Q: I am a 58-year-old woman with a full-time receptionist’s job in a doctor's office. I love my job and the people, but I need a part-time evening job for financial reasons. Here’s my dilemma. Patient load determines when my day is over.
I have never worked in retail or food service and have no specific training in anything but office work. I didn’t attend college. I live in a small town and I’m not sure where to look for a part-time position. Not sure where to start or who I can trust with starting a home-based business or even if that is a possibility. Please advise if you can.
A: Have you asked for a raise or cut-offs when the patient load is light? Can you earn your supplementary money before you go to your regular job?
Document the workflow each day to determine a pattern. Tell your boss which nights seem to be the lightest. Meanwhile, ask a co-worker to stay late some days for you and vice-versa.
Don’t think about starting a home-based business. Identify skills people in your town could use. Propose using them, for a fee.
Q: I’m caught between two worlds. My father was a mechanic and taught me a lot, but I don’t want to be a mechanic. I’d really like to do something in an office, but how can I find direction?
A: You have a chance to tailor a career just for you and find people along the way who are like you. Identify your favorite skills and the departments of companies most likely to need them. Try to find two or three, if at all possible, to multiply your options.
Pull together a list of your best contacts. Go to them and ask which products or services they use at work that they consider top-notch. Ask for each manufacturer. Then research its competitors. One lead will lead to many others.
Read up on those companies to find where their growth is. After selecting a few that interest you, call the managers of the departments you identified and slide in for interviews. Tell your story about how you heard about them and that you’re looking for an area of growth that will use your best skills. Be open to their sending you to other departments.
(Dr. Mildred Culp welcomes your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2013 Passage Media. The opinions are solely those of the writer.)