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Promoted by illness, to want to find a way to earn differently..but HOW?

(11 Posts)
wallaby73 Mon 25-May-15 13:26:22

Just that really. Currently on (what may be) months off work whilst being treated for breast cancer. "Back to work" will involve a daily commute of 45 mins / just over an hour each way. I work in a large university in an admin role and have done in a few unis in varied roles for years. I have a post grad a degree in an obscure field, which is only useful in the sense of I can demonstrate I can "work" to a certain level, if you see what I mean. I am left puzzled and frustrated in trying to conceive of a way of working from home (doing I have no idea what....) whilst generating the same sort of income that I currently earn by having to travel into the city centre. (I would need to bring in around £24k) So many people seem to do it, and yet I can't work out how.....just that if I could find a way, it would be ideal for me and my 2 children (I am a single parent). I suppose I am now in the throes of a very clichéd "some things need to change but I haven't a ruddy clue how" process prompted by my current condition. Oh how original! I am 41, and (hope) to return to my formerly fit self once I get through this treatment, and I just want to live life "better"?!

I'm right in the middle of chemo right now, and the very concept of having enough energy to even commute, never mind actually walk to my office, and then complete a days work (and then somehow make it home!) seems mind boggling?! I know this sounds terribly vague....anyone any suggestions?

FarFromAnyRoad Mon 25-May-15 13:55:45

Sorry you're going through this and I completely understand your need to rejig things. I certainly don't have the answer - I am unable to work due to a botched operation and being on heavy duty painkillers but that doesn't even touch your situation. This may be a simplistic answer but have you considered one of those 'life and career' coaches?

wallaby73 Mon 25-May-15 13:59:16

That sounds worth a research for sure. Sorry for your situation.......these things are a bit of a surprise...thanks

MistyMeena Mon 25-May-15 14:01:22

My DH gave up city work after his recovery from cancer and has worked from home ever since, consulting in his field and running websites. Would it be possible to coach/consult/ tutor in your obscure field?

Or virtual PA work?

LotusLight Mon 25-May-15 14:09:54

Could you do your current admin jobs from home for the same university. Eg some of the tasks could be done remotely even if just 2 days a week and at least you'd have those days filled and could find other universities to do remote admin for from that start.

( I work from home as a lawyer although that is not going to be helpful to you)

wallaby73 Mon 25-May-15 14:53:36

Virtual PA sounds possible.....unfortunately the role I have at work can't be done remotely because of the software package we use and the need to meet with other staff.....you're getting me thinking. Sadly can't pick up the thread of my obscure research area, it's no longer considered a "sexy" area of research so doesn't attract the funding it once did.

LotusLight Mon 25-May-15 15:29:40

I sometimes did a bit of legal work from a website peopleperhour where you can bid for work of all kinds although it's probably not very well paid for admin.

If you're sick I wonder if the unversity has a duty to find you work you can do from home under disability discrimination law or just it's own be nice to staff policies?

Purplehonesty Mon 25-May-15 15:46:12

How about
Proof reading
Doing Accounts or admin for small businesses
VAT returns for self builds -£100 a pop
Do you have any hobbies you can turn into a business?
I bake so I started a birthday and wedding cake business and it's going quite well.
So if you could bake or sew or iron really well you could run a little home based business and get a part time job nearer to home?

Grumpyoldblonde Mon 25-May-15 17:44:06

I believe there is demand for good VA's - this is rather a boom time for small to medium sized start up's. You will need to network and tell people you are there and what you can offer and possibly at the moment you are not up to that.
Maybe the University can offer you something to do at home, even just a few hours a week? perhaps as you grow stronger you can then think about promoting yourself. There are always lots of local networking groups - try streetlife which is a local chat group, you sign up to your postcode and I have gained lots of contacts this way. There will be people who need typing, presentations, brochures and so on prepared for them, you have to find these people. Spread the word amongst as many people as you can as a start. Maybe students leaving the UNI need help in preparing their CV's? would you be able to advertise on the UNI website for example?
I do hope you have a good recovery and get better very quickly.

kiritekanawa Mon 25-May-15 22:56:56

Does your university have a careers service? If they're any good they should be fairly clued up on "alternatives to academia", i.e. jobs for people with degrees in obscure fields, some of which would be homeworking.

Copyediting/proofreading are the obvious jobs for someone highly-educated and wanting to work from home, but they can be high-stress with extreme variation in worload, and it's difficult to guarantee bringing in 24K from that kind of work.

kiritekanawa Mon 25-May-15 22:57:25

PS sorry to hear you're having a tough time. It sounds rough.

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