Feministe Feedback: Job placement and assistance resources

A reader writes in:

Four years ago I was raped by my ex-boyfriend in college and my life has been going sharply downhill ever since and I don’t know how to stop it.A year and a half ago, I was kicked out of school (raped, reported, they ignored it, said i would be better of elsewhere) with no degree and a crushing amount of student loans. I can’t afford to go back to school until I get a job (rejected for any loans), but I can’t get hired. Things were looking up earlier this year until (a different) ex beat me up and kicked me out of the apartment and I feel like I am even further back than square one. I am now living in a really unhealthy environment with absolutely zero money, no friends, no support system. I went to counseling for a few months after the ‘big’ assault and such, but it didn’t help at all. Now I can’t even afford to go back because I have no money to leave the house. My family is also having financial troubles and the clock is quickly ticking on me bringing in an extra income before everyone is homeless.

What can I do? Is there any feminist job placement type of resources? I am in the New York City area – but not IN the city. in the suburbs where a train round trip of 15 dollars or some gas to drive somewhere close is something I just cant afford. I’ve applied to retail, food service, office jobs, temp agencies…all of them with absolutely no results. I was really into the feminist community earlier this year, but now I feel really jaded now that when I’ve been needing help the most I can’t find anything to assist me. I feel like I’ve been trying so hard to do everything right and I still end up stuck. I got a call from the student loan people and saying my account will default in a few days (this was last month) because they don’t offer anything beyond the 6-month deferment regardless of economy situation.

Am I just shit out of luck? It seems to be the only option. I am told “I would help you if I could” but I only hear willingness to help from people who CAN’T help me. After the expulsion I threw myself into writing, activism, volunteering, and even did a paid internship. Now I have run out of steam. I really have no resources or access to anything that can help and I’m starting to think – how can I believe in and fight for justice for all if I can’t even see it happening in my life?

thanks any help would be appreciated.

Help? Resources? Suggestions?

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35 comments for “Feministe Feedback: Job placement and assistance resources

  1. ellen
    December 23, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Hey, I’m really sorry that you are in this horrible situation, and I’ll be thinking of you. I have one suggestion, but I don’t know how realistic it is – is there any possibility of a bursary rather than a loan from any universities/special consideration from a university with regards to funding?

    I’m studying in the UK at the moment, and there are lots of grants and bursaries specifically aimed at financial hardship/unforeseeable circumstances. I don’t know if the same is true of the US.

    I hope you manage to work something out – sorry I don’t have anything more useful to say.

  2. mascaria
    December 23, 2010 at 10:37 am

    how can I believe in and fight for justice for all if I can’t even see it happening in my life?

    That’s exactly why you should continue to fight for it, because not everyone gets it, because the world isn’t just or fair.

    Have you considered unconventional job resources? I work in a national park. The company I work for provides cheap housing and …kind of low cost food options for it’s employees. Entry level positions are entry level (house keeping, dishwasher and busser) but it’s something. Often time they’re seasonal positions, but some parks do offer year round employ.


    It’s the wrong season to look for work in a park, however, a few parks that I know of (Grand Canyon and Yellowstone) will start accepting applications in January for spring.

  3. December 23, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I am so sorry to hear how hard life has been. Please don’t feel alone – even if the internet is a hard place to find support. My first and best suggestion is to call the local DV/SV organization – if you check out hotpeachpages.net you should be able to find the one in your area, or if you contact me offline I’m happy to refer or even spend some time listening myself (I work for an organization in NH/VT).

    Please hold on and feel the good vibes people are sending to you (goofy as that may sound).


  4. KJ
    December 23, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Have you tried a childcare job? If your hours are flexible, you will likely be in demand, as most parents need childcare badly. It isn’t going to make you rich, but it could help bridge the gap. Or apply for a job as a caretaker. Those positions have high turnover, but if you find a decent place, it can work out really well. Most of those jobs don’t have great (or any) benefits, but they are employment.

  5. trees
    December 23, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    You should be illegible for an economic hardship deferral if you have subsidized or unsubsidized Stafford loans.

  6. Aunti Disestablishmentarian
    December 23, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Perhaps contact a domestic abuse aid org, and/or sexual abuse survivors org.

    Ask whether you have any legal recourse in negotiating with your college (I don’t know the reasons for your dismissal, but perhaps you have some unexplored rights if they kicked you out because of reporting a crime.)

    They might also be able to help point you in some direction which will help with employment and other types of support– emotional and or financial.

