By Mike Haaren
June 21, 2011
Dear Rat Race Rebellion: I’m a high school teacher who got laid off during budget cuts. I don’t know how long it will be before our school system starts hiring again. Do you ever see any online teaching jobs for high school teachers? – Robb in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Dear Robb: Actually, the online teaching movement has been showing steady growth the past few years, with virtual K-12 schools and courses supplementing on-site instruction. Virtual classes also cut overhead for the school systems overall, with reduced school bus and driver use, physical plant expenses, and so on.
For starters, you might have a look at Connections Academy, at ConnectionsAcademy.com. They were recently hiring teachers in Oklahoma. We also regularly list work from home teaching jobs on our Daily Jobs page.
Dear Rat Race Rebellion: I’m interested in designing websites, and was going to take courses at my community college. But my father-in-law says that everyone uses templates these days, and the market for website design has dried up. Is he right? – Katie in San Diego, Cal.
Dear Katie: Your father-in-law is right where small sites are concerned. Many solo entrepreneurs, for example, take a do-it-yourself approach and use free or low-cost templates from the larger Internet hosting services.
But there are still lots of jobs for designers, and many get to work from home. Companies across the U.S. want higher-end, customized site design, with the bells and whistles that only savvy designers can provide. To get a sense of the jobs available, see Dice.com and AuthenticJobs.com.
Dear Rat Race Rebellion: I saw an ad recently for free grant money to pay personal expenses. The ad said that President Obama had money left over from the stimulus package and that people with a lot of debt could apply. You only have to pay shipping and handling for the CD. Should I buy it? I have a ton of debt. – Luke in St. Paul, Minn.
Dear Luke: Not a good idea. Scammers have been very busy with the “free grant money” con game, and millions of people have been victimized. As soon as you enter your credit or debit card information, you’ll start to see bogus “membership” or similar fees showing up on your statements, sometimes for hundreds of dollars.
The only “free grant money” will be the free money you granted the scammers. When you see come-ons like those, as tempting as they are, just remember the old adage, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”
Dear Rat Race Rebellion: Do you know any good career coaches? I’ve been out of the workforce for awhile and have been uncertain about what I should do next. Part of me wants a job, and part of me wants to be independent. Please help! – Ellen in Bangor, Maine
Dear Ellen: The jobscape has changed so much the past few years, and it’s confusing even when you haven’t been out of the workforce for awhile. For career guidance generally, we would recommend Nancy Collamer, at Jobsandmoms.com, where you’ll also find a “Back to Work Toolkit.” For advice on working independently, see Pam Slim at EscapeFromCubicleNation.com.