(dup) A Different Kind of Job for a Different Kind of Caregiver
If you’ve worked as a caregiver, you’re probably used to a certain type of job.
Maybe you’re working in a hospital, running back and forth between patients, giving baths, cleaning up messes, and so on. Or maybe you’re used to working in a nursing facility or homecare, caring for the elderly and disabled, doing your best to increase their quality of life and make them as comfortable and healthy as you can. Or perhaps you’ve worked as a nanny, chasing after wiggly, mischievous children all day.
Well, this job is none of those things, but it’s a tiny bit similar to all of them.
You see, I’m rather odd. I have such an advanced case of muscular dystrophy that I can move nothing but my face, and yet I’m the CEO of a magazine, my work has reached over 200 million people, and I’m one of the world’s highest paid public speakers. Unlike most disabled people who are on Medicaid, I’m actually a multimillionaire with a staff of caregivers I pay for out-of-pocket.
How is all this possible?
The simplest explanation: I’m a genius. It’s both a gift and a curse, and I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t admit working with me is a little unusual.
A Glimpse into My Strange Life
One day, I might decide I want to go out and look at new condominiums or houses, get fitted for a new suit, or sample a gourmet restaurant. You’ll need to keep up with me and be dressed for the part.
Another day, I might be totally engrossed in my work and hardly say a word to you. You’ll need to check around to make sure I have food prepared, clean clothes, and everything else I need without any prompting from me.
Another day, we board a plane to San Diego for a speaking event where I will appear on stage in front of 7,000 people. After that, maybe we hop down to Puerta Vallarta for a little rest and relaxation.
Another day, I might decide to tear apart and rebuild a computer, test out motion sensing eyebrow switches, or research the amperage and wattage of my wheelchair battery so I can turn it into a mobile charging station. You’ll need to follow my directions, probably scared to death the entire time of blowing something up.
(Sidenote: I’ve never blown anything up. All my past caregivers are alive and well, none of them missing any arms or limbs, although many have quite a few entertaining stories.)
The bottom line?
This is a very unusual job. The best way I know to describe it:
I’m Sherlock Holmes, and You are Watson
I’m brilliant, demanding, and will probably ask you to do things that will scare you. At the same time, I’m fiercely loyal, I’ll make you laugh until you cry, and my antics will give you a never-ending supply of stories to tell your friends and relatives.
Of course, not everything is the same. I’m in a wheelchair, and I have no desire to chase super villains. Not yet, anyway.
I’m also a lot more polite than your typical Sherlock Holmes. While I can be difficult, I’m rarely rude, obnoxious, or vulgar. On the contrary, I’m one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.
I guess that’s one reason why most of my caregivers stay with me for years. Of the two with me currently, one has worked with me for three years and another for over a year. Prior to them, I had one CNA stay with me for 16 years before retiring to play with his grandkids.
So, I’m well accustomed to working with Watsons. You won’t be the first.
And there’s one really important lesson I should tell you:
No One Is Qualified for This Job.
Reading through this, you might be thinking…
“I’ve never done anything like this. He would never hire me.”
But you’re wrong. Here’s why: No one has done anything like this. There is no possible way for you to be totally prepared for this job.
However, here are some experiences that I’ve found are at least a little bit helpful:
- Working in-home care either privately or through an agency
- Other hands-on positions in hospitals or doctors offices, such as certain types of medical or technical assistants
- Working as a nanny for a wealthy family
- Personal trainers, physical or occupational therapists, or masseuses
Over the years, I’ve hired caregivers with all of those backgrounds and and seen them succeed. The emphasis: hands on experience caring for and helping other people.
Because a big part of what I need. I need help eating, bathing, positioning,and going to the bathroom.
If you’re used to doing those tasks, I can teach you the rest. Assuming you’re the right fit, of course.
The People Who Work Best with Me Are…
Over the years, I’ve noticed my best caregivers have a collection of traits:
- Pleasant. Let’s face it, we’re going to be spending a lot of time together. If you’re in a bad mood, you can’t get away from me, and I can’t get away from you. So, in general, you need to have a pretty sunny disposition.
- Capable. Some of the things I do like travel, public speaking, and networking with celebrities can make anybody nervous, and that’s fine. The question is, how do you handle it? If you get overwhelmed, confused, or lose the ability to function, you’ll be of no help to me, and that’s a problem.
- Smart. No, you don’t have to be a genius, but you should be able to solve problems on your own, pick up new skills, and communicate with me and other team members like a professional.
- Dependable. With a staff of people working with me around the clock, schedules are really important. You’ll need to be on time and plan your days off in advance,
- Youthful. Not bouncing off the walls, but you need to be in pretty good health and have a decent amount of stamina just to keep up with me. You also need to be relatively current with technology, not lagging behind.
- Clean with a high attention to detail. We all have different standards when it comes to cleanliness, so here’s mine: no crumbs on the counter, no dirty dishes, clothes folded neatly, and you wash your hands throughout the day. I don’t think I’m a freak about it, but I’ve had some messy caregivers, and it bothers me,
- Good at following recipes. I’m a bit of a foodie, and I have over 100 recipes that asked my caregivers to prepare. Nothing extreme, but if you’ve ever cooked from a recipe, you know it takes some skill. The tiny details matter, even when you’re making a relatively simple dish.
- Capable of being quiet. This is one of those personal things I’ve learned about myself over the years. It’s good if you’re friendly and articulate, but there’s a difference between that and being a person who can’t shut up. I tend to get irritated with the latter.
- Open-minded. Not only am I a bit unusual, but many of my friends are also fairly… colorful. Nothing dangerous, but if you’re offended by the occasional curse word, lewd joke, person smoking a joint, or the beliefs of different religions, you’ll be very uncomfortable working with me.
A Short, Incomplete List of Your Responsibilities
- Assist with bathing, personal hygiene, using the restroom, and other private details. I have hoists and other equipment. No lifting required.
- Travel with me for speaking engagements and vacations. Most of this will be in the US, but not all of it. You’ll need to be passport ready.
- If you’re working an overnight shift, get up when I call to help me reposition in bed, go to the bathroom, or whatever I need.
- Drive me to where I need to go without killing us. I have a minivan with an automatic ramp and tie downs where the passenger seat normally goes. Just to warn you, I don’t like my driver to be reckless, but you can’t be a slow poke either. You also need to be experienced in navigating cities using a GPS.
- Learn about my medications, give me the right ones at the right times, refill them well before running out. I’ll never remember. You’re on your own.
- Stretch my hands, arms, and legs. Sitting all the time, I can get quite sore, and it helps to do a bit of stretching every day. I’ll have one of my other caregivers show you how.
- Cooking. As I mentioned earlier, I love food, and so you should be prepared to cook on occasion.
- Remind me to drink water throughout the day. I get so wrapped up in what I’m doing I often forget and get dehydrated.
- Wash, iron, and organize my wardrobe. There’s nothing too extravagant or hard to take care of. Just a matter of doing laundry, mostly.
- Operate my cell phone. I can’t move my hands, so I’ll need you to help me respond to texts, check my calendar, and take passible photos and videos. You don’t have to be an amazing photographer, but if you can’t take a good picture to save your life, that’s a problem.
In general, though?
Be my hands and feet.
Because I’m unable to move, I’ll ask you to do anything I would normally do myself. And because I’m an eccentric genius, you never know exactly what that’s going to be.
My caregivers have helped me build computers from scratch, drive across the United States (twice), use chemistry to test the caffeine content of sodas, speak in front of thousands of people, and cook rocket fuel on the kitchen stove.
For the record, that last one was a bad idea, but I was a teenager. I’ve wised up since then.
Or maybe not.
How Much Do You Get Paid for This Insanity?
The starting pay is $40,000 per year. You’ll also get two weeks of paid vacation, one week of sick time, and I’ll pay for lots of your meals and other expenses when we’re together.
Just to put it in perspective…
- If I decide to go to a gourmet restaurant, your meal is on me.
- If I decide to go on vacation, your airfare, lodgings, and other expenses are on me.
- If either of us decides to move on, chances are you will be offered amazing opportunities. One of my past caregivers became the personal assistant to Tony Robbins, for example.
Not to imply I’m cheap. Over time, I’m open to giving you raises and/or more time off. Assuming you’re a great fit, of course.
Remember though, this isn’t a giant corporation with an unlimited budget. I spend $150,000 per year on healthcare, and while I’m a wealthy guy, that still represents a huge percentage of my income. I’m happy to be generous when possible, but I also like to save a little money for the future, you know?
That being said, here’s a fact I’m proud of:
Nobody has ever quit working for me because I didn’t pay them enough. Not once. In fact, most people who work with me stay for years and say it is the greatest experience of their life.
And while I’m frugal, I’m also completely dependable. Payroll is handled through my company, and we’ve never had any financial trouble in over a decade. I think that stability counts for something.
The bottom line:
This isn’t a job you take because you want to get rich. It’s a job you take because it’s a truly special, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
What Are the Hours?
3-4 day or evening shifts, plus a couple of overnights. And yes, I realize that’s super vague, but here’s why:
My caregivers work as a team to cover me 24 hours a day. If somebody has a doctors appointment or vacation, everyone has to adjust. If I need to go on a trip, again, everyone has to adjust.
Translation: you need to be flexible.
Now, before you get worried, let me also say you are NOT “on call” 24 hours a day. You will have normal hours, you will have time off, and you will NOT have to worry about me calling you at 2 AM in the morning with an emergency.
In general, scheduling changes are made at least two weeks in advance (often more). We talk about it as a team. If you need time off, other members of the team will also be there to cover you. It’s a two-way street.
That being said, I realize not everyone has that kind of flexibility. That’s one reason this job pays about double the industry average.
But it’s not for everyone. If you’re tied down with a ton of responsibilities, you probably shouldn’t apply.
On the other hand, if you do have some flexibility, and you don’t mind the occasional change of pace, I think you’ll be fine with it. Especially when you’re getting paid to accompany me to Mexico, Europe, or wherever else I want to go. 🙂
The Hiring Process: 5 Steps to Getting the Job
Here’s what to expect:
- Submit Your Application: After reading through everything on this site, head over to the application and fill it out. I’ll ask you a bunch of pointed questions, and by the time you’re finished answering, you’ll probably know whether this job is a good fit for you or not.
- You’ll have a quick phone interview with my executive assistant. After talking with you for 15 minutes or so, she’ll say yes or no.
- In-Person Interview: If she says yes, we’ll then schedule a time to come hang out in person. Don’t worry, this won’t be a stodgy old-style interview where I ask you about your favorite colors and whatnot. Mostly, I just want to get to know you.
- Tryouts: By this point, I’ll have narrowed down to probably 3-5 applicants, and I’ll want to work with each of you for a day or two. You’ll come in and spend the entire day with me, doing all the work you would if you get the job. I’ll pay you for the day, of course.
- Background Check: Here, I’ll make the final decision on who to hire, and if I choose you, I’ll let you know and we’ll start the background check process. I’ll talk to your past employers, go through your driving record, verify you have no criminal history anywhere in the world, and in general, do an extremely thorough background check.
Ready to Submit Your Application?
When you click the button below, you’ll be taken to the application. It’s 27 questions and will probably take you 15-30 minutes to complete.
Jenny will look over the application and send you an email letting you know if you made it to the next stage of the process.
To start your application, click the button below: