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Need job suggestions (for a character)

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I have the plot-related roles the jobs should play, but nearly all my career knowledge lies in academia, and I'm not even sure which questions I should be asking. I need an adult character to change jobs, from some kind of skilled/educated firm (in S. California, if that matters) to something the school board (or someone with knowledge of school events) would hire someone to do (again, a "real" job--not just something janitorial). The reason for him leaving the first job is for blowing the whistle on illegal activities his boss was involved in. The reason for getting the second one is that the hirers specifically WANT someone ethical in this position. Is anyone here on a school board? Have any ideas of what kind of job or jobs would fit into this slot? I'm trying to google for ideas (per the instructions on this board), but I don't even know what questions to be asking. The guy can change careers in the process--but there do need to be some transferable skills in there, too.

Er--in exchange, I can tell you all about working for universities??
#1 - January 09, 2013, 12:20 PM

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Does the character have to be hired by a school board? Could he or she be a city planner? If not, how about a new superintendent or principal?

Sorry--that's all I got. I'm an academic, too.
#2 - January 09, 2013, 02:36 PM
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I know where your character could work when he blows the whistle. You might need to change the names to protect the innocent: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/california-politics/2013/01/california-parks-intentionally-hid-money-investigation.html
#3 - January 09, 2013, 02:56 PM

If you're talking private school or university, how about director of development? It's a nice way of saying brings in the bucks and since there's a lot of money involved ethics are definitely necessary.
#4 - January 09, 2013, 03:13 PM

School boards typically only hire superintendents. They do have final approval over teacher tenure in my county, and approval over incoming staff, but they don't do the hiring.

A test administrator in a county office (in charge of all testing) might be someone that strong ethics would be a good quality for, but I can't imagine a non-educator getting this job.
#5 - January 09, 2013, 04:40 PM
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Adam, it's always amazing the kinds of financial scandals that happen. I can see the park people wanting to hold on to money to use for a rainy day--but if they're still closing the parks, what exactly are they going to do with that money, then? Messy...

Okay, so jobs that require someone to handle large amounts of money would be something you'd want a very ethical employee. That's a good restriction/qualification to put on the job. He's not really an educator, so I don't see him being hired as superintendent. His previous job fiasco would have made the news, definitely. The thing that brings him in contact with the schools is that his child speaks up (to school officials regarding an event that is school-related) in a situation that echoes what he did--so people figure that if he's passing this along to his kids, he's serious about his ethics. I suppose someone close to someone in the school situation might hear of the school event and remember the dad and be interested in him as a potential employee.

Hm. Thinking sideways here.
#6 - January 09, 2013, 08:50 PM

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Maybe he could be hired as a liaison officer of some sort. Schools are notorious for only hiring from within their own academic circles (at least where I live), but if the school district needed someone as a liaison between the school district and the community or between the district office and campus employees or between principals and teachers, they might look outside their own community.
#7 - January 09, 2013, 11:29 PM

Maybe the school system got some kind of building facilities grant for turning all their schools green. Maybe Dad used to work in some type of related field or was an engineer? School district hires him to oversee the work? In real life this would probably be a project-length job but after a couple of years then they might move him within the system to a different admin. position.
#8 - January 10, 2013, 02:34 AM
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He could be head of the maintenance department. This department oversees all the repairs of buildings and they have a fleet of maintenance staff with stocked vans traveling to each school.  Maintenance handles electrical, plumbing, furniture pick up and repair, floors, ceilings, etc. in all the schools. Major repairs and constructing are hired out to the small businesses in the cities. I'm betting this head person is working within a huge tax funded budget.
#9 - January 10, 2013, 03:00 AM
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This job might work (It's from our school system website here in Jefferson City, MO): "The Business Services is responsible for administration and coordination of financial services of the school district involving financial planning, budgeting, investments, purchasing, accounting, payroll and employee benefits services."
#10 - January 10, 2013, 06:29 AM

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You know what? I think you could hire him for whatever you think works best in the story. Sometimes it only takes one or two people to champion a particular hire, so if your character was hired over the objections of other people, dealing with the complaints of others could add another layer to your story.

Laurel  :tracks:
#11 - January 10, 2013, 08:46 AM

The first thing I thought of when you said they wanted to be sure to hire someone ethical was head of security.  Which is a bit sad when I think of hiring in a school system! 
#12 - January 10, 2013, 10:03 AM

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