    I’m thinking conceptually here, not knowing the particulars of your situation, nor what your area orgs are capable of assisting with. If anyone in the comments has the particulars one way or the other, chime in!

  7. Ellen
    December 23, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    I learned about this recently, so I don’t quite know how it works- but this might be a good organization for women to check out: Nontraditional Employment for Women

  8. Sweeney Agonistes
    December 23, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Seconding trees, re. deferment, and this also applies to Perkins loans. (I’m a financial aid officer by day.) Regardless of whether your Stafford loans were originally under the Direct Loan (the feds own the loan) or the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program (banks or Sallie Mae own the loan), everything is in the process of being sold back to the government under the Direct Loan program. The feds want to be repaid in whatever capacity, and they’re often a lot easier to work with than Sallie Mae or similar, so they can be better about granting deferments. Studentaid.ed.gov is a good place to start. This form (link goes to PDF) is the application for consolidating Direct Loans, and it has information about eligibility. For more current information, visit ifap.ed.gov, which is the Department of Education’s site for financial aid professionals, but it’s a great resource for anybody with student loans — this is where the Federal Student Aid Handbook lives (which is pretty much law for financial aid officers), and forms, clarification and interpretation of law, and other good information live there, too.

    Good luck to you and your family. You all have all my good thoughts and wishes.

  9. trees
    December 23, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Re: Nontraditional Employment for Women
    I went to an info. session there a few years back. It seems like a great organization and it was just yesterday that I referred someone there.

  10. nicole
    December 23, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    I’m so sorry for these horrible circumstances. How awful is it that women still can’t get the help they need. I just want to suggest that, if you’re feeling as if you have no options and can’t leave the house, you may be at risk for or already have a major depression. therapy is hit or miss for a lot of people, but there are alternative treatments if you feel like it may be contributing to a sense of hopelessness. otherwise, I totally agree with the childcare option, especially if you are in a suburb-type place, and I’d also throw in pet-sitting; tutoring can also be surprisingly helpful, especially since you have some college education. I don’t know if you’ve tried unemployment benefits, it only works if you’ve been employed full-time before, but they at least are supposed to have job-finding resources. A lot of this requires aggressive self-advertising and exploring outside the house, which is why I feel the depression issue is crucial too. DV and rape crisis centers should also be able to help, so believe me, it’s worth it to call one nearby and see what they have to offer. And at the least, you could advertise yourself on craigslist as a tutor/babysitter/nanny/petsitter. Good luck!

  11. Calioak
    December 23, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Not much use here I’m in California, but if your grades are good I’ve seen a lot of adds for tutoring…even when the local economy fooling with 25% unemployment.

  12. December 23, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    I may be able to offer some advice re: the student loan situation. I’ve been dealing with student loans for a few years now, buried in them and going in and out of default (my credit is absolute crap as a result– hopefully you won’t have to head down the same path). They are often able to help you more than they initially let on. For one, see if you may be able to speak with someone about an economic hardship deferment. I know you said they won’t offer anything outside the initial 6 months, but there may be other methods.

    If you still want to go back to school, you should be able to get an in-school deferment, if you’re attending at least half-time. They won’t grant the deferment until they officially hear from the school that you’ve enrolled in classes and are attending, but the paperwork involved is fairly straightforward, and schools are used to dealing with this kind of thing pretty often.

    If you’re scheduled to default on your loan before you’re able to start school again, you may qualify for what’s called a “forbearance” in the meantime, which will bring your account current by taking the past due amounts and tacking them onto the end of your payment schedule.

    If you’ve already defaulted on your loans, you may not qualify for financial aid, in which case you would want to ask the company who owns your loan if they will put you on a temporary “rehabilitation” plan. Generally, this means that they will ask you what you are able to pay monthly, and they can go down pretty low. I was paying $50 a month for one of my loans until I was able to get a deferment for being back in school. This takes you out of default and allows you to become eligible for financial aid again.

    I know that at this moment, you don’t have a way to pay the loans, regardless of the amount they want, so if you’re already in default, my last piece of advice won’t be useful for a while. But I really hope everything works out for you. I feel your pain more than you know in regards to your issues with school, loans, and money.

