Finding other work
Doing a different job might mean earning less money. Look at your living costs like rent, bills and food, and see if you can reduce any of your spending. This means you can save even a little each week or month. Some people do sex work part-time while they look for work or to supplement their work while they are finding their feet in a new job.
Find out if you are eligible for social welfare or benefits. This can give you an income while you look for work or support if you want to go to college and take a course. Find our more here: https://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/home.aspx
See Education and Training section for advice on education and courses in Ireland
Skills and Interests
Start by writing down your skills, experience, education, and interests. You have more skills than you realise! Sex workers have really strong inter-personal, administration, marketing, budgeting and computer skills.
Here’s some websites with useful quizzes and tools to help you look at what jobs might match your skills and interests.
Prospects Career Planner is really useful tool in looking at your skills and interests. It’s a U.K. website but still useful.
My Next Move
Work Experience and References
Volunteering is a good way to gain new skills, references and build your network. Check out Volunteer Ireland: http://www.volunteer.ie/
Part-time work can be a way of building up some experience, getting a reference and filling a gap in your C.V. Think of jobs like interpreting, temporary administration work, working in a shop, bar or restaurant.
Gaps in your C.V.
This is a big issue for many sex workers who have worked for a number of years in the sex industry. Some people address this by saying they have been a stay at home parent or caring for an elderly or a sick relative. Others ask friends and contacts to act as referees. Once you get your first job you will have a reference and it will be much easier to get the next.
Starting a Small Business
If you want information about setting up a small business in Ireland check out the links below
Supporting SMES: https://www.supportingsmes.ie/BusinessDetails.aspx
Local Enterprise: https://www.localenterprise.ie/Discover-Business-Supports/
Small Business Advice http://smallbusinessadvice.ie/
Looking after yourself
Mental Health and Support
When you are going through change it is important you have support. Looking for work can be exhausting and emotional. You need people you can trust to talk to when things are tough. Don’t forget many other sex workers have gone through the same thing. It can be difficult to learn how to trust and build relationships with people after leading a ‘double life’. Look at opportunities for meeting new people and building a network.
It’s really important to take things slowly and look after yourself. Having a social life is really important. Meet Up.com is a great place to make new friends or try out new groups and hobbies. Short evening courses or classes can be a way to meet people too. Volunteering can give you a chance to learn new skills build your network. Give yourself credit for every small step you make. All change is trial and error, and it will take time.
Some people find counselling and therapy useful when making a change in their life. It can be good to talk to someone who is non-judgemental and supportive. Get in touch with SWAI if you want info about counselling. Email us at [email protected] or call/text us on 085 824 9305.