Saturday, June 18, 2011

What is a good job for someone with no skills?

I feel guilty for posting this here in this splendid art blog, people who have known me for a while will find these beggings too familiar but I'm really desperate and hoping some reading may be able to get me out of this.

I can do art, but I've bitterly learned I dont want to make money from art and that is hard to swallow because I grew up with the intention of making a living from my art. I do it for satisfaction only and I like the knowledge that I'll always have complete freedom if I dont do it for money. That freedom is the main thing that keeps me happy in life and I need to keep it that way to stay happy, even if the rest of my life has to suck, this area is precious and needs protecting, I live for this. I'm not making judgements on people who do it for a living but I think there are a lot of people who are not compatible with it, their work suffers for it and at this point in life, I am one of them.

Other than that, I have no skills. I didnt do well at school and even though I'm struggling to find a good job, I still dont regret not trying hard at school, I wouldnt like a job that requires me to particularly good at anything that would be taught at school. I've always wanted to have a job shifting boxes and mopping all day or picking fruit or something, but I've been amazed to find how rare those jobs are.

I've been at the same cleaning job for 3 years, unable to think of anything I'd rather do, even though I dont like cleaning classrooms. The worst thing is that subconciously I feel like I still am in highschool, and I have recurring bad dreams about being made to go back to school. I'd hope someday I can forget schools exist, because it is a shitty time in life to be reminded of for this far into life (I'm almost 25 now). I always hated school and always wanted to get away from it and I feel like I still havent got away.

I dont want a job that has work beyond the actual job hours (no homework), I dont want to handle cash, I will not tolerate focus groups talking about teamwork, I cannot drive and refuse to learn to as I hate vehicles, I dont want to wear a shirt and tie or have to look presentable, I dont want to work in anything where there is a likely risk of injury, I dont want to have to listen to the radio, I dont want to work near a kitchen, call center or anywhere near a supermarket. I'm tired of scraping chewing gum from the bottom of bins and cleaning up classrooms that look like they were used for a party, so no more of that.

So you can see how I'm having hard time thinking of anything I might like to do. It seems like I might need to make some sort of compromise but I like to cling to the hope that life doesent have to be shit, that you dont have to accept a mundane life like most people. Mopping might seem mundane to some, but in the right environment I think it is bliss. One of the strangest things about looking for jobs is the lack of these plain jobs that I had always assumed were everywhere.

Whenever I ask around about these things I'm always told I have to grow up and make some compromises, but I'm desperate and hoping someone might suggest a genius idea.


Stefan Poag said...

I've been out of work for what feels like forever and have been trying to put together an income with selling artwork (hah!) and other things --- it is a constant nightmare and I am so stressed out I can barely work on my art... which is probably not helpful to you, but I guess I feel like I have an inkling of where you are coming from.
I recently tried to get a part time job unloading hardware and building supplies at Home Depot but I was either underqualified (I don't know how to drive a fork lift) or overqualified (I have an education beyond highschool). Here in the Detroit area, there are more people than jobs, especially since so many skilled trades people have lost their manufacturing jobs and are desperate for something else.

I'd like to try to convince you that cleaning a school is probably a good job given your requirements and your lifestyle. Its at least useful, even if most of the students don't appreciate it. You might be able to get a similar job somewhere else (like cleaning an office building), but would that be any better? It might even be worse. I think the only thing more depressing than a room full of people working in cubicles might be a room full of empty cubicles.
Sorry I am no help --- but I need help too!

Robert Adam Gilmour said...

I might like to clean offices, even if offices are depressing but probably a lot cleaner.

TREV said...

I am in this exact position, it's horrible but I love it.
Each day I am able to obtain what I need, which is usually cigarettes and gas, by going and taking surveys, or by selling stuff to Half Price Books, Movie Trading Co, or different pawn shops. At some point though I will have nothing, which is fine with me, but will be getting absolutely no income, and thus motivation to find a job, which I havn't had for two years.

Maybe become a tattoo artist?

Start working on "that epic graphic novel that would get bought by some big movie company that has no idea what it's doing"?

Browse through craigslist, there's a slue of odd jobs there, housecleaning, pet/baby/house/sitting, back shaving, art lessons?

These are all thing I have CONSIDERED getting off my ass and trying...but for the past two years my ass has been comfortable..

Robert Adam Gilmour said...

I was a far too literal about what I say I would never do, that was just my gut feelings talking.

The Sound of Drowning said...

When I was in a similar situation when I was 19 I was in the job-centre one day and saw a photocopied flyer saying 'Mental Nurses Always Needed'. I responded to the ad with my main thinking being that training to be a nurse would give me somewhere to live and out of parents home which it did do. Training to be nurse was interesting and though towards the end of the training that I didn;t want to work as a nurse it gave me ideas of the kinds of things I did want to do and I ended up going to University, getting a degree and moving on to other things from there. Does any kind of training or education appeal to you? Or even a bit of volunteering some time to something that interests you and helps out other people. Just something to get your head thinking in a different way about the world out there might be a good thing maybe.

Dieter VDO said...

"The Sound of Drowning" makes a good point. It sounds to me that the whole "mopping-job-thing" isn't quite working out for you.
Try new things.
You're still young.
Sort your head out and go get it!

SEAN said...

I found it terrifying entering the job market initially. My dad is a professional musician & hasn't held an ordinary job since he was in college & then it was never for any length of time. My mom was working within social change bureaucracies. And I was a Punk Rocker with very anti-society tendencies & no desire to work within the system. I'm not sure how much of that was an excuse... anyhow, now, after years of gainful of employment in all sorts of strange areas, i'm glad it's behind me & I am confident in my value to society as a worker. One of my friends worked as the warehouse manager for Chaosium so I had work there as warehouse crew & also in filling orders & shrink-wrapping books. Later I parlayed that into working warehouse at the local art store. This was obviously not something that I wanted to do for any period of time, I got a job at the library. This was greatly helped by a family connection. I also got jobs doing archaeological artifact drawings for field reports through my Uncle & my best friend's parents all of which are archaeologists. Again, nothing that I wanted to do but it was money & stuff I am good at. Later I taught art which was my longest run of conventional employment & that also expanded into getting all sorts of city trainings on driving buses, first aid & that sort of thing. At some point I just decided I was game for whatever as long as some aspect of the job was of interest to me. When I started out I was full of dread & not thinking that I could or would do any of this stuff but it all worked out.

Kurt Komoda said...

I never really wanted to work as an artist because, like a lot of you, I wanted art to be that one aspect of my life that I do for myself. Well....that didn't work out. Out of high school, I joined and flew for the U.S. Navy. I actually got a lot of personal work done while in, and I got to see a lot of cool places. Now, I am in no way telling you to join the military, but maybe you could get a job that involves traveling around. That's what I want now. I work as a commercial artist in NYC, and it's killing me. Someone once suggested being an air courier- but I just don't like dealing with corporate dickheads.

alkbazz said...

I start thinking like that, doing art to live, and vice versa, but finally I understand that will be bad job & bad art all my life... So I decided to learn a job that I enjoy, close to art (that's restoration), and I spent lot of time to learn this, but actually I can say I have a good job (not in a financial way!) and also that i can do art the way i want... because if you want to live after your art you'll need to have compromise about it, doing things you don't want to do. Instead of this, doing art after your workingtime, you can do what you want. Well, also, workingtime could be difficult too cause sometimes you'll need some more time for art, but it's still a good deal if you learn a job in a craftman way