    One tip on the job front: I’m unfamiliar with the area where you live, but have you looked into call centers in your area? If there are any (for banks, retail companies’ online ordering areas, cell phone providers, utility companies, etc.), I would strongly urge you to check out whether they’re hiring. Call center jobs, well, suck, but they know this as well as any of us, so they pay what is usually a livable wage for a single adult (around $11 – $15/hr here in MN, not sure how that translates in NY). They’re almost always hiring because the turnover rate is high. Call center jobs can be stressful, but they require little to no experience depending on the industry, and are a good transition job with pretty frequent career advancement opportunities.

    Good luck with everything.

  13. jenna
    December 23, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Have you looked at Americorps? they give you a living stipend (not a lot, but something to survive on), loan deferment until the end of the service year, and $5300 or so towards loans at the end of the year. Plus, because the wage (about $1000/month) is a “stipend” you can qualify for foodstamps (thanks, government!). Lots of stuff in various social justice areas.
    Best of luck!

  14. Politicalguineapig
    December 23, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    Nicole: Craig’s list isn’t a very good idea. Flyers around nearby neighborhoods would be a better idea.

  15. December 24, 2010 at 12:23 am

    Politicalguineapig, why don’t you think Craigslist is a good idea? There might not be many people in the “target market” looking at Craigslist, but it’s so easy to put the ad up that it can still end up being worthwhile. (Even though lots of people who read the ad will be too far away to really be interested in the service.) Printing out flyers on paper, and putting them up where people will see them, is more difficult. It’s especially hard in suburban areas, where so many people spend all their time in privately-owned spaces where it’s hard to post flyers.

    If you can manage it, posting flyers in the neighborhood is still a good idea. It’s a useful way to reach the people you want, more specifically than a craigslist ad. If you can get flyers for dog-walking or pet-sitting in the waiting rooms of your local vets, or specialty pet-supply stores, that would be great. And advertise tutoring around the library, and whatever coffee shops are near the high school. Those are things to do in addition to advertising online.

    I know the original poster is frustrated by all the useless sympathy she’s been getting. Even so, I wish I could offer more.

  16. Jen
    December 24, 2010 at 4:21 am

    “Have you looked at Americorps? they give you a living stipend (not a lot, but something to survive on), loan deferment until the end of the service year, and $5300 or so towards loans at the end of the year. Plus, because the wage (about $1000/month) is a “stipend” you can qualify for foodstamps (thanks, government!). Lots of stuff in various social justice areas.
    Best of luck! jenna

    I COMPLETELY second this! My friend finished her Bachelor’s degree, then went into Americorps to gain money for her Master’s degree.

    She went on food-stamps while in Americorps and had an entire blog dedicated to eating vegetarian (or was it vegan? – I’d have to check) and super healthy while on those food stamps.

    She was able to afford everything: her transportation; her ultra healthy food from places like Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Farmer’s Markets, local healthy shops; fun and drinking cash; and save money. AND she had that money to put toward school. She was frugal, but she lived so comfortably.

    It’s very good for your resume, too she’s said, and helps a ton with job skills!

  17. December 24, 2010 at 6:08 am

    I’m in the UK so I can’t offer any practical advice about the money situation, but if you decide to go the childcare/petsitting/tutoring route, as well as flyers see if you can get cards printed reasonably – I noticed that a lot of online companies had been offering massively discounted rates, and it often doesn’t cost much to get something that looks very professional, and you can ask cafes and shops if you can leave them where people can pick them up.

    But if you already know that kind of work won’t suit you, the only other thing I wanted to say was that it sounds like you are at-risk for depression – not only because of the horrendous things that happened, but also because you mention not being able to leave the house. I’ve felt like this more often than I care to think – so tired of everything that it feels like it takes more spoons than I have to get dressed, let alone get out. One of the worst things is to feel guilty about this, as if you’re “being lazy” – but depression is just that bloody wearying. I don’t know what to recommend in healthcare terms from the UK to the US, but it is a healthcare issue, not a character issue. Good luck. Best wishes. Hope things change soon.

  18. December 24, 2010 at 6:17 am

    Ways I make money when times are tough:

    Pet-sitting for the neighbours. Almost always, someone in your area has a dog/cat/African Grey Parrot/etc. who will need some looking after.

    Reading Tarot. I treat the cards like a psychological consultation via symbols. I’m good at that sort of thing, and I find that the cards have been useful to a whole lot of people in my life. I’ve never been shy about asking to get paid, though.

    I have a “donate” button on my website, and sometimes, I reach out to my readers and ask to contribute – particularly if I’ve published new fiction on the site. Only works if you have the time to maintain a site, but it’s not that time-consuming, especially if you’re a writer.



