Birdie Wife wrote:I work for the RSPB...
Ahhh, hence the name, I suppose?
I work as a General Arranger of Words on a Page (translator/transcriber/report-writer/proof-reader) which isn't massively self-sufficientish, but I enjoy it and I work for a very small, friendly company who let me work from home unless I'm required to go to an event or mind the phones in the office. This is ideal at the moment, as I still have a lot of student debt (so a bit of job security is no bad thing) and not really enough space to make enough of a contribution to the household by growing/making things that it makes more sense than working for a wage.
Working from home is great - no smart clothes, no air conditioners or air 'fresh'eners, get to make my own food (I mean, when I'm working away I usually take my lunch and always regret it if I don't, like today, but I get to cook a proper lunch and eat at a proper table at home) and I can work in the garden if necessary. I don't like to abuse home-working (though I slip up sometimes
) as I believe it is the future and don't want people to give it a bad name by using it as an excuse to spend all day watching daytime TV or posting on forums or whatever, but it does give me a certain amount of flexibility in how I use my time, so I can get out in the garden for a bit if it's warm or keep an eye on bread or stews or whatever, even if they don't take much actual time out of my work-day. I also find I'm much less tired at the end of the day than when I have to travel to work and spend all day being polite to people and get up that extra half hour earlier to make sure I'm more or less presentable to the outside world (not got half of Berkshire under my fingernails, etc, you know the drill...), which means I have more energy in the evenings to take courses, get the sewing machine out, make jam etc. My long-term plan is to freelance and possibly write fiction if I'm good enough which should give me more control about how much work I do and allow me to combine it more easily with keeping livestock, growing more veg etc.
I don't think I could suggest ideal careers for a self-sufficientish, thinking person, (running/working in a good greengrocers, yarn shop etc, craftsperson of some description, eco-friendly gardener spring to mind, though...) but I think the ideal career for any
person is something you love and are good at. Having said that, I don't think it's fair to say that just because you have to make compromises it necessarily has to be awful, soul-destroying wage-slavery. I could have carried on with my efforts to work in food policy/campaigning, but I actually decided what I'm doing now was the better choice, as because of the nature of where I work now I am treated very much as an individual and valued for what I do, so I was able to lobby for mostly working from home and when I say, 'Look, I worked late last night and got up really early this morning, I can answer the phone if you need me, but is it ok if I take this afternoon off?' people know that I'm not slacking. If I'd gone down my original route, I would have had to spend a lot of money and time doing volunteer work, funded by soul-destroying temping, and commuted to London virtually every day, which through a combination of travelling, uncertainty and really stretching myself, would probably have left me with less energy (and time) to do the other things I want to do.