Stopping is not the same to everybody. Some people just do it, and switch to something else. To other people it may be an event with lots of consequences. The option of stopping sex work may be obvious to you or on the other hand you may think  that there are both positive and negative aspects in your specific situation. Your income and your living conditions may suffer, or you may need help in finding another job.

Positive and negative aspects

Each person is different. There are many reasons to start work as a sex worker. There may also be many reasons to stop. If you have a growing aversion to sex work, it may outweigh the negative consequences of stopping.

In any case you should think about what it would mean to you. What possible consequences are to be expected? How are you going to handle them? Can you do it? The following positive and negative consequences may help you decide.

Positive aspects of stopping may be:

  • you need not do this work anymore.
  • there is no need of being secretive about it anymore.
  • maybe you will acquire a better rhythm of sleep and wake
  • time and opportunity for personal growth in other fields.

Negative aspects of stopping may be:

  • (Temporarily) a lower income
  • You cannot choose your own hours when you are not self-employed
  • You will be out of touch with fellow-sex workers and clients

These are only examples of aspects you could think of. You may have other things in mind. If you are not sure whether to stop or not, draw up a list of positive and negative aspects.

Trying to find other work

If you want to quit sex work and look for a different job, you can talk to one of our social workers at P&G292. Together, you can find answers to questions such as ‘What can I do?’ and ‘What do I want to do?’. The first phase helps you turn your goal, finding a different job, into more concrete actions. What kind of work would you like to do? Where do you see yourself in the future? The next step is deciding what is needed to ultimately find your new job. Perhaps you need to expand your education or gain work experience elsewhere.

Do you want to know if you are entitled to social benefits (‘bijstand’) during this process? Check out our website page: social benefits. If you need help applying for ‘bijstand’, contact a social worker at P&G292.

If you receive benefits, DWI will look at the best way to help you find a job, or at least how to improve your odds of doing so. DWI offers a reintegration program to help you with this. This program consists of focused training and workshops that will help you take steps towards employment. Goals include finding a daily routine and researching possibilities for education, work and or exploratory internships.

Even if you are not entitled to benefits (a so-called ‘NUGger’), you may be eligible for this program if you meet certain conditions. So, if you do not receive benefits but you are interested in this program, available for two days between 10.00 and 16.00, please contact P&G292.

Curriculum Vitae

A curriculum vitae (CV) shows a potential employer what your work experience is like and is required for job applications. One of the challenges when looking for other work is how to deal with the gap in your CV. Unfortunately, the reality is that being honest about your work as a sex worker will negatively influence the rest of your career. It is crucial to frame your work in a more ‘creative’ way. Our social workers can help you with this.

Here is some advice for you when writing your CV:

  • Make sure your CV is no longer than two A4 sized sheets;
  • Write or type on only one side of the paper;
  • Make sure the CV is structured;
  • Do not use acronyms;
  • Prevent typos and/or spelling errors – have someone else check your CV;
  • Do not use full sentences, but use bullet points instead;
  • Avoid professional terms (jargon);
  • During an interview, you will be asked about what you wrote in your CV, so do not be modest but also do not exaggerate;
  • Use a business-like email address, instead of things like partyanimal@hotmail.com.

There are a lot of different types of CVs. The most common one is the chronological CV, in which you show your work experience and education in reverse chronological order (write the most recent experience first). You could also create a skills CV. This is a good choice if you have a ‘gap’ in your career. This type of CV contains your experiences, achievements, knowledge, roles and work experience. You can find a lot of example CVs and application letters online to help you with your own.

Housing

What if you cannot pay your rent and you are not entitled to get an allowance?. When your place of work is your home address and you are forced to leave when you stop as a sex worker, you will have to find somewhere to live.

Now you should be both realistic and creative. You should also realize that your future home may fall short of meeting your standards.

Finding a dwelling place in Amsterdam at a reasonable price is quite difficult. It is a popular city and the waiting list for tenement houses for low-income people is long (a minimum of 7-8 years). Only very rarely an application for an urgent procedure is granted.

What can you do?

Try to find a house outside your preferred area, in a different town. Extend your search to less popular towns; it may be easier to find something. As a rule: the farther away from cities, the better are the chances of success.

Ask people you know if you could (temporarily) stay with them. Very good if it is free, but if not they will agree more readily when you offer compensation.

You should realize that people may hesitate to take in a flat mate as they fear losing their allowance. This may mean  a monthly cut of €300 to them.  Maybe you could agree to compensate their allowance.

Spread the news that you are in urgent need of a place to live. The more people know about it the better your chances.

Search the internet. Check ‘Marktplaats’ and other websites. Pay a lot of attention to your response to an advert. Be prepared to receive a phone call and think of how you are going to respond, or write a careful email. First impressions count.

If you are not successful, all efforts are failing, you might be entitled to temporary housing. For more information contact us [link]. We can provide advice in regard to your personal situation, refer you to our own facilities and support your request.

Housing benefit

You might be eligible for a housing benefit. When you live in a rented house and the rent is less than the limit agreed upon, you may be entitled to a benefit, if you are on a low income. The benefit depends on the rent, your income, your age and your personal circumstances. You are not entitled to receive a housing benefit when you own too much money.

There is a possibility that you were not eligible for a housing benefit in the past, but if your income has decreased, for instance because you are no longer working as a sex worker, you may now be entitled to get a benefit. Check the conditions.

Would you like to know if you are eligible for housing benefit and would you like help? Contact us

In urgent need of housing

Do you live in Amsterdam and you cannot stay in your present home because of a serious medical or social problem? Perhaps your application for the urgent procedure is granted. You should apply to the city council office for housing, health care and social issues.

When your application is granted you are at the top of the list for properties owned by housing associations through ‘Woningnet’ above other searchers. As there is a serious shortage of properties, the conditions in order to get an urgent procedure are strict, because when you are granted an urgent procedure and you obtain a house, other people have to wait even longer.

Would you like to know how to apply for an urgent procedure and would you like help? Contact us

For more information and help

Stopping as a sex worker might mean living on a lower income. How you can cope with this you can read here ‘How to live on a low budget’’ [link]. Would you like to know if you are eligible for an allowance or benefit? Read the information on ‘Benefit’{link 4.2]. In some cases the government grants you a housing benefit. Read the information on ‘Housing benefit’.

Do you wish to stop as a sex worker, but you do not know how to deal with the negative aspects? Do you want to discuss your decision first? Contact P&G292. We have knowledge and experience when it comes to coaching sex workers who want to stop and we can help you to do so, too. There may be aspects you have not thought of.

Any questions? Contact us.