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Help? Suggestions for side work & a future.

CMetaphor

Quadfather
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
5,690
Location
Montreal, Canada
Backstory:
In the next few days I'm going to be evaluated for medical retirement. I've been off work 2.5 years, living almost insurance paycheck to insurance paycheck. But once the decision comes down, my income on medical retirement will drop a bit as well. I'm not sure exactly how much yet, but it may be as much as 15-20% less than what I got on insurance.

So, I need a way to get some additional income. And I'm looking for suggestions on what you guys can suggest. My physical condition means most jobs are out, and other (mental) issues mean I'm likely looking for something I can do from home.

Pretty much the rest of my miserable, pain-filled life is going to be affected by this. Losing more income means I may even be forced to sell my house, car, and many others things or at least downgrade them.

So, additional income ideas...

Mini CV:
I've been an electronics and computer technician since I was in my teens, working full time with the title since turning 20 (so 15 years experience). I've done music (bass and singing), teaching (sailing instructor) and I've done many "over and above" projects at each place I've ever worked (I like making things better, improving things, etc). I'm also a gamer (who isn't nowadays) if that matters at all.

TL;DR:
Here are the ideas I've got so far, that may or may not be possible:
1) Voice acting / dubbing.
Before things turned very bad in my life (way before the pandemic) I had been working on a good home studio, with the goal of maybe/possibly returning to music. I've got a very nice console, 8in/8out FireWire capture (Digi 003), and my big ass server Behemoth. In addition, soundproofing (not yet completed), mics, and many other things common to both singing and voice work. I've been doing voices casually for years, so it would take a good amount of practice and work, but I think it's at least a bit possible.

2) Game streaming / YouTube:
Never done either, even casually, but I'm well aware of how it works. Streamers stream games, but I'm probably not good enough to stand out nor can I play for extended periods due to pain. The YouTube side would be a channel, which can make some income, but again I'm not sure of how to stand out or make a name to make it "functional". Obviously I've got 90% of the kit required for either, so equipment and setup isn't a problem here.

3) Inventor, prototyper, custom PC work?
Yeah, an all over the place option... I've been toying with inventions in my head for years (and I don't think I'm alone in doing so, or am I?), so making and creating new things - whether it's directly related to PCs/technology or stretches outside that area - could be extremely rewarding. A dream job, even. Sadly, this is the option that (so far) is (by far) the least likely. In a good week I can do 6-8 hours of work Total, spread across as few non-consecutive days as possible. So the physical aspect of this idea is already... Discouraging. Yes, it would be a dream job to mat things, build things, prototype things and invent things... But I have serious doubts if my body could handle any of it. Plus I don't own a 3D printer, my workshop is barely more than an electronics workbench with added hand and power tools, and I haven't worked with CAD software since Cegep.... So yeah, not the bestest idea ever.

4) ????

5) profit?

Yeah, no. I don't have many ideas. That's why I'm making this stupidly-long wall of text in the hopes that someone actually reads it and offers advice.

Before I click "post thread" and shrink back into introversion: to he blunt, I've been weighing this debate in my head for over a year now, and it never goes well. My life isn't a happy one, I'm alone, in pain, and depressed. I really need a reason to get up, motivate myself, and live. And I really hope that finding a side job might just be enough to give me a bit of a future. Fingers crossed?

Click.
 

supaflyx3

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2010
Messages
3,193
Location
Langley, BC
Look up beer money methods of making income. If you combine multiple strategies and have the time you can earn close to a livable wage. There's many forums and websites dedicated to beer money. Personally I use brave browser as my internet browser which pays you in crypto for viewing non-intrusive ads, I do various surveys every once in a while, and I have a Bitcoin broker app on my phone that pays roughly $1-$1.50 a day just to open the app. Along with smart shopping (IE if you have a credit card that has 2-4% cash back on groceries, buy your Amazon credit or what have you from the grocery store for that sweet cash back). If you're financially responsible and have good credit, credit churning is also pretty lucrative. All in all I average about $200 a month with probably less than 2 hours of actual work.
Also something I used to do when I was younger was aggressively flip electronics on Craigslist, covid makes that difficult right now but it's definitely an option later on
 

chrisk

Folding Captain
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
7,601
Location
GTA, Ontario
Hey CM;
The click at the end was pretty brave. That is a lot to put out there.

I'm going to throw a few ideas in to consider, but there is a lot there to unpack and I don't want to offer advice into areas I am not qualified to do so. I'll keep it succinct:

- mobile phones and devices, laptops, etc. are popular these days. Not sure how this would work for you, but perhaps a small mobile device repair situation is ideal (ie. screens, batteries, etc).

- are there opportunities for you to retrain or go to school to build on what you have now? Maybe there is an option for you to get paid to go back to school where for the short-medium term, and school becomes a job for you. There are always programs out there that folks don't expect until they reach out and get help finding them. I would not rely on searching this yourself right now, but find someone at an adult education centre that would know where to look and how to apply.

- you mention that you are depressed, and I think that you should seek out some help on this front first no matter what you choose to do. Depression is a real issue, and getting assistance there will help you see things with more clarity. I have seen this in my life (not me specifically but friends and family) and I would say that out of everything you have posted here, you should be getting assistance here in this area first. Don't count on a job, etc. to 'fix' this for you.

Take care, and know that there are always people out there who will help you when needed.
 

CMetaphor

Quadfather
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
5,690
Location
Montreal, Canada
@supaflyx3 interesting suggestions, I'll look into it but I'm not sure if I'm fully comfortable with those types of ... Things. The fact that cryptocurrency is involved makes me even more cautious about it.

@chrisk I am seeing people for depression, and have been for a long, long time. I also know that beyond the simplest help it gives - being able to talk to someone - I've not gotten much better and continue to slip lower.

For some context: I actively decided to stop school (uni) and started working full time when I was 19. I saved life crazy, worked hard and job hopped over and over to finally be able to afford things. I bought my house at 28, alone. Working is all I've known for many years, you work hard and then you get to relax and reap the rewards. It took me over a year being off work before I could even game for more than an hour without feeling extremely guilty about it - didn't work, so don't feel like I deserved the break. I NEED something to do, a purpose, a job, something. I just don't know how to function otherwise.
 

On2wheels

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 11, 2010
Messages
1,562
Location
613 Ontario
From my own experience living in a small town I've helped a non family member switch her tv and phone to a new provider and a voip setup, so I'm her defacto tech support guy now. I also manage my mom's tv and internet and voip and cell phone, using teamviewer during covid lockdown.

That all gave me the idea of doing tech support for more senior citizens around here through word of mouth. Some of them will gladly pay cash but I could easily say I prefer a certain brand of cereal or bread, and they are more than happy to repay in foodstuffs. I thought of doing it *part time as a pre-retirement gig since there are so many retirees in my town. And word of mouth is so contagious among the 65+ crowd...let me tell you. But to see the happy look on their faces when you get their ipad or laptop setup...it's well worth it.

If there was any better way to start volunteering your tech support services it would have to be a local place of worship. I know first hand how honest and helpful the regular attendees can be, and that is something rare nowadays. That is also on my shortlist of building a social network for retirement, and as my 50th year approaches quicker I think about that stuff alot. Soon your volunteering time can turn into paid time once your name gets out there.
 

Izerous

Well-known member
Folding Team
Joined
Feb 7, 2019
Messages
1,094
Location
Edmonton
My father in-law is going through a similar-ish situation where his body is letting him down and he might be forced to take early medical retirement. It has already been more than a year now since he was actually at work and doctors are still randomly giving him medications and doses to try and address some of the issues.

He used to do a lot of small engine and minor home repair stuff on the side but even an hour of fiddling in the garage might mean not being able to do anything the next day. Thankfully he is in the position where just about everything is paid off (no mortgage and only 1 vehicle payment).

---

YouTube could be more difficult than expected, need time to record, time to edit and need content. If even sitting at a desk for extended periods is a challenge might have a hard time getting content uploaded.

Depression is a real challenge right now 19 behaviours and such just ads to the complications. It wouldn't surprise me if there isn't a suicide spike even after this becomes a thing fo the past just due to stresses of trying to come out of all of this.

I know a few people even in their 60s who have been paid to go back to school, and as chrisk mentioned it already I just want to +1 it because it could be a real option for you. Might even be able to train on things your already familiar with like sound editing recording fields. Also in that line of thought services like fiverr could mean a little bit of side income for you even now with what your already familiar with. Advertise voice overs etc.
 

CMetaphor

Quadfather
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
5,690
Location
Montreal, Canada
@On2wheels I did tech support for friends and family for over a decade, but can't anymore. I can be in pain from a long drive over too many potholes, so I really think that finding something I can do from home will be necessary in my situation.

@Izerous Similar to your stepdads situation, if I overdo physical work one day I might be out of commission for at least 1-2 days afterwards.
I don't mind the schooling / training idea, but again I'm not exactly great at getting out of the house (for the reasons Ive mentioned and others...). I did apply for a sort of in-home training/internship but have yet to hear back from it.

Fiverr I'll check out. Unfortunately my studio isn't finished nearly enough to even begin wiring the console and retraining myself on Protools and any other software I may need (long story short: before covid my uncle was helping me to finish it, but he's always busy nowadays, lives in Ontario (I'm in MTL) and is hard to get ahold of now). Without the studio finished both the voice work idea and possibly even a YouTube -type idea is pretty moot, so my only option would be streaming I guess? Does that even pay at all well? Tbh I think it's a pretty dead end idea for me, as mentioned before, I don't game often and am probably not good enough for competition... So I'd have to rely on my wit and personality to get views (insert mild sarcasm?).
 

clshades

Well-known member
Joined
May 18, 2011
Messages
3,324
Location
Calgary
Are you able to be a customer service tech for something and take phone calls at home? There was definately a push for this when covid hit. Maybe there's an opportunity there, even on a temporary basis.

I too struggle with depression from time to time and lack motivation, energy, etc. It's not severe but I've learned to know when it's happening. Get help, find a professional to talk to. This will help you release any guilt you are harbouring and move forward in life.

The one thing that helped me the last 8 years was laying down some short and long term goals and notes beside them (added as I went) to accomplish those goals.

I switched trades months before my 1st born and made a promise to myself and my family to complete my j-man ticket before my son started school. The last couple years weren't easy with moving multiple times because of no long term rental options. That changed last year fortunately and everyone feels settled in.

It's actually time for me to lay out some new goals, or there's really not much to work towards, which then makes it easy to flounder around.

All the best bud.
-Deano
 

CMetaphor

Quadfather
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
5,690
Location
Montreal, Canada
Over the phone tech support isn't a terrible idea. So I guess I'll look around for some info on it and to see if there are any opportunities. The problem with the it though, is scheduled. I don't know if so can work a regular set of hours anymore, even if they're very small. A if the opportunities in remote tech support are all 3-4hr blocks at specific times, I'm not sure I'd be able to maintain it or be reliable. That's why most of the options I've been considering are more schedule-less or self-governed.
 
Last edited:

JD

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 16, 2007
Messages
9,918
Location
Toronto, ON
One of the various food app delivery services? I know it would mean wear and tear on your vehicle, but it would give you an "excuse" to go outside for a bit each day which generally is helpful for mental health too. Not sure of the specifics, but I would think you could just do a few deliveries a day when you felt up to it.
 

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