Second, do you have any skills or hobbies that you could use in the interim to generate some income? I know how depressing it can be to be in that place and eBay saved my sanity (before the days of Etsy). I made scrapbooks and picture frames and sewed frilly dresses for little girls. Hairbows, jewelry, all of it can make some money if you find your niche.
Third, definitely look into the Parachute book. Find your passion and follow it. You may be surprised where your path leads you.
Best of luck to you!