Here is the third post in the series by guest blogger Pamela Lynne Murray. You can read Higher Ground here and Born to Write here. (Please note: Some of this information is more relevant to my American readers, especially as it pertains to government programs. Most, however, is applicable across the board.)
I come from a home where one spouse is disabled and in a wheelchair and the other is not. I was originally going to share 10 tips for finding your dream career, but quickly realized this factor is intertwined into one’s entire life. I, therefore, changed it to 10 tips for a disabled person or spouse to find their dream career. Ready? If you’re not disabled, you’re going to get an education. If you are, you are probably going to be nodding your head.
Tip #1 – Credit Cards
You will be targeted by credit card companies. Do not use them unless you have the means to pay them off every month. If you contact me, I will be glad to tell you a horror story or two to change your mind about overuse.
Tip #2 – Babysitting
If you’re going to babysit from home so that you can be with your disabled husband or wife, please take heed to this advice: Make sure the arrangement is right for your situation. Let’s face it, you already have a lot on your plate. Don’t overload it with extra stress. Take your time deciding. It could save you time, money, and needless suffering.
Tip #3 – Housecleaning
Housecleaning is a wonderful option for the able-bodied. Find out ahead of time if the homeowners are willing to let you report your income to the government. Some are. Some aren’t. Also, try to find out if you can do a trial run to see how long it will take. If it’s a long drive and it takes longer than you expect, it may not be a good fit. You know what works best for your situation.
Tip #4 – Craigslist
There are many great opportunities on Craigslist, but there are many scams as well. Do your research. If requested, my husband can give you a long list of scammers. There are some with upfront and hidden costs. They may require more money than you have just to advertise, therefore, making credit cards a temptation.
Tip #5 – Home-Based Businesses
This is another area that many people opt to get involved with. Make sure you love the product, can learn, and are willing to do all of paperwork involved. For some, this is a great avenue. Others are not cut out to do this kind of work. However, like the opportunities on Craigslist, it is readily available. Check the pay plan and know what you are getting into.
Tip #6 – Telemarketing
This is another targeted area for disabled couples. You must love to be on the phone. It is a numbers game. It is almost always commission based. Some weeks will be good. Others will be not so good – unless you are really good at selling. Many of the companies use automated dialers. For people with a neurological problem, these are no-no. I am not disabled, but I cannot use these machines. They make me dizzy and nauseated.
Tip #7 – Nine to Five
This is a tough one. It’s very hard to work nine to five or even split shifts. Personally I recommend an early morning three-hour shift. These positions, however, are very hard to find. If you’re on SSI, the spouse must report all income that will cause the SSI check to go down or food stamps to be cut back. If you’re on Disability, then you’re smooth sailing. The spouse can make as much as he/she can or wants to make. Something we never considered until this year was working in the same place. It might just be the answer for you. Things get more complicated when and if children are involved, but they are so worth it.
Tip #8 – Time
If you do find a job you can do at home, be prepared to spend a good chunk of your time indoors in front of the computer. I highly suggest that you get a laptop so you can work wherever you are. We spent a whole summer from sun-up to sundown doing a project together online: not something I would do again. It was not worth the summer we missed and the $1,000 we made at the end. It is also physically taxing on the disabled individual. Make sure you want to make the sacrifice and are up to the task.
Tip #9 – Break Free
I know this is not an easy thing to do or hear, but it is something we have been trying to do for years. We should have done it long ago. Break free from government aid you are used to as much as you are able. There are discount dental plans and vision plans. You can live without food stamps. Just make sure you are being wise about it and are really able to survive.You have to report all of the money you make. Just think of what you could do if you could actually work whenever you wanted to without having to report it. You will have to report your income to the IRS; I don’t mean that. This is a touchy and frightening subject. But just consider the freedom.
Tip #10 – Dream
I always feel we need to follow the dreams God has put in our hearts. When you’re disabled, it means you’re limited. You may never be able to pursue your dream job, but you could do something that involves your dream job in some way. God will make a way. Life is hard. I understand that completely. Don’t give up. Your tears, your despair, and your biggest enemy: your feelings of envy will try to take over. Don’t give in. Keep going. Look up! Be a role model. Someone is watching you. Stay strong. Jesus loves you and has a great plan for your life.
Writing With Heart ~ ❤ ~