Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

Craigslist Addict

with 7 comments

Total Black: $751.20
Total Red: $230,772.32

It’s a Friday night and I’ve got nowhere to go.  And in Manhattan either you’re making money or you’re spending money.  And if neither, you’re nobody.

The contract attorney position I’m currently working wants us to work between ten to twelve hours a day.  The earliest we can start is 8am.  The latest 9am.  That is, once the project takes off; we were again at the firm today because the temp agency didn’t have the IT aspect ready yet.  But I digress.   That means, working the least number of hours and starting at the earliest possible, I’d be free by 6:30pm each night (allotting 30 minutes for lunch).  Or I can earn another seventy dollars and get out at 8:30pm.  But either way I gotta find a later night gig.  But first I may need to break my addiction to Craigslist.

It’s true.  I’ve become hooked.  Craigslist is like a treasure hunt.  You never know what you’ll find.  But it’s time to get my butt away from the desk and let my fingers do the walking through somebody else’s pages.  It’s hard though because all of my gigs to date have come through Craigslist.  My first gig was the Recession Art Sale.  I found that opportunity by searching for “lawyer” in the All Gigs database.  The producer of the show had included the word lawyer as an example, one among many, of prospective people affected by the Great Recession who could have been interested in selling art on commission.  After that gig wrapped up I next came across the opportunity to volunteer for New World Stages.  Someone had posted that opportunity to Craigslist.  I followed up on it; then ushered three shows for free.  That led to me inquire about working there and voila—instant job.

Now, however, I’m starting to wonder if Craigslist is letting me down.

I’m not aware of any true competition that Craiglist has.  A friend of mine started  I think he’s on to something.  Not many alternatives to Craigslist out there, if any really.  He just needs to attract more users.  I tried and  Too much garbage to sift through.  The problem I see with these sites is that there really isn’t any true functionality to them.  I guess that’s what you get for free.  For example, searching in All Jobs or All Gigs on Craigslist with the words “evenings” or “nights” doesn’t pull up spot-on results.  Any post that mentions that term will show in the search results and Craigslist isn’t even programmed to produce the plural version in your results so you’d have to search for “night” and then also “nights.”  I want the people posting the jobs to have to also list whether they’re looking for a male or a female (they state that preference already: female bartender required or now hiring go-go boys) but also list the time-frames: full-time versus part-time; late nights; overtime available, and so on.  That way I can search for all the late-night jobs and see if anything tickles my fancy.

Why am I bothering to take up your (and my own) time with this?  I’m feeling antsy with nothing to do.   I’m fighting the urge to just go to Starbucks and read so that I’m not siting on my couch on a Friday night.  I spent at least twenty minutes just now trolling the ‘list looking for a new gig without much luck.  A blind lawyer in Brooklyn Heights is looking for someone to read to him for four hours once a week.  That would net another eighty dollars a week.  But that wouldn’t fill my nights.  I need to find a new way to search for jobs.  Seems Craigslist isn’t coming through any longer.  I need a gig where I can put in about three or four hours a night after 8pm.  Ushering fit nicely there.  So too the CHEST gig I wrote about a few months back.  Bartending too, but I’ve never done it before.

Got any ideas?

7 Responses

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  1. i like your blog, very interesting/insightful. one question- how on earth are you going to pay off 230k in 7 months???


    January 8, 2010 at 22:21

  2. If I knew how, I’d already be out of debt, wouldn’t I? I’m not sure just yet. You’ll just have to keep reading and find out.

    Laid-off Lawyer

    January 8, 2010 at 23:11

  3. the reason i ask is because the goal is profoundly unrealistic/impossible for a person just starting out. In order to pay that off in one year that would mean one would have to throw $630 A DAY at it for an entire year! A goal of 5-10 years is more realistic. I dont know many people that pull in 230K a year after taxes.


    January 9, 2010 at 23:57

  4. But you have to think outside the box. Earning $230,000 (plus living expenses) may not be feasible from one job. But if you have a few jobs, or do some consulting on the side, for example. The colleague I’ve spoken about is going to be getting about $27,000 from work he and I did to register a company with the SEC. I feel like I can do that work now too. (Finding the clients is a separate matter.) Maybe I could also work as a bartender earning good tips in the evenings.

    There’s so many ways to get closer and closer to that goal. Hell–maybe I’ll do a porn film or two and make a few grand per flick. It’s everyone’s dirty little secret, right? Another idea: I got called today about being an extra for movies here in the city. That could be good money. Maybe you’ll toss five or ten dollars my way—perhaps because you enjoy the blog or because you want to see me reach my goal or both. If I got fifty people to do that, or more, I’d be that much closer to debt freedom. Maybe the blog will take off even better than it has and people will pay me to post their ads on my site. Another example: there’s a big blue U on the sidebar on my site. If more people clicked on it and made online purchases through it, at Barnes & Noble for example or Target and so on, then the companies would send a percentage of your purchase back to my Upromise account and that would go directly (not through me) as a payment to SallieMae. If you’re going to buy a book from Barnes & Noble anyway, why not use it, maybe get a discount too, and then help me out at the same time. If enough people used it, my student loans my disappear.

    The sky’s the limit, man, if you just don’t think that money only comes from a job. Money can come from anywhere if you’re open to it.

    Laid-off Lawyer

    January 10, 2010 at 00:03

  5. I would love to see you reach your goal. I’m not trying to bust your balls, it takes courage to air this personal stuff to the world. Speaking from experience, ridding yourself of debt is the best feeling of pure freedom in the world. The point I’m making is that in order to have $230,000 after taxes to pay off this debt that would mean you would have to pull in around $400,000 – $500,000 in just one year. Thats like top 1% of the population numbers…an incredible and highly unlikely feat for a person just starting out.


    January 10, 2010 at 00:20

  6. No worries, JM. I didn’t view it as ball-busting. I’m just open to whatever comes my way. Thanks for the support. Appreciate it.

    Now about that $5 . . .


    Laid-off Lawyer

    January 10, 2010 at 00:24

  7. hahaha honestly $5 here and there is not going to help you. Plus, you are an intelligent grown man who made the conscious decision to take out massive loans, its not like you’re in debt cuz you have a disease or were in an accident. I got into a huge amount of debt a few years ago from my own choices and I relied on no one to help bail me out…I rolled up the sleeves and worked almost constantly for over 2 1/2 years straight doing any and everything you can think of all while living like a bum in an apartment i could only turn around in/take a dump. $25,000 was wiped out and I’m free. Donations from blog readers isnt going to happen, what you need is CHUNKS of money (im talkin giant chunks) that only come from the sweat of the brow and frugal living while mowing down debt. If I can do it anyone can, especially you, you’ve got more brains that I do I could never graduate from law school, I barely graduated high school!


    January 10, 2010 at 22:24

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