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Jobs In Hard Times

TopicsEconomicsEmployment

I’ve been sitting here today thinking about getting more work. I currently do house painting, trying desperately to avoid working as an information broker. Although as an information broker I make more money per job, the recession has put those projects to few and far between, I’d make more money working at McBarfs in Alberta.

Trade jobs tend to last longer when you get the work, but competition is increasing to the point that I worry about having enough work this summer. I’ve done swamping, which is really bad for my back, but I might have no other choice but to do it again between painting jobs.

I dropped by www.survivalistboards.com which has a sticky forum thread on the subject to see what others have come up with, and was given a few ideas, but it made me think about income after wshtf.

I think our current greatest threat is economic disaster, even here in Canada. And it is likely to be a very slow painful decent into the abyss. During the transition between this and that, property taxes will still likely be collected, my number one concern for the farm. Hence the need for a depression proof source of income.

When I look at this from the viewpoint of needing an income to cover some basics, handle property tax, and give us a leg up during the coming great fall, I also try to keep in mind the what if it actually gets better instead of worse. I need something that is adaptable to whatever changes comes our way, that I can pick up and drop on a whim, and won’t interfere with my normal sources of income.

The first things I think of are things I have already done, here’s a partial list…

Cash Corner:

Every major city in North America has a cash corner. I’m not talking about some sort of loan business, but an actual street corner located in the city. The last time I worked from a cash corner was likely in Toronto years ago, but the premise is the same in Calgary, or New York City. In fact, really larger cities have several, NYC has at least 85! Most of the workers that wait for day labor jobs at these locations are illegal immigrants, or those cheating the system in some way. At least that is the way it used to be… Recently, the tides have started to turn towards anyone looking for work, most of them I believe were at one time the traditional workers there, left after getting their green cards or work permits, and have now returned because of job loss. Golden Rule: CASH DAILY

Requirements: Steal toe boots, work gloves, hard hat, safety goggles

Siviculture: (Tree Planting)

Tree planting is likely the hardest job I have ever done next to certain types of harvest work, but it was also the greatest paying job over all, it’s hard work and has other drawbacks. If your looking for a way to raise money to buy some cheap junk land in one shot, I recommend it, since it is likely you won’t blow your savings working this job, there is no where to spend the money you make while your working a contract. To do the job right you need some basic equipment most of the supplies you’ll need to just live at camp can be found in your bug out bag thou. Golden Rule: Never take any job that isn’t contract based piece work!

Requirements: Be able to work legally in the area, camping supplies, good hiking boots, Planting Gear, bug repellent, rain gear, bug repellent, rain gear, bug repellent…

Agriculture: (Harvest Work)

(Best place online for Agriculture Job Seekers)

I’ve done likely every kind of seasonal work you can think of. Harvest work was at times the easiest, and at times even harder then tree planting. If you have the choice, avoid harvesting tobacco, hops, cotton, and barley … you won’t like it. If you have a cherry pickers’ latter or hoist, and an apple hook with a nylon tube, fruit trees are easy money, some job sites provide these BTW. Golden Rule: Never take any job that isn’t contract based piece work!

Requirements: Be able to work legally in the area, basic camping supplies, footwear depends on type of harvest… (waders for cranberries, sandals for fruit trees, work boots for roots, snowshoes for maple syrup, etc)

Busking/Street Artist:

If you can draw really good, or great at playing a musical instrument such as a guitar, consider busking for quick cash. In the late 80’s I did chalk drawings on the sidewalks of Toronto, Friday late nights were the best times, and it was not uncommon for me to bring in over $400. Golden Rule: More tourists equals more money

Requirements: you have to be really good, some cities require a space permit and some require a busker permit – while others require both. (Note: if you manage to get permission from a private property owner and the side walk or area you perform in is on their legal property you don’t need a space permit in most cases)

Scrap Metals:

When we were caravaning, the month of January was the hardest to bring in a source of income for the longest time. We usually tried to end up at a campground somewhere in British Columbia because of the mild winters. There was a campground that was frequented by a circus family we knew so one year we stayed there, and for several years afterwards. The main reason we went there was because of scrap metal in the land fill site nearby. Every weekend I would spend cleaning scrap metal and hauling it to the dealers. In the late 90’s it was an income that on average made us over $500 a week, with Mondays to Thursdays off. Golden Rule: The closer the landfill is to a city the more scrap metal, make noise to tell the bears your there

Requirements: steal PLATED soles in your work boots, fisherman’s work gloves, a good knife, pilers, dog repellent for the coyotes, hand held fog horn/siren for the bears

That’s all I can think of for today.

- Wolfe


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