    Tutoring. If you’ve got any skills you think will be particularly useful in this area, this is the time to market them – among friends, on the internet, etc. Remember, some things that may come easily to you may not come so easily to other people, and they may be willing to pay to have you show them the way.

  19. clh322
    December 24, 2010 at 8:12 am

    First off, let me say I was in a similar situation in my early twenties (totally broke, horrible abusive boyfriend, in debt, unsure of my future). I get where you’re coming from in terms of the lack of resources from the feminist community — I spent the vast majority of my teens and early twenties as an activist, but when it came time for me to find a job after college, no one wanted to help me out after years of free labor. I often joke I was priced out of professional feminism.

    But — it does get better. I’m 30 now and my life is vastly different and 100x better. So keep that in mind. Your situation is most likely temporary.

    You say you live in the NYC suburbs — if that happens to be near the North Shore on Long Island, I may have a job connection. My in-laws are renovating their house and I’m guessing they will need to hire some people to work on that — I am seeing them tonight and will ask them. They might also have other odd job type things, too. I know they are in the process of selling my recently deceased grandmother-in-law’s house (also on LI) and might need people to help stage it, host open houses, etc.

    The advice about tutoring, babysitting, dogwalking, etc is all useful. And if you haven’t already, register with every temp agency around — one must have something. In terms of the loans, I’ve found that those companies are more willing to work with you than credit card companies, so see what you can do. Twenty bucks a month might not make a dent in the repayment, but it can keep you in good standing credit-wise.

    Finally, I don’t know everything about your school situation, but if you were kicked out for reporting a rape, I’m guessing that’s a legal no-no (but I’m not a lawyer and really have no idea). Do some digging and maybe talk to a legal aid attorney if you think you have a case.

  20. AK
    December 24, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Some good suggestions here. I had a friend in a similar situation (she wasn’t expelled, but dropped out due to psychological issues after an assault) have really good results with Americorp.

    Another suggestion is online based stuff, if you have regular internet access. There are a lot of scams out there, but if you’re a decent writer (and really, you don’t have to be very good at it to make some money, so don’t be intimidated) sites like http://www.textbroker.com and http://www.contentauthority.com can make you some money. It won’t be a great income but at least it could be a jumping off point to get you out of the house and able to do a better job search. I’ve used textbroker myself and have a friend who uses content authority, so that is why I recommend those. You do have to have a paypal account and a way to get the money from that for things you can’t buy online (I just transferred it to my bank account, if you have one, but I think paypal also has a debit-type card you can get) as textbroker at least only pays through paypal.

    Even if you don’t have regular access but can go to a friend’s house or library, I can usually make about $15 an hour on those sites. Again, not a huge amount if you’re limited, but if you can do 1-2 hours a day, that’s $30 and hopefully enough to help you get out and find something better.

    If you decide to go a child-care or other real world business route, Vistaprint offers free business cards (you do have to pay for shipping, but IIRC it’s under $5). They’re not amazing quality and they have a Vistaprint logo on the back saying to go there for free business cards, but they’re professional enough for most circumstances. We used them for about a year when we were starting our business.

    I know of some local womens’ organizations that do offer job placement and such, but I’m on the other side of the country and don’t know any national groups. It is another thing to look into, though it sounds like you already have. And I might talk to a lawyer if you’re feeling up to it. If your school expelled you after you reported a sexual assault, you might find a lawyer willing to take the case on contingency. Of course that’s a long hard road and you shouldn’t feel like you have to, just a suggestion.

    I wish you much luck. I can understand why you feel like giving up, but I hope you can pull through and things work out for you.

  21. Rebecca
    December 24, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Do you have a driver’s license and a clean driving record? I live in NJ, and I know a few people who are drivers/transporters for Hertz (the car rental company). They need people to move cars around between their different locations, or to deliver and pick up from customers, and their website lists a bunch of available jobs in NJ or NY.

  22. Kristen J.
    December 25, 2010 at 12:42 am

    I have zero job finding resources, but I do have one small suggestion that falls into the typical lawyer answer category. IF you feel like it, you might consider discussing what happened at the university with someone from legal aid. I’m not licensed in NY, but legal aid or someone around here may be able to point you to a private attorney who would be willing to take on a pro bono case.

  23. David
    December 25, 2010 at 12:58 am

    I agree about the legal aid idea. I think people have a terrible tendency to not realize all of their avenues to recourse when they’ve been wronged by a person or institution.

