“When I was little, I was on welfare, I lived in the projects,” one pimp said. “Dope fiends, pimps and prostitutes. Gang bangers, helicopter over your roof. That’s no way to live. Seeing glitz and glamour, I always wanted that. Coming up like that, having square jobs was never appealing.”

Alas, while I myself did grow up on welfare for a very short period of my life… glitz and glamour were never on my radar.  And for me, a square job was also never something I thought I’d land.  I did think I’d land a “legal” job, but to me, it never meant a 9-5.  My sights were set MUCH higher than that.

Dream on -  image via
Dream on – image via

At one point, I was convinced I’d work for the United Nations as Kofi Annan‘s Right Hand Gal.  I wanted to be involved in international human rights – to put a stop to the big business of human trafficking, or to genocide.

In law school, I worked for government agencies and a judge, refusing to work for a private firm or corporation because I wanted to make a difference.

I’ve been volunteering for homeless shelters, building homes for the needy, and mentoring kids ever since I can remember (this will date me – but I’d say for over 15 years).

Unfortunately, nonprofit and government jobs are harder to land than ever before.  I’ve actually considered PAYING to volunteer – and have done more real “lawyering” as an unpaid volunteer for various legal nonprofits than I have for any paid legal job I’ve had after becoming a barred attorney.

So if my dream job doesn’t pay (literally, a lot of nonprofits are offering volunteer positions because they don’t have the funds to pay attorneys)… and I have a mountain of debt… what are my options?

Lady of the Night

Lady of the Night - image via
Lady of the Night – image via

The most obvious option is prostitution.  Isn’t this blog called not QUITE legal?  Don’t worry, don’t worry!  Prostitution isn’t a serious option.  Being a lady of the night actually doesn’t pay all that well, unless you’re a high-end escort.  Even still, as you might be a tad shocked to learn, I am indeed the most awkward and clumsy person on the planet.

So lady of the night was never going to work out – that or being a stripper, despite nice tips, will never be in the cards for me.  But as discussed in the above-quoted New York Times article, being a pimp does pay.  And the chances of getting caught seem to be slim to none if you avoid exploiting minors (again, according to said article).  Alas, I’m a bit of a square – and I’d like a career I can brag about to my peers.  Since most of my friends are doctors and lawyers, I don’t think I want to have something illegal on my resume.


Not THAT kind of jockey... - image via
Not THAT kind of jockey… – image via

Now I do have to admit that I am rather petite, but sadly, being a proper jockey is off the table.  I like horses, but I’m not really into having that much pressure on me to jump high and run fast when people are betting on me.  No thanks.  But what about the other kind of jockey?  The disk jockey (or deejay to all you kids)!  Brilliant, Mirabelle, you say? I love music.  I go to lots of concerts.  I love remixes.  I even have a music background (and considered going pro before wisely choosing a liberal arts BA and a fancy Esquire title).  Being a DJ means you can sleep all day and work a few hours in the evening doing something you love, right?  I could learn how to remix my favorite tunes – and I’m generally pretty plugged in to what’s new in the music world.  It does seem like a tough world to break into, but I’m sure if I befriend Tom Cruise’s son, or some other celebrity-progeny who spins that wheel.

Plus, I feel like they’re always looking for diversity, right?  A spritely redhead might be JUST the thing the DJ world is missing right now.  Unfortunately, I must confront reality again.  I don’t know any of the DJ software and don’t have skills as a master mixer.  So this might be even harder to get into without more help.  But even if I were able to break into the market by pretending to be Lindsay Lohan (cashing in on her celebrity ex)…  what are the odds I’d be a good DJ?  Let’s face it.  I’m a morning person.  That means halfway through a shift as a DJ, I would be falling asleep.  And probably boring the crowd by shifting halfway through a J-Z-on-Macklemore remix to a lullaby vs. Eminem remix.  “Time to go to bed, everyone!” I might shout into the crowd, letting the fog machine purr and smother the crowd in sleep-inducing clouds.  Hm… the club might not want me to shut down their party at the late hour of 10:34PM.  Ok, ok!  So my early bird habits might not be conducive to a career as a deejay.

Career Counselor

Don't take advice from this lady! - image via
Don’t take advice from this lady! – image via

Why hadn’t I thought of this sooner?  I’ve applied to over 2000 jobs.  I can craft a resume in my sleep.  I love cover letters.  I’ve interviewed a lot.  This might be The Answer!  I love doing mock interviews.  I love helping people.  I love editing and making resumes that highlight people’s skills.  Only one problem, though.  I haven’t been hired to a permanent job… like ever!  So while I know all about writing resumes and cover letters, I have a feeling (with some basis in reality) that I might not be the ideal candidate for a job as a counselor.  Unless I counsel KIDS on getting into colleges.  Hm, that’s a possibility.  I went to a great university for college, and a great law school.  What if I counsel kids on how to do that?  Oh shoot, but then again, I might not be the best model for higher education.  “What did you get from your many degrees?”  Well, apart from half a million in debt…

I can now put “Esquire” or “Counselor” on my email signatures, and tell my dentist that my occupation is an “attorney.”  But job-wise?  My education gave me diddly squat thus far.  Jarlsberg in a bucket!  That won’t do.  I would want to be an inspiration to youths, not a cautionary tale of, “Don’t do what I did.”  So maybe not a high school counselor, after all.

Food Critic

You provide the food, I'll provide the perspective, which would go nicely with a bottle of Cheval Blanc 1947 - image via
You provide the food, I’ll provide the perspective, which would go nicely with a bottle of Cheval Blanc 1947 – image via

I once dated a food critic’s relative.  Given that I’m a bit of a foodie, and love love love trying new restaurants and coffee shops, this might be a fun way to do what I love and get paid to do it.  So what do I need to do to become an official critic?  Do I need a culinary background?  Or just do a blind tasting test of different kinds of milk, like in Napoleon Dynamite?  Ok, so once I’ve proven that I have good taste (and taste buds), then what?  Do I need to start eating out for lunch and dinner every day?  Isn’t that a bit expensive?  I’m already on a budget – is this something that I try to do for free?

Do restaurants or newspapers pay food critics to eat?  This would be ideal!  Although I guess there might be a conflict of interest if the restaurant gave me free food, right?  So maybe I’d have to find a food sponsor…  Any wealthy millionaires out there willing to subsidize my lavish dining habits for a good cause?  Or would I become like Gwyneth Paltrow and unknowingly brag about unattainably expensive eating habits that the average person simply can’t (and shouldn’t) try to aim for: “An afternoon is simply not complete without attending a high tea ceremony at the Ritz and sampling every scone and tea sandwich on the menu.  Your tastebuds will thank you for it, and really, we should all spend at least $500 on teatime daily.  Cleanse your palette, please!”  Maybe I could be a food critic on a budget?  There’s definitely an audience of poor foodies out there, oui?   I can be the anti-Gwyneth: “No meal is complete without air, ice and tapwater.  I simply cannot go to a restaurant that doesn’t oblige.”  Better?  Hm… this kind of column might be an interesting addition to this blog, although I doubt anyone cares to know what I think about restaurants.  We already have Yelp for that…  So basically, for me, being a food critic might just be a hobby.  But I’m not sure I can become a full time food critic without being Gwyneth Paltrified.


Watch out, world! Going to dig up the truth - image via
Watch out, world! Going to dig up the truth – image via

Hello?  Read the headline – nothing but the TRUTH!  I love pursuing the truth!  And there’s nothing more exciting than chasing down a lead to smoke out a dangerous villain or uncover the true location of pirate gold.  While I have kept these pastimes as a hobby, it might be time to put reportage to the forefront of my resume.  I mean, obviously, I could be an investigative reporter in my sleep.  I love taking photos.  I’d like to think I’m devilishly sneaky in terms of catching villains stealing from safety

deposit boxes and other dubious deeds.  Also, it’s a proven fact that redheads make for excellent investigative reporters.  Just think, Tintin, the most successful 2D reporter- a redhead.  I bet Prince Harry is an undercover reporter – he’s charming, has a mischievous twinkle in his eyes and able to get into any gala or party.  Again, he’s a redhead.  Ok, that was my list, a cartoon character and a prince.  You’re sold, right?   Ok, so actually, now that I’m thinking about it … I’m quite shy.  I don’t really like approaching strangers for little things, so would I be terrific at pushing past hoards of angry protesters, and asking pesky & personal questions?  “I know what you did last summer” might be something I dream of telling a big time serial killer, but I somehow doubt that I have the guts or gumption to pull it off.  Fudgecycle on a moped, then investigative reporter is out too.


Heiress to a fortune, like these classy ladies - image via
Heiress to a fortune, like these classy ladies – image via

Ok, ok, so this isn’t a job.  But it could be!   What you need to do in order to become an heiress. 1) Discover that you are in fact the child of a Rockefeller or Jobs, switched at birth by an evil nanny who wanted her cousin’s son to inherit the millions.  Given my propensity for hunting down the truth, and that I’m a lawyer (we build cases based on facts, remember?), obviously this part will be a synch.  However, the tough part, which probably should have been numbered 1) is actually being BORN to a rich family.  Having done some research on the matter, dang it!  I wasn’t.  :(

So now that I’ve gone through all the entertaining career ideas that I might enjoy, what next?  What do I do?!  Back to the grind for me, I guess.

Have you dreamed about glitz and glamour instead of your current job?  What career alternatives have crossed your mind?

Please comment, share your thoughts and let me know what you think.  Please help me keep this a positive forum, though.  I am so excited for some debate, but let’s respect each other please.  I reserve the right to monitor and delete inappropriate posts.  Thanks in advance!

7 thoughts on “Considering Alternative Careers

  1. Keep at it, you’ll find the perfect job for you! I’ve tried and passed on some of these as well (I won’t say which!) And I’ve been contemplating becoming a school teacher…I guess we all have dreams!

    1. I too have contemplated about teaching Natalie! I’m glad we’re not defined by our “doing” but by our “being”.

      1. Thanks Jael! What an inspirational way to view life!

  2. Oh darn! Mira, I was really hoping that your heiress idea would work out. I would have offered to be your personal tiny-dog-carrier or something.

    1. Ha! If I do find that I’m actually related to the Rockerfellers, you’ll be the first to know!

  3. The path to our destiny is not always a straightforward one my love! I think this post is hilarious – but also teaches that we never “arrive” in life – we’re constantly becoming what we were born to do! And you’re doing all the right things – learning and growing to become who you were meant to be!

    1. That’s true – every winding road leads somewhere unexpected. It’s funny, maybe we should change our expectations to stop expecting the straightforward and accept a good old-fashioned challenge?

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