A Deep Bench

COMPUTER GEEK Don’t panic when your PC is on the fritz.

Because training and credentials for computer troubleshooters vary so much, your best bet is a referral from a friend who has used one successfully. When you call a firm, the technician should be able to give you a quote for remote help, whether by the hour (rates are typically around $100 per hour) or for a specific service. House calls cost extra. If you don’t have a referral, check out Best Buy’s Geek Squad or Geeks On Call. Geek Squad offers wireless networking help starting at $90 online or in-home.

CAREER COACH You may need a pro’s touch to get noticed.

If no one is responding to your résumé, or you land interviews but not offers, you may want to enlist the help of a career coach or counselor. There is a difference between the two—anyone can be a coach; counselors must be licensed—but either may be able to aid in your quest. The best way to find one is through a referral from a satisfied customer, but you can also start by searching through the National Career Development Association or the International Coach Federation. Liz Ryan, founder of career coaching service AskLizRyan (and a Kiplinger.com columnist), recommends interviewing prospective coaches and asking for examples of how they helped someone in your shoes. Counselors and coaches typically charge about $100 an hour, or they may offer a la carte pricing—say, $300 for a résumé.


GERIATRIC CARE MANAGER Get help with health care.

Whether you are a retiree with a few health issues or you have aging parents who need a hand with their health care, a geriatric care manager can help. Care managers assess needs as you (or family members) age, identify resources in your community and create care plans. Start your search with the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers. Using the Find a Care Manager tool, you can narrow the list by credentials—for example, a certified GCM, licensed clinical social worker or registered nurse—and areas of practice, such as guidance for adults with disabilities or home care. An initial consultation typically costs $100 to $200 but may be as much as $500. Ongoing care runs $75 to $150 an hour, depending on your location.

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZER Finally, order from chaos.

From a messy closet to unorganized digital photos to piles of paper, professional organizers can help you put your life in order. Start your search with the National Association of Professional Organizers. Look for a certified professional organizer (CPO) with a Golden Circle designation—these pros have completed training and exams to get certified, and the Golden Circle means they’ve been in the business for more than five years. Experienced organizers will likely be able to move faster than someone who is new to the business. Hourly rates run from about $50 to $150 an hour.