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101 professions for a self-sufficientish, thinking person

Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 7:41 pm
by LBR
Have found the thread on what "normal" folks' reactions are to selfsufficientishers very interesting. I'd like to know what sort of work we all do. Are there professions that are well suited to the selfsuffiecientish value system?

So many jobs require wearing binding clothes, being in artificial, poisonous surroundings, and dealing with people who are clueless about healthy living, healthy eating, healthy housekeeping, healthy buildings, healthy lighting and air, etc. Mainstreamers here still find homeschooling and vegetarianism quite threatening.

If you wouldn't mind posting what kind of work you do and how you deal with toxic or unhealthy environments, and how you deal with those still mesmerized by the sirens of the world, I'd really like to know.

Many thanks. :sunny:

Re: 101 professions for a self-sufficientish, thinking person

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:24 am
by jim
Hello LBR
Having paid off our mortgage, and finding ourselves set up with furniture, goods, chattels, garden etc. we've downsized on the employment front. I work as a supply teacher, taking work when we need money, the weather is bad, the school is one I have a good relationship with, or they need help and my conscience is stirred.

The upside is that I'm not bothered by planning/staff meetings, paperwork, Ofsted goons with little experience of education, or the Nationalist Curriculum, and am able to deliver real Education. Supply money is good, providing me with independence to turn away work that might interfere with garden, fishing, drifwood gathering and the other tasks that give us a degree of selfsufficientish life.

The downside is that I don't have my own class and the relationship that entails.

It is very difficult to live a self-sufficient life. Money pervades our social contracts; central and local government taxation must be paid, we cannot supply all we would like to eat, goods and services we cannot provide for ourselves can be obtained by other means but nowhere near as conveniently as a recognized system of exchange can do. Therefore, I work to give me that money.

We are fortunate in owning our home, having the goods that make life comfortable and work that pays well enough to live a more relaxed and meaningful life. I am concerned that those starting out will find the process difficult .....I can remember being there!

Looking forward to reading how others get by.

By the way LBR, how do you manage?

Love and Peace

Re: 101 professions for a self-sufficientish, thinking person

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:58 am
by LBR
Jim, thanks for your thoughtful post. I am currently living off my savings and doing the odd proofreading job, putting miscellaneous irons in the fire. I am researching possibilities, and praying about what is fitting for me to do.

I left various fruitful endeavors in Europe to return to the States to be near my parents, who need a bit of help now. Those professional endeavors were buoyed by a culture which cherishes the arts and sciences. I now live in a metropolitan area which has none of that cultural infrastructure.

The reverse culture shock has been intense. And my home culture was the west and the midwest. I now live in the south. It is a reality unto itself. There is always that friction between one's home values and the different culture of one's environment. Others my age, and older, say that much of the frame of reference which is so difficult to be around here in the south is representative of the country as a whole. I've heard it said that the south is a microcosm of the whole country. I went a certain direction and the country went another. The shocks are not surprises, but nevertheless, shocks.

The goal of being completely self-sufficient is quite a challenge these days. There is the constant weighing and compromising. How to keep moving towards the ideals, live by sound principles, and make enough compromises to survive in the situations at hand--and keep one's eye on the highest goals possible.

I would dearly love to work with others who value self-sufficiency, in all aspects of thinking. I started this thread because I hope to discover lines of thought and possibilities to explore which I have not previously considered.

As you can tell, I've got a lot on my mind.

Re: 101 professions for a self-sufficientish, thinking person

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:24 pm
by Ellendra
I work for Alpine Access, a call-center outsourcing company. Their computer system reroutes the calls to my home phone, so I get to sit around in my jammies and listen to people gripe about their credit card bills.

Re: 101 professions for a self-sufficientish, thinking person

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:02 pm
by Annpan
I am a Mum and all the other things that go with being self-sufficient-ish. My OH is a data systems engineer (or somat :roll: ) for a big energy company.

Re: 101 professions for a self-sufficientish, thinking person

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:07 pm
by eccentric_emma
I work in an off license. Some people's dream job! But not really mine. Mainly because it has really become a difficult job with the possibility of being attacked becoming very real, and having to deal with conflict on a regular basis. Topped off with the threat of a 5 thousand pound fine if I make a mistake and serve underage (easier than you may think). Poisonous environment - air fresheners&cleaning products giving me a headache, not enough fresh air, posters covering the windows so have to use a lot of artificial lighting, heaps of rubbish produced (although I nag everyone about recycling the stuff that can be recycled). On the plus side, it is 2 minutes walk from my house, my co-workers are nice, I get a discount - although working in an off license, you tend to go off alcohol after you see the effects on other people!

Re: 101 professions for a self-sufficientish, thinking person

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:26 pm
by Silver Ether
Registered Childminder that lives as eco as she can ... does not waste anything... Doesn't use any chemical cleaners at all, grows in tubs and I have taken over father in laws garden to grow more... I forage, make my own jams and chutney either from grown, foraged or scrounged stuff.. everyone has to put on a jumper before I turn of the fire :mrgreen:
Reuse or recycle everything I can. Shop local if they have the stuff we want and it had to be British. The exceptions are toms and banana oh, coffee and tea.

the best bit is I teach the children in my care all this so there should be summat like 50+ kids hitting the area with a good knowledge of what they should be doing.

My fella is a teacher working in the Ethnic and Minorities Department...

My biggest sin is fuel... diesel... as I have to get around a lot to be in the right place at the right time for the minded kids and caring for in-law... and getting to the woods or I might just kill some one :flower:

Re: 101 professions for a self-sufficientish, thinking person

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:50 pm
by old tree man
I was in forestry for 30 years then retired through an accident, i loved my job fortunatly i still get to walk around the woods that i managed and visit the woods that i planted to see how they are maturing, my job gave me an insight about the enviroment and when i retired it was a natural progression to grow and nurture plants.

Russ :flower:

Re: 101 professions for a self-sufficientish, thinking person

Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:28 am
by mrsflibble
I worked in pre-press. something I'd never do again for a newspaper, but would consider for a weekly magazine. I now do the odd bit of photography for cash/barter-gifts from friends.
first and foremmost I am a mummy.

James makes sure GWR has trains that work. most of the time.

Re: 101 professions for a self-sufficientish, thinking person

Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:04 pm
by barefootlinzi
my main job is mummy, but i also work 10 hours a week as a home carer and i am also a cloth nappy advisor which i do around my son and it provides a little extra income. my OH is a chef, but has applied to the police and if sucessful i will quit my caring job to be a full time mummy. we are in the beginning of being ish, and as we become more and more ish that will become my 'job' too. we hav some great plans but they all take time....and i am impatient!!

Re: 101 professions for a self-sufficientish, thinking person

Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:28 pm
by Birdie Wife
I work for the RSPB, the largest environmental charity in Europe. How lucky am I? :sunny: The best thing is that they are totally on board with being eco-friendly, it's really high on the agenda to be as environmentally concious as possible, so we can use that fact when lobbying government to be better at that too. We recycle as much as possible from the office, even have an office compost bin, we have carbon targets and it's Society policy not to take any internal flights to meetings, even if they are several hours by rail. :thumbleft:

Re: 101 professions for a self-sufficientish, thinking person

Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:02 pm
by hamster
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 :oops: ) 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.

Re: 101 professions for a self-sufficientish, thinking person

Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:23 pm
by becks77
I work as a part time chemistry technician in a 6th form college.
The hours are great and I get the hols but all those chemicals....
The college does recycle a lot of stuff.
And at home we do what we can to be green and organic and fair trade,
grow our own , keep chucks, recycle (haven't managed zero waste but we're working on that)
Currently looking at different transport, I have to drive to work due to time constraints, but there is an electric bike that is very appealing and also the electric smart sounds interesting.
Of course the ultimate would be to have a smallholding and be totally self sufficient, therefore dispensing with the need for all the above.

Happy thoughts
Becks :flower:

Re: 101 professions for a self-sufficientish, thinking person

Posted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 9:05 am
by ina
I work as a scientific assistant for a land-based research institute... They try hard to be quite green, and not hard enough, from my point of view. But there are several amongst my colleagues who, like me, don't shut up about it. :mrgreen:

Re: 101 professions for a self-sufficientish, thinking person

Posted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 9:45 am
by Jules
I'm a company director of my own company and freelance out to London Transport.... am not on a contract right now which means I can spend more time in the garden on my veggies and fruit. Yippee! :flower: