Name a good "backup" or "fallback" job

What is a good fallback job one can do which if times get tough, they can usually do? This would be some talent you have done in the past but didnt want a career in it. It could also be some job where if no matter what city you decide to move to, you can usually get a job doing this.

Ex. Bartending. I know people who bartend only in the summer for a few extra bucks.

Others would be waitressing and hairstyling.

Most people don’t have this option, but for me it’s flying. Most flight schools are constantly looking for instructors and I have all the ratings. It’s not great income, but I can count on 15-20 per hour from the school. I can pick up a little extra delivering planes, not enough for a regular paycheck, but added to instructor pay I can keep the lights on.

For the more typical backup job, I’ll go with truck driving. Almost every trucking company is continually advertising for drivers, and it only costs a few grand to get your CDL. I’ve known several relatives who did this when things got tight and it worked out pretty well. According to them, spend a year or so gaining experience at a major (Schneider, Swift, etc.) and then down to the oil patch where the pay is good (or some other specialty).

Truckdriver. Never thought of that one. Yes, even in small towns they often need truck drivers especially around harvest time.

Doesn’t work in the US, but teaching English abroad is pretty universal option for people with basic education qualifications (or a willingness to fake them.)

It won’t make you rich, especially by US standards. But it will provide a basic living, and in the right country it’s relatively easy to find work.

Call center work. I know several people whom I consider essentially unemployable; they always seem to be able to get call center jobs.

But there are many scammy outfits out there. My nephew took a job teaching English in China. Conditions were awful. He was hospitalized with dysentery twice. Still, he enjoyed it. Right up until police showed up and hauled his ass to the airport. “You leave NOW!” His employer had secured a tourist visa for him and they got caught.

While I agree with this in general, as an ESP teacher I don’t particularly like people who are unqualified apart from being native speakers doing this work just to travel or have fun. While they might have a perfect English accent, teaching grammar is actually pretty tricky. On top of that, lessons from a native speaker are often expensive for the students, so I do think teachers have a responsibility to have some basic teaching skills and at least some interested in teaching, not just in making enough cash to pay for the next cocktail on the beach.

But yes, I agree it does suit the OP’s criteria in that there is almost always work, in many different places.

OT: WTF is ESP? It was ESL when I was teaching, and I understand it has transmogrified into ELL in the interim. Did mind-reading become language curriculum somewhere down the line?

Or is this just autocorrect - in which case, nevermind.

Autocorrect. ESL it is. :smack:

Whereas teaching people ESP would probably pay pretty well, although there may be a few logistical issues.

This might call for more training than you’d want for a backup job, but you might also look into becoming a pharmacy technician, the non-pharmacists who stand behind the counter and fill all the prescriptions. My daughter worked her way through college working the cash register at a local (non-chain) pharmacy and, when she graduated, didn’t have an art history job lined up. Go figure. So, the people at the pharmacy said “Hey, why don’t you train as a tech? You already know how the place works.” Now she’s got a job and could get a job anywhere in the country (I think…), so if she relocates somewhere to get her Master’s degree, she’ll be able to pick up a job that pays better than just running a cash register (which is also a job she can get anywhere, as well as waitressing).

Agreed that lots of people should be nowhere near a classroom. Still, if you want the work, the work is there. I knew of a guy in China with off-the-rails schizophrenia who used his classes to rant about lizard people, and he still managed to find a new job every time he was fired.

Scammy agencies abound- the one in my region would promise well paid jobs in big cities and a plane ticket home at the end. What you’d actually get is a badly paid job in a backwater small town, with no plane ticket home to be found. The unfortunate people with no savings would end up taking years to save enough to get home.

The best thing to do is to is to get in to the country and then network your way to something more viable.

I was a CNA in a hospital for several years. I could do it again and pick up some additional training to be able to do things like run EKG tests.

I worked in my cousin’s restaurant and catering business for a long time before I got this desk job. I also worked in a movie theater and a retail store.

Recently I started working on occasional weekends at the event center where my brother is one of the maintenance guys. I got to put all my skills to work - mopping, changing trash, wiping surfaces, even moving tables which is something I did for bingo night in high school.

But I’ve found my one true passion - dishwashing! OMG I love it! I had learned how to run the dishwasher at my cousin’s restaurants but it wasn’t ever my full-time gig. But you just stand there and do your thing, with a clear end in sight. People think you are king of the kitchen. They thank you for being the one who took the “thankless” job (probably because I am a middle-aged white woman, people assume I am not supposed to be there). They also send you home with tons of food.

And you get PAID for it! Holla!

For thirty years knowing how to type was a great back up job for me. Unfortunately, not so much anymore…

But thanks for this thread, I think there are some good ideas here that mind wind up helping some people.

Mine would be operational engineering at a nuclear power plant, based on my navy training and experience.

I really don’t want to have to do that.

Substitute teaching. All you need in most districts is a college degree and a willingness to wake up very early.

When my grandparents retired, they purchased an airstream trailer and set off to see the Americas. They would stop for several weeks or even a month or two at an area they liked, and my grandpa would earn a few quick bucks delivering auto parts from the warehouses to the mechanic shops. Wasn’t a lot of money in it, but because it’s a job that has tremendous turnover, almost any warehouse can use an extra person for a short period.

If you have a clean record, get a caregiving job. Some are even live in, so you get a place to live.

In Canada, Certified Journeyman in any of a dozen technical trades from industrial electrician to HD mechanic. Big bucks in northern mining camps. Instrumentation technicians and gasfitters/HVAC techs can get a temp job anywhere for premium wages ($80-$120 K/year).

I heard of a family once that lived on the road homeschooling their kids. What they did for money is they had the equipment to paint lines in parking lots and nearly every town they would go into, there was a need and they’d get a job or 2 painting lines.

Then back on the road.