The other day, I came this close to signing up for a subscription-only freelancing site. The gig had the potential to turn into a regular part-time thing, and it was right up my alley – working as a personal editor for a professor in my field. (Not science! Yay!) Sure, the ad sounded a bit…controlling. And the work terms (the poster insisted that all work be done simultaneously via Skype) raised my hackles. But I was still going to apply. I was going to charge a real wage, not the kind of wage these gigs usually pay. For the inconvenience, mostly. (Editing is not a group activity. It’s why I chose this field.) But I was going to suck it up and apply despite my misgivings.
However, the required “subscription” just to apply stopped me cold. The cheapest plan is $45, for an entire year. No mention of being allowed to cancel it; if you don’t find a job in 12 months, they’ll give you 6 additional months free. Whoopdeedoo. I have a family to feed. I cannot afford to gamble $45 a month.
Later on, I read this article about bad jobs. I’ve had bad jobs. I’ve had jobs at which I ate Tylenol like candy. Chewed them so they’d work faster. I’ve had jobs so frustrating that I cried all the way to work and all the way home. I can vouch for the fact that working a bad job is worse on your mental health than being unemployed. (Though to be fair, unemployment comes with its own special stressors. Neither is a good situation to be in, mkay?)
The article got me to thinking, though. I realized I was allowing my fear to cloud my judgment. Yes, I was qualified for the job. I am qualified for lots of jobs. Doesn’t mean I want to do them. And being chained to a desk – to a webcam! – for 4 hours a day by some control-freak academic is my personal idea of hell. I am so happy I didn’t apply for that ish. There will be another job. And if there isn’t, I’ll just go into a different field.