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Any ideas what my mom could work?


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Old 4th June 2011, 5:26 AM   #1
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Any ideas what my mom could work?

My mom moved to the US very recently and would like to find full-time employment to support herself (I am currently back in school and have never had a job in the US, so I am totally inexperienced on the subject).

She has a bachelor's degree in foreign languages, her English is very good, she is in her early sixties and looks like a lady. (You don't need to mention any interpreter/translation jobs - obviously she knows that ). We're in a big city and she will get a car. She's very creative in the easthetic sense and has a talent for decoration, arranging, etc. She has a certificate (and talent) in relaxational massage which she got last year, but no major experience in that department. She knows computers like most lay people, she can use the basic stuff, but nothing special - she can learn though, she is very smart. She can't do jobs that are physically strenuous, as she is not perfectly healthy (controlled high blood pressure).

Just as an example, an ideal job for her would be a real estate agent - it matches all of her natural skills and flaws: it's dynamic and engaging; it requires sitting, walking, standing, and driving - but not one position for eight hours (which is what worsens her back pain). She also loves and has a nose for properties and buildings, as her father was a civil engineer and her brother is an architect. Finally, she could help make the home look more sellable due to her eye for interior design.

She is also thinking about getting a certificate in nursing or some other medical job because they are in demand, but I know nothing about the medical field. Any ideas as to what she could start with? Please tell me ANYTHING that crosses your mind - what you may think are "stupid" ideas are most welcome! I think she should start with something and then work on her dream job whether it's getting some training or just applying. Please keep in mind her age. I'd love her to get a government job because they have awesome benefit packages and they're usually not as stressful and overtime-requiring as the jobs in the private sector. The salary is not that important to her. She just needs any income for now, but of course it is a factor.

Also, any ideas on how and where to look for a job? Thanks.
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Old 4th June 2011, 6:26 PM   #2
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Looks like she has plenty of options....
Really, with talents and skills like hers, you need to ask?

Get her to enrol with as many employment agencies as she can, both walk-in and on-line.

Get skill-related magazines and see if there are vacancies in her line of work, or desired profession, in those.

Start small and grow.
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Old 4th June 2011, 7:05 PM   #3
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Based on watching the nurses care for my mom, nursing can be very strenuous, though less so at the RN level. Even with CNA help, it was a lot of work.

One possibility is the hospitality business. If she faces people well and can train on the systems, hospitality is one place a person can make a lot of contacts. Age might work against her in a primary customer-facing role, but her style and sophistication could mitigate that.

As far as real estate is concerned, here's some prerequisites:

What are the requirements for a Pennsylvania real estate Sales Associate license?

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have high school diploma or GED
  • Complete and pass the state approved 60 hour Sales Associate Pre-License course
  • Submit application to PSI with the appropriate fee
  • Pass the PSI exam
  • Pass the criminal background check, http://www.dos.state.pa.us/
  • Exceptions to the above:
    • Attorneys with a current Pennsylvania Bar Card
    • 4 year Degree in Real Estate

Nursing school can take two to four years, depending on program and desired level of licensing.

Another path is interning and volunteering, essentially investing time and energy to make contacts and learn the customs and ways of the local culture. Success is often as much who one knows as what one knows. Having a network of friends can be an enormous support and path to job and career advancement.

Look into jobs at the school system and public services system. Part-time with no benefits is a foot in the door. Build a resume, job and income experience, and a credit rating.
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Old 4th June 2011, 7:40 PM   #4
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Anything medical is a winner. We are in a very serious economic downturn and jobs are quite scarce but she will always be able to get employment if she gets some training as a medical assistant or medical bookkeeper and the work won't be physically draining.
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Old 4th June 2011, 10:10 PM   #5
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Jobs in the medical field was also what I was going to suggest. Anything from a medical assistant, pharmacy technician, to home health and long-term care facility aides for the elderly and disabled.

You said your mom moved to the US recently. Does she have the right visa to work here? Is that going to be an issue?

State and local government jobs might be open to her, but quite a number of federal government jobs require US citizenship which I'm assuming she doesn't have.
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Old 8th June 2011, 12:31 AM   #6
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Thank you very much for all your replies, guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TaraMaiden View Post
Looks like she has plenty of options....
Really, with talents and skills like hers, you need to ask?
Thanks, but it's not as great as it may sound. She may have the inherent skills but she knows nothing about the US professional world and I am concerned about her pessimistic attitude.

Quote:
Start small and grow.
I totally agree.This is the best and simplest career/business advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Afishwithabike View Post
Does she have the right visa to work here?
Yes.
Quote:
State and local government jobs might be open to her, but quite a number of federal government jobs require US citizenship which I'm assuming she doesn't have.
Government jobs are great, although I don't know how she would fit in. Yes, some positions require citizenship.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony T
Anything medical is a winner. We are in a very serious economic downturn and jobs are quite scarce but she will always be able to get employment if she gets some training as a medical assistant or medical bookkeeper and the work won't be physically draining.
Tony, you're right. She could work any admin job while taking an online course in medical billing/assistance, then switch.

By the way, she doesn't want to be a realtor. She said her heart isn't in it and she has no luck - as in she won't sell anything.

It's just so frustrating. She rejects everything I tell her...
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Old 8th June 2011, 4:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RecordProducer View Post
....
It's just so frustrating. She rejects everything I tell her...
This.

Mums do that.
Some mums cannot get out of the "you're my kid - why would I take advice off you??" frame of mind.
They're supposed to help and advise you, not the other way round.
In her time, she would never have dared tell her mum which way to go....

so now, she rejects your well-intentioned attempts to help her get on with her life.

So, really, see where she's coming from, and what kind of effort she wants to make.

Whatever she does, it will have to be her choice, her drive, her ambition.
You can't do this for her.
She is the kind of person that will have to make her own mistakes, or successes.

And never, ever say to her -
"See? I told you so.....If you'd only listened to me....."
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Old 8th June 2011, 8:35 AM   #8
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Walmart always needs greeters.
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Old 9th June 2011, 5:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaraMaiden View Post
This.

Mums do that.
Some mums cannot get out of the "you're my kid - why would I take advice off you??" frame of mind.
They're supposed to help and advise you, not the other way round.
In her time, she would never have dared tell her mum which way to go....

so now, she rejects your well-intentioned attempts to help her get on with her life.

So, really, see where she's coming from, and what kind of effort she wants to make.

Whatever she does, it will have to be her choice, her drive, her ambition.
You can't do this for her.
She is the kind of person that will have to make her own mistakes, or successes.

And never, ever say to her -
"See? I told you so.....If you'd only listened to me....."
I like your high-spirited viewpoint! I agree with you ... it's just that her life is intertwined with mine now. She is interested in getting a certificate as a medical assistant, so I am working on finding a good program in our state/city.
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Old 9th June 2011, 7:16 PM   #10
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definitely have her look into receptionist positions at medical offices, architectural/real estate offices and at local colleges/universities, the language thing would be a huge plus in any of those areas, I'm thinking. And it could open the door to a better-paying, more desirable job for her.

other thought is to find out what her hobbies and crafts are, and steer her in that direction. For example, if she likes sewing or quilting, a fabric store position might be a good match ...

good to see you on here RP, have been wondering about you lately
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Old 13th June 2011, 12:26 AM   #11
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It is by no means great pay or a great work environment and so I don't really recommend it all that much, but if she is multilingual and at least semi-competent with a computer she could work in a call center.

Other than that, given that she does have a certificate in it, she could look into massage. The thing there is that it is more physically strenuous than you might think.
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Old 13th June 2011, 12:32 AM   #12
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Get her a job working in the office at your school if you can. Schools seem like pretty laid back places to work.
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Old 13th June 2011, 1:06 PM   #13
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Thanks a lot, guys, I appreciate your replies. We're working on it.
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Old 13th June 2011, 9:34 PM   #14
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It'll be interesting to see what transpires.
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Old 16th June 2011, 1:08 PM   #15
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I would suggest an office setting. Like a receptionist or a filer or mail room type thing. Something to keep her on her toes a bit but not something that has to deal with customers (demanding that it is!)
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