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I got a raise!!!

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Can I get a “woohooo!!!!”

But before we get too excited, let’s have a little #truth.

I don’ know if you can really consider it a “raise” because what happened is I took on additional work. So, yeah, my income is going to raise (and not by just chump change…a pretty decent upward improvement), but it is in exchange for additional work.

It was a bit unexpected, but I’m very grateful for it. Even though I’m not an “employee” (I work on a contract-basis), I still somehow feel like a very valuable “team member” at this particular university, we’ll call it University A (remember – I work for multiple universities, but I don’t feel comfortable divulging where). I feel well compensated for my work and have established a great working relationship with the faculty, administrative staff, and other contract-employees as well (all done through distance & technology – pretty amazing!)

So I’ve given it a great deal of thought and, although this may disappoint some, I think this new development has rendered this conversation moot. I hope you will not be angry with me! I had been thinking about reducing daycare to save money for a LONG time….it was not something I was just spouting off randomly and have taken back just as suddenly. Instead, I’ve made the calculated decision to leave our situation as-is for now (care 3 days a week instead of reducing to 2). The additional work I have picked up more than makes up for the $200 in savings per month, many times over. And with additional work, I really believe I’ll need the extra day of childcare per week. Also, as an aside, last week the girls were only in daycare 2 days instead of 3 (the provider had a pre-planned trip that left us out-of-care for a day). OF COURSE, this is when the WORST ALLERGIES OF MY LIFE hit! I felt like I was dying from the sinus pressure, migraine, non-stop sneezing, etc. I looked like I had pink eye because my eyes were so puffy, swollen, red, and watery (I took a picture, but I’ll spare you the gory image). Let’s just say….very little work got done. And now I’m way behind (and I don’t get paid until my work is done, so that’s a problem!) And it just made me recognize how valuable our current childcare situation is. $50 WELL SPENT, if you ask me!

That was a long side-note – let’s get back to the employment situation…

Of course with contract situations there is no guarantee of ongoing work. But, so far, I have been made to feel very safe and secure in our current situation at University A. I will say that this situation is with online teaching, so I get a new contract every semester. I don’t see the current situation changing anytime soon.

With my other “employer” (said in quotations because, again, I’m not technically an employee since its a contract-based job…we’ll call this University B), there is not as much job security. This job is mostly research-based, so whenever the current project is completed I could be out of a job. At this point I’ve been working with University B for 6 months and have worked through completion of 4 separate projects (being asked back after the completion of each previous project). But this “raise” makes me feel much more comfortable because previously I earned my pay approximately 50% from each (research job and teaching job, respectively). This additional work (and associated pay) tips the scale to where I am now earning my full “old” salary solely at the teaching job. Any money from the research job is just gravy. So, as long as the research job continues, I’m coming out ahead. If the research job were to cease today, I’d still be making the same salary I’ve been accustomed to.

Doing contract-based work certainly requires some flexibility. You never know what the future holds and there’s no guarantees about anything.

But, with that said, a little birdie told me I could potentially be expecting another “raise” come the Fall semester at University A. *fingers crossed*  We’ll see!!!


Striking Out on Your Own

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Several years ago, I wrote an article on my personal blog about Striking Out on Your Own. I was forced to start my own business because of my priority in staying home with my children.  I have absolutely no regrets about that decision. BUT…

My natural tendency is not be the #1 when it comes to business, I am much more comfortable as a #2.  I tried explaining this to my twins as they start feeling out what they may want to do with their lives.  It came out a little bit like this…typically, the head of a company is the visionary, has great ideas, is great with networking and people and can influence people.  That’s not how I see myself.  I see myself at the support staff…you give me the idea and I can make it happen.  I am smart, determined and know how to find good resources. I am really not good at social situations and my visionary abilities stop at planning a great vacation.

So with that being said, as I am Exploring Making more Money, I have been looking for ways to streamline what I do so that I can do more.  My business is just me, no subcontractors, no staff, just me.  I do all the work: the marketing, the management, the sales, the customer service, the administration and the actual technical work.  I have been focusing on tracking my work and free time to see if there is anywhere that would be the most economical items to contract out to free me up some.

I know I then have to weigh the benefits and cost of subcontracting versus doing it myself, but this is where my mind is heading right now.  So my question is for you entrepreneurs out there, what tasks have you found to be most effective and efficient to contract out versus doing it yourself?