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Posts tagged with: trip to virginia

New Job – 6 Months In

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I have now been at my corporate job for almost 7 months. And while I still miss some aspects of being a contractor, I have settled in and truly love what I’m doing and the team I work with. (You can see my last update from February here.)

What do you do?

I am the operations production manager for the marketing department and manage a small but mighty team of 8 plus a number of contractors. It’s really a combination of strategic planning and project management on steroids. We run the sales and marketing programs the corporation as a whole as well as the 26+ service groups and 9 industry groups.

It keeps me so busy. No days are the same. And the team I work with is amazingly talented and truly the best group I’ve ever worked with! I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity.

What do you miss?

I owned my own business and worked as a contractor for 14 1/2 years prior to taking this opportunity. In fact, I found this opportunity as a contractor. There are a couple of things I miss from that time, but certainly not deal breakers:

  • Being able to say “No”. I can no longer turn down work. I just try to revise the process and delegate, but I can’t just walk away from projects or people.
  • Sleeping in. I loved setting my own work schedule and working around whatever I wanted. And I still do have some freedom, but not nearly as much.
  • Quiet. There are so many meetings. I can get stuck in 8-9 meetings in a day. How does anyone actually get work done? I’ve started working smarter by blocking time on my calendar and have encourage all my team members to do that same. (And I’m sorry to say, but most meetings are 100% wastes of time, could have easily handled via email.)

What do you love and the finances?

It is truly awesome to do something you love for work. It doesn’t feel like work, it’s fun. I was blessed with this as a contractor and even more so as an employee. Namely because I no longer have to market myself, an aspect of small business owner that I abhorred!

But there are alot of things I love about this new arrangement:

  • Working with a consistent team. As a contractor I was always having to learn new teams, their skills and weaknesses and rarely got to really know anyone. (Honestly, that didn’t bother me, as I am a true introvert and keep to myself.) But being part of a team, even though it’s remote, has been pretty awesome. Nice to have team members that you can rely on and have as much riding on project success as you do.
  • Regular paychecks. After 14 1/2 years of sporadic and varied pay, I cannot lie, reliable and consistent pay is AWESOME. It makes planning so much easier and I am definitely a planner.
  • Being valued. The culture at my new company is very supportive and rewarding. In addition to “thanks” and recognition through an internal program, they often pay for meals, send “care” packages and more.

Income

While I still maintain a handful of my old clients, my corporate job makes up the bulk of my income. I make a very good salary (low 6 figures) and anticipate yearly bonuses. (That is still a question as during my interview process I was told they could be quarterly or every six months, but no word on that yet. I did ask during my review this past month.)

I appreciate the request for this update. Please let me know if there are other questions I can answer.

 

Overstaying Our Welcome

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My sister lives in the country in Kansas on 60+ acres. She doesn’t see family often and is always inviting us to visit. She tells us every year we need to stay at her family cabin in the Great Lakes and we loved going there this year with her. A week before we left the cabin, she invited us to drive down to Kansas with her to stay in her home. She’s been trying to convince us to alter our Texas plans and consider a move to Kansas instead. Summer campsites are hard to come by and we warned her that if we came down, we could only alter part of our trip and would have to stay at her place for nearly 3 weeks. She agreed. She really wanted us to spend time exploring the area around her house so we could make an informed decision.

A week in, I realized this was a bad call. As the quote goes, ‘Houseguests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.’ My sister, a saint, never said a word but six extra people (four of them under 10) in a house for three weeks would wear on the most patient of people. Arguably, my sister has a large house and a large barn. There is plenty of space and the kids have spent a lot of time outside exploring her property but I felt terrible for settling on her space for so long.

Staying long periods of time matches my family culture. The same sister I’m staying with in Kansas will stay weeks, sometimes more than a month, with my parents when she visits San Diego with her family. My other sister lived with this sister for several years before finally moving into a place of her own. But this is the first time I’ve been the one staying in some else’s space for longer than a weekend other than the cabin this summer and it just feels weird.

I offered to stay at a local campground, which insulted my sister. ‘Why would you PAY to stay somewhere?!?’ she asked, confused. But as I watch my kids occasionally run around and scream like banshees through her very clean, very orderly house, I cringe.

What takes a tiny bit of the cringe out is my husband is doing work on her house. Installing shower bars, shutters, and replacing shower valves. We split the grocery bills and the cleaning so it’s not like we are lazing around.

Here’s the question, do I stay at her house? Or do I go to a local campground? And if I stay, do I leave a parting gