Need help finding direction, corporate job is killing me


#1

Hi everyone,

I’m really improvising here, but I thought I’d get on and ask if anyone knows of any jobs/apprenticeships that may be available to me that are focused on old, ancient, or even primitive skills. This could be in the form of an industry- “Hey, I think you should look into woodworking/timber framing. I hear a lot of those craftspeople work within longstanding traditions and it’s a lot more sustainable/wild/masculine than your cubicle job.” Or, it could be a specific job, like, “I worked at a primitive skills school in so and so town and they have great entry-level positions.” Anything you could open my eyes to would be much appreciated!

A little about me: I’m currently working my twenty-first month at a healthcare administration office in Northwest Oregon. The first year was great because it was good money and I had some pressing health issues (Lyme disease, it turned out) that I absolutely needed to throw cash at until resolved. The second year so far has been hell on ice…literally, my office is freezing cold. But that’s not the problem. It’s just, unnatural- to not move, to not think, to be alone with your thoughts all day without the ability to joke, express yourself, move, stretch very much, or do anything besides click click click click. Needless to say, I’m VERY motivated to leave my job. But I want to walk away calmly, not make any rash decisions and get myself into financial trouble.

So, does anything come up for you? I’m 24, fit as I can be while working a sedentary job, and ready to really challenge myself, go deep, be a survivor, and do some shadow work in order to evolve! I’m looking for skills, a job, a change in consciousness, and also a tribe. I would love a big great tribe (and some mentors, too)!

Best,
Kyle
626 818 2780


#2

Hey Kyle, nice to meet you. (my first post on this site) To start I’ll let you know that I am a fellow Oregonian -4th generation. What a beautiful state for nature lovers, ya?? There always seems to be a new magical place yet to be discovered. However, after many years living in many different geographic locations (mostly in my vehicle) I am relocating to NW Montana. Here’s why, as it may be of interest to you. If you have ever visited NW MT. you have probably gone there to visit Glacier National Park on your agenda. But let me tell you, the Flathead Valley just w.of the park is largely an undiscovered gem. (Whitefish / Kalispell area). From the description of your post there are 3 main reasons why relocating to NW. MT. might be attractive to you.

  1. When I was there this Aug. / Sept. there was a plethora of jobs available. More help wanted signs than I have ever seen. Low wage jobs can be a blessing in disguise. They are often low stress, fun and easy to acquire and leave. This allows you freedom you need to pursuit what your real interests are.
  2. Much of the area is wild and scenic forest, lakes, rivers and mountains- in every direction. Unparalleled picturesque grandeur that remain pristine ecosystems.
  3. This isn’t typical wilderness either because the local municipalities and community are very supportive and encourage a ‘rewilding’ lifestyle. For instance, you can legally camp in any of the local Nat. forests for up to 16 days for free, it doesn’t have to be at a campground. There is no zoning or covenants in the area I am moving to, Columbia Falls area, which means if you purchase a plot of land you can develop it as you like-without worrying about extraneous building permits and codes. This gives you full freedom to go off the grid if you like and receive the appreciated property value the land developments you made should you choose to sell. (There are only two other places in the continental U.S. that know of where this is possible. -SW TX. and N. ID.) Also there are tons of jobs in the recreational industry that support building a skill set. Working at the ski resort in Whitefish is popular among younger travelers. Little things make it special, like obtaining a permit to harvest firewood at the ranger station is super generous and cheap. And different community environmental programs including some amazing farmers markets almost every day of the week.
    One trade you might consider that is region specific to MT. and was recommended to me by a master carpenter is specializing in the ‘chinking’ of log homes for custom finish carpenters. (That is the grout in between the logs.) They also need to be recoated with an outdoor stain periodically. There is next to no competition here. Hardly any overhead and starting pay is excellent. (Acquiring the experience necessary may be a bit of a challenge but totally doable.)
    All in all, I am very impressed with this area and it’s potential to develop a strong rewilding community. I am hoping to start a homestead and practice permaculture-selling to the local farmers markets. My recommendation to you is check out the area if you want to relocate at all as it has loads of potential and the economy is vibrant and strong. As they say, a change of environment creates opportunity.

#3

Hi Barefootsage, thank you for the awesome reply. I totally agree with you that a change of environment creates opportunity and so much more! I’m wondering, how did you go about choosing this area, and what’s your professional background? Coincidentally, I’ve actually spent some time in Montana near Flathead Lake, backpacking in the Bob Marshall wilderness near the Canadian border, and even did a few days of skiing in Whitefish. I agree that it’s super nice, as long as you’re ok with snowy winters. Even then, if near Flathead Lake, you get the climate buffering effect from that body of water. Where are you from, originally? I just re-listened to Daniel Vitalis’ podcast with Joel Skouzen on Strategic Relocation, and while it’s good to have more criteria to base moving decisions on, that same number of criteria make it infinitely more difficult to make that decision. It’s kind of like deciding to do a big project in one weekend or in 6 months. With a little luck you could do it in one weekend, but for me, the longer-route usually ends up taking infinitely more time and thus I never finish long term plans. At the same time, I’m listening to DV’s episode with Arthur Haines about why we need community, and that reality is setting in for me, too. I can get infinitely better at running my own life, but to become nourished by the silken energy net of community entanglement is something I need to search for, embrace, and build. Easier said than done, as Arthur makes the point that most of us have never experienced true community before.

Right now I’m looking for places to live in Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and maybe Colorado. It’s tempting to look at all the western states, but I feel like I’m already accustomed to and geared up for the types of winters we get here in northwestern Oregon (btw, I do second your view that Oregon is among the most beautiful places in the U.S.- at least that I’ve visited.) Part of my struggle is that I never fit into the educational system, even though I went to good schools. As a result, I have a bachelor’s degree from a decent school but never got grades and never excelled in any particular area. Thus, I can’t really pursue a definite career in these different geographic locations, something which is both liberating and dampening at the same time. Thank you for telling me about chinking, as it’s something I never would have known about without growing up in that local economy or knowing someone (like you) who knew about it. I’m feeling pretty low energy about making this move happen right now, to tell the truth, but maybe it’s just Friday night after a long week :wink:. I’ll get more energy to press onwards this weekend. As a bonus, I just learned my rent is going up by 200 dollars in February ($100 for my portion), but, typically, my income will not be increasing to match…all the more reason to leave (the cost/benefit analysis just got skewed towards cost).


#4

Willing Workers on Organic Farms is cool from what I have seen. You make zero $, so if you need $ (for your Lyme disease?) you might not want to make that choice. They have farms all over planet earth. http://wwoof.net/

Best of luck with your transition.


#5

Kdietrich,

Found your post very transparent and heart warming. Irony is, I have a very similar post up in another forum. About me: 26 year old young professional male. Sales is my jam and I thoroughly enjoy it. Manipulating people into buying things they don’t need sounds just as bone chilling as your work environment (pun intended). Community is the song my heart sings. Never thought I would have such a hard time crashing into that or mentorship within the realms of the rewilding culture. I’ve looked at wwoofing which was suggested by the last commenter. Very cool idea if you’re interested in the nomadic application of an archaic life. Personally, I love traveling. However, I have a burning desire to learn how to truly establish a homestead from scratch. Also, I’ve never been hunting but I’ve gotta pick up a bow before my last breath.

I live in southwest Florida. I have a small house here with a nice chunk of equity that I’m convinced I should cash in to move into the next part of my life’s rewilding. I love the information that was exchanged regarding Montana. Smallest population in the US and sounds very nice. I’d love to connect with you and hear more about your journey thus far. If nothing else, distant friends for encouragement. I don’t have many, having grown up in a very ritzy western experience. Looking forward to more dialogue with you. You have my vote on community.

Peace


#6

Concerning whitefish, there is a very high amount of white supremacist activity for such a small town (see below):
Whitefish, others push back against white supremacists
Love Lives In Whitefish, Montana, But So Do Neo-Nazis There are many more links, just google whitefish + white supremacists.

To be fair, there is much nazi/white supremacist activity in Portland and the entirety of Oregon but Whitefish is (also) a flash point. For those in Whitefish (or those who will be there), please, I implore you: come to the defense of your neighbors that need assistance against neo-nazi’s. I apologies if this post seems as being off topic but the many of the values in rewilding must come into play in this topic.

Please know I’m not discouraging anything about Whitefish, it’s a beautiful place and doesn’t deserve this controversy but when people are fighting actual nazi’s, we all need to stand together.

Good luck with your journey!


#7

I’ve been dealing with the same type of unease for at least 15 years, coming from a machining & measurement background, trapped in companies where mass production is all that really matters. I’ve been breathing too much impure air at my latest job and it seems like a sign to leave.

The problem is that this growthist system generally only pays well enough (to live within it) if you’re part of that whole production scheme in some way, or you’re a teacher, author (successful, that is), or intense people-person activist (not my style). The system treats destruction + consumption as “production” (e.g. fossil fuels and logging) so it’s hard to escape those tentacles if you’re trying to do the opposite!

I’ve looked into Green aka Clean Energy jobs, but I’d rather not injure myself installing solar panels on roofs (pushing mid-50s) and I detest wind turbines for their hypocritical landscape damage and lethality to birds and bats. Solar keeps coming back as the best option if there’s an avenue into it that isn’t overly physical, at least in terms of kneeling and being in cramped positions for too long. Some solar jobs pay a pittance, like the manufacture of cells and frames, with workers stuck in tedious cleanroom suits.

My research indicates there’s not a ton of money in planet-friendly work unless you’ve got a specialized degree, but those jobs tend to involve a lot of paperwork and politics vs. primal interfacing with nature. You can get a certificate and be an environmental sampler or field tech but those jobs also involve greenwashing and compromised morals. A lot of “environmental” work is merely mitigating damage from construction projects and helping to destroy nature in a milder way, so people with strong ethics might be torn. The wind power business is the epitome of that.

The recycling business only pays well if you’re well above the level of a line sorter; typically some sort of manager.

Not sure what to add, but something unexpected and fitting might come along if you’re persistent. That’s my plan.


#8

Hi all, reading through all your messages I got curious if any of you have made some kind of switch already and if so, in what respect.
Also I wondered if any of you have looked into opportunities offered through the Caretaker Gazette.


#9

For a “new” better job, try checking out calearth.org and invest in learning how to build with super-adobe aka earthbag building. You can build your own home and there is a growing trend for homebuilding; it’s much more holistic/non-toxic (emotionally and materially) than conventional building. I recently hired a crew to finish my dome near Los Angeles and their fee was $125 per day each which was affordable for me and they were faster than we could build. Also, this crew of 4 has been doing ONLY dome building for the last year and they have all been able to support themselves. There are groups of alumni from Cal Earth all over the states and the world and I foresee a need for crews and leads emerging as more people are interested in this type of housing but lack the ability or skill or even want to be owner builders like some of us. I am trying to get my 27 year old son into this field as well. Especially in places like the tornado belt where these homes are virtually indestructible. The domes need to be a bit different in colder climates but it has been done and the alumni of CE are great resources. Good luck!!


#10

Those are what I’d call beautiful houses. They are reminiscent of Southwestern adobe houses. They should be quite good for northern climates as well, especially with a fire pit in the middle and/or thermal solar heating and windcatcher cooling

(research Wikipedia for that). These houses are similar to pit houses in concept–and could be built as such, I suppose. Of course, Government’s building codes might be used by the established building industry to declare war on whoever attempts to build these in especially corrupt jurisdictions. That’ll just be another front in that war, however.


#11

Yes, they are gorgeous! During my training I heard about a build in Montreal that the dept. of health and safety was unable to let the owners live in because in the winter they couldn’t heat it about 25 degrees (F). However, I am sure that a year later they have solved the problem. There are many ways to creatively insulate for colder climates. Here is a pic of our 12’ dome so far:


#12

I like these. So, are they made from bags of dirt? If so, I’d think they are quite insulated as is.


#13

Yes, it is earth and water and sometimes depending on the soil content you add maybe 10% cement. Without cement it is straight up adobe. And what adobe does is pull humidity in and then release it. Also it sucks up from the ground into the walls so if it’s very cold it sucks the cold in and can’t release it and you can’t get the warmth to stay in. That’s not a great explanation because since I was building in a warm climate I didn’t really pay that much attention, but that’s the gist of it.


#14

Ah, the cave effect. I guess I’m thinking more of stone or fired clay being more “insulated” from so much of the outside temperature–though still needing some heat, Man or Woman-made or solar thermal, to make it warmer than outside.