  24. denelian
    December 25, 2010 at 2:13 am

    i have a suggestion, from the other end [i just find out myself – i’m applying for SSI, since i’m now so disabled i had to drop school. 5 classes left *sob*]
    if you are on ANY public assistance, you qualify for a deferment. all it takes is telling them, they’ll send paperwork, and they’ll want proof. like, in my case, a copy of my foodstamp card [because you qualify for FS while waiting on the social security office to get off it’s ass and be useful…]. FS is generally the “easiest” to get – apply. and POINT OUT OFTEN that you live w/ your parents, but that they are not OTHERWISE supporting you. get them to write a note to that effect. [it works in ohio and california; it SHOULD work in NY]

    and good luck. if you need someone else to talk to, you can email me denelian at yahoo [i know i’m not the only offer.] i have PTSD from a long term abuse/rape situation, i know how it is. in general, i mean – i don’t know how you are, specifically… i don’t want you to think that i think you’re going to be just like me :)

  25. December 25, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    KJ: Have you tried a childcare job?If your hours are flexible, you will likely be in demand, as most parents need childcare badly.

    I’ve used this site: http://www.sittercity.com/ to a pretty great deal of success. It’s free (you have the option of paying a one-time $10 or so for a ‘background check’ but it’s not necessary. You can post a profile for what kind of care you want to provide (child, elder, pet) and people either contact you or you can message them.

    Good luck!

    In Solidarity,

  26. Chrissy
    December 25, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    I think this was mentioned already, but I support it too. If you could somehow create a website to take small (or large!) donations (I don’t know how to do this unfortunately), I would certainly give. A lot of $1 donations can add up.

    I understand though, this isn’t really what you are looking for. What really matters is getting a job. I have one suggestion, which may not be helpful to you because of the education requirements (that is, I don’t know exactly what the requirements are). BUT have you considered teaching English overseas? I have a friend who is currently working in South Korea. She is living comfortably and saving $1000 a month. I would be happy to help you get in touch with her – my email is christinedonov at gmail.

    It’s a wide world, and I imagine that there is some place (maybe South Korea) where you could be compensated you for your ability to speak English. You could even look into being an international nanny (actually, that seems much better because they probably would be less strict about having a degree already). Of course, this means you have be without reasons to stay where you currently live.

    I’m sorry I can’t help more.

  27. OP
    December 25, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Hi Everyone –

    Thanks so much for the wonderful suggestions. My loan is from a private bank, so they say that they can’t do anything despite myself AND my father calling and asking if anything can be done. I will try again, though? I don’t know if it’s in default yet, but I will see. I am never getting a loan like this one ever again. It seems like anything related to the Fed is wayyy more flexible.

    As for the school thing, technically I was kicked out for not doing well in school. I got the help of some Harvard Law folks and Security on Campus, but that’s just for the Department of Education to investigate what the school did. I have a website/blog about what happened and I do have a tip jar, but never had any donations in it for the year and a half I’ve had the site around. Initially the Dept of Ed denied my claim and didn’t say I could appeal. Then SOC told me I could, they wrote an appeal, and ONE YEAR later they reply saying they WILL investigate in a few months (I assume 2011?). Clearly the investigation could go well or not in my favour, but it seems like I have no choice but to wait forever for bureaucracy to decide what happened to me was wrong or not. The school never tried to accommodate me academically, they basically ignored my rape and physical assault complaint, they ignored death and rape threats from my perp, and then they said that they had no obligation to keep be around – better luck at home. It’s complicated and I am very inclined to not think I have a strong case so there’s that.

    I looked into Americorps, but the options for someone like me who doesn’t have a degree are nil the few times I checked. I’ll try again, though. I also didn’t know food stamps are that easy to get; for some reason I thought it’d be difficult, so I will try applying, I think.

    I DID do some petsitting through an agency a year ago, but was dropped by them after a few months. And that money went straight into my overdrawn bank account, so I never saw that money & the account went to collections anyway. sigh.

    It’s kind of hard to do odd things around here like tutoring and such because I’m a person of colour and I live in a VERY white area. My name is very African, which has proven to be an obstacle in people’s responsiveness in doing work with me.

    I did go to a domestic violence center for a while in the City, but they had no job things. I stopped going – counseling wasn’t helping my depression, group counseling made me more depressed, the price & time commitment to go. I even applied for Victim’s Comp but haven’t gotten a check; I probably got denied or something knowing my luck. I’ve had a friend look over my resume and stuff. I don’t know; I feel like I’ve tried/considered a lot of stuff, but it feels like I’m just not hirable/meant to have money/able to get money.

    Um, but yeah – thank you everyone for the suggestions and the offers of help! I do have a paypal button on my tufts blog if you are interested in helping me out a tiny bit. It would be really really helpful. I also was considering doing a kickstarter to create a site for campus rape survivors, but not sure how successful that would be.

    And if you want to contact me with suggestions/resume pointers/job search strategies/etc., you can email me through the website or blog@rapedattufts dot info. I would obviously love the contact with other human beings since I don’t really see any. =| I live in NJ, for the record; it is very much a commuter town where it’s easier to take a train to new york city than to find a bus to go the next town over *eyeroll*

    Thank you everyone so much for the help and support. It’s really nice to hear from other people and who are really nice and understanding.

  28. PrettyAmiable
    December 25, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    Some thoughts:

    In terms of meeting people – I don’t know the specifics of your suburb – how big it is or how close to NYC (though it sounds wicked expensive to actually get into the city frequently). You might try meetup.com to see if there’s anything near you. Also, I’m a big fan of meeting people through volunteering. You might be able to contact NYC Cares to see if they have opportunities in your area.

    As an assault survivor, I know that sometimes hearing other people’s stories before you’re ready can sometimes make you feel like all of society is just shitty, so I can totally see group not being something useful.

    I have so much contempt for Tufts now. I’m so sorry for what you’re dealing with.

  29. Politicalguineapig
    December 25, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    Adrian: Because a lot of the jobs on Craig’s List don’t pan out, and a few years ago, there was a guy in my state who advertised on Craig’s list for a nanny and killed the woman who showed up. Granted, it’s gotten a little safer, but I’d still be a little leery of answering a nanny ad on there..
    OP: I’ve gotten some jobs through Prostaff, so they might be worth a look.

  30. RD
    December 25, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Ok. Email me paeonia dot d at gmail for a possible job connection for you, one day a week in the city, under the table, $120 for that day, at a farmers market. You can also generally bring home food that doesn’t get sold. I can also put you in touch with my girlfriend, who is good people and knows a lot of amazing people in the city. If you are lgbt I would also recommend checking out the (free) survivors support groups at AVP and I can put you in touch with my friend who works there who is also really good people. I know you said groups made it worse before but they are super careful around triggers and people having a hard time. I don’t know how hard it is for you to get into the city but I think some of this stuff could be helpful if you can.

  31. RD
    December 25, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    Oh u would have to be able to get there by like 6am and it is cold this time of year, but, cash money.

  32. Athenia
    December 26, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    My Dad says that 80% of hires come from referrals. So, I would contact the people you worked with at your internship—even if they might not have a job for you there, they might be able to recommend you to someone else.

  33. Gentleman Cambrioleur
    December 27, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Seconding the suggestion for teaching English abroad, if you feel you are able-bodied/minded enough to cope with the long plane trip and the culture clash on top of everything else. Japan, China, Taiwan, and South Korea in particular are always looking for English as a second language teachers. (I believe you need a bachelor’s degree for South Korea, but not for the other three.) Some companies will tell you that you need to pay for your plane ticket first and they will refund you later, which can be a problem, but you can usually negotiate since they are so eager to find someone quickly. I have known many people who have done this and who have been able to save 1k+ a month AND pay their student debts within a few years, and who have very much enjoyed the experience as well. You do not need any experience as a teacher, although I would recommend looking for employment with a large company (such as Berlitz or Geos) if you do not feel confident with your teaching ability.

    I was sexually assaulted by a housemate while in university, and the counselor who saw me refused to write me a bill of poor health (well, she accepted, but kept delaying writing it until it was too late) so I ended up not completing a class and getting a bit fat F on my student transcript. I was privileged enough to be able to continue my studies, since my grades were otherwise very good and the incident was a one-time thing, but I can easily see how such experiences could end up kicking many people out of academia. Unfortunately I cannot help in any other way, since I live in Canada and have no idea how the social insurance, health care system, and job market in the US work, but I wish you the best of luck.

  34. Athenia
    December 29, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    I really wouldn’t recommend teaching English in Asia…not that it doesn’t pay, but you’ll have to front quite a bit of money–plane ticket, money until you get paid and work clothes (i.e. suits) if you don’t have them already.

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