Thursday, April 17, 2014

Real Life Is Not As Seen On TV

Dear Tazi:

I am a young adult with absolutely no skills. I did horrible in high school so college is out of the question and I have no job skills. I am not handy in any way, shape, or form and have never had a job. I live with my parents who have told me that I need to get a job or else they are going to cut me off financially. I like playing video games, but no place is hiring a video game tester (I looked); not even the local arcade. My father works for a newspaper and I was hoping he could get me a job as a movie or video game critic, but he just looked at me like I was crazy when I asked him that and told me that you needed to be a journalist to get a job like that.

I was watching some reruns of King of Queens when I heard the dog walker on the show mention how much money a dog walker can make in one week. The job seems pretty easy, and I like dogs, it just seems like a lot of walking but I suppose I could take a rest once I reached the dog park and let the dogs run free before taking them home again. Do you think this would be a good idea for a job? I want to hang up some flyers and get a few clients before I tell my parents, because I don’t want them to laugh at my idea. Do you think this is a good idea?


Dear Unemployed:

I am happy to hear that you have found your motivation, but are you fully aware of all the responsibilities that go into being a professional dog walker? It is more than just dropping the animals off at the dog park for a run and then bringing them home again. There are issues of licensing and insurance – you cannot get one without the other – that will indemnify you if a dog under your care is injured or injures another, be it a human or another animal.

A professional dog walker must also work with scheduling of clients – you can only walk so many dogs at once and only certain dogs together. If two dogs do not get along they must be walked at different times. Additionally, there is the matter of bookkeeping and customer accounts. When you run your own business you are responsible for keeping track of and paying all of your expenses, from charging the correct customer for doggie treats to paying your own social security and Medicare taxes.

As easy as it sounds, being self-employed is often much more difficult than working for somebody else. I strongly suggest that you pick up the phone book and look for a social services agency that provides career counseling and job placement. If you think employers are going to knock on your door to offer you work based upon your video gaming skills, you are sadly mistaken – and your father is correct, in regard to the need for professional training or a degree in journalism to work as a product reviewer. Do not fall for those easy-money Internet schemes that promise otherwise; they will only cost you money that you do not have to spend.

I wish you the best of luck in finding a job and some sort of career interest, because it sounds like you are in dire need of it. Please write me back in a few months to let me know how things are turning out for you!


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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