Author Topic: Developing a skill people will pay for  (Read 6201 times)

tenbucksatatime

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Developing a skill people will pay for
« on: February 01, 2013, 04:19:33 AM »
I love almost everything about my professional job at a non-profit except for the pay. I realize that if we are going to hit the kind of savings rate MMM talks about we are going to have to significantly increase our income. My hubby is an amazing electrician/fix-it person. He has a FT job working for a company and does work on the side. I think I need to develop another skill people will pay for as well. What do you do for extra income? I am really risk averse and hate engagine in self-promotion/selling stuff but I realize I need to be more entrepreneurial if we are going to start making headway. And I'm not afraid of working hard/learning a completely new skill, especially a profitable one. I just need help brainstorming. Ideas?

Karl

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Re: Developing a skill people will pay for
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2013, 05:10:41 AM »
Well, could your husband expand his side-hustle if you learned some of the electrical skills from him and the two of you worked together?

amyable

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Re: Developing a skill people will pay for
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2013, 05:52:24 AM »
What sort of things are you good at?  Do you want to do something similar to your day job or something vastly different? 

Togoshiman

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Re: Developing a skill people will pay for
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2013, 07:21:30 AM »
If your professional job is at a non-profit, can you look into changing your job to a for-profit that you can still live with the values?  Sometimes I find we avoid the obvious solution which is to get a higher-paying job in our industry.  If you're an accountant, for example, look around and see where people with your skill set and experience are earning the most - then go there.  If you're at the point of learning new skills which can be turned to generating income, perhaps consider simply upgrading skills in your main career - likely you are already good at it and know the return on investment, e.g. additional education, different employer, different market, etc.  I personally find this a lot easier than forcing myself to sell Avon or something (no offense to those who do and enjoy it - I just don't have a salesperson in me). 

I'm also nervous about monetizing my hobbies and interests - I've already turned most of the things I enjoy and am good at into my career, the result of which is enjoying those things much less now.  The last thing I want to do is to take what remains and turn it into work too.

I think this is Mustachian too - if you read MMM's 'history of the stash', he leapfrogged around for higher and higher salaries every year, which facilitated his rapidly increasing savings rate.


tenbucksatatime

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Re: Developing a skill people will pay for
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2013, 07:57:31 AM »
Karl, that's an idea I hadn't ever considered. I'll have to give it some thought. Amy and Togoshiman, I'm currently a children's librarian (with an MLS degree) and I love it so, so much. I get to help people do research (including using databases), do highly active/interactive storytimes, write grants, manage library collections, and update the library webpage from time to time (no programming or fancy stuff, just content).  I really enjoy that I get to be creative and playful at work. I'm organized (to the point of being OCD). I speak Spanish. I love spreadsheets and research and learning about new applications for technology. I love doing presentations in front of big groups of people, and I've done this for our library/state library organization (mostly for free). I'm interested in wellness and being active. Being able to continue do something part-time is important to me, since I have one (soon to be two) tiny kids at home. My current job has evening and weekend hours which is great because we don't have to pay for childcare. Maybe I should put some of those research skills to use to look for other sources of supplemental income? :)

tenbucksatatime

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Re: Developing a skill people will pay for
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2013, 08:04:14 AM »
I thought about some kind of financial advising, dmy. And I love helping people. It's one of the things that really appeals to me about my current position. But doesn't it seem like the people that need the most help can afford to pay for it the least? What I really hated about my office job was that the whole point was to make some old rich guy richer. It never occured to me before this year that you could inject yourself in the super-high income stream of corporate life for just a couple of years and then pull out.

mustachecat

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Re: Developing a skill people will pay for
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2013, 08:29:08 AM »
Hey tenbucksatatime, I'm in the nonprofit world too. If you've got a track record of getting grants, you could totally take on some freelance fundraising gigs for other organizations. Grant writing is a terrific skill to have. Depending on where you are, there may be a good nonprofit jobs board with freelance/project-based gigs. I'm in New York and in the arts, so I use nyfa.org. Idealist.org sometimes has good stuff as well. I've had good luck by emailing people to do volunteer fundraising. Although I didn't really intend to make money off of it, it's led to two paying side projects so far.

Tami1982

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Re: Developing a skill people will pay for
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2013, 10:33:41 AM »
I speak Spanish.

Are you truly fluent?  If you are, I would consider brushing up on medical terminology with a book or an ecourse and finding out about translating in a local hospital.  The hours are usually on call, so you can take them as you like them and the pay is ridiculous for just a couple hours of work.

Togoshiman

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Re: Developing a skill people will pay for
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2013, 01:43:23 PM »
No clear ideas on supplementing income, but in a perfect world librarians (especially with your credentials) would earn triple what they do.  I have the warmest and deepest respect for libarians and libraries.  Our kids LOVE the library and the librarians in our neighbourhood - we're among the best 'customers'!

Good luck and keep us posted.

Lagom

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Re: Developing a skill people will pay for
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2013, 02:15:01 PM »
No clear ideas on supplementing income, but in a perfect world librarians (especially with your credentials) would earn triple what they do.  I have the warmest and deepest respect for libarians and libraries.  Our kids LOVE the library and the librarians in our neighbourhood - we're among the best 'customers'!

Good luck and keep us posted.

Agreed! I used to work as a library tech and considered getting an MLS, but ultimately went another way. It's criminal how little public liberarians get paid relative to the education requirements and their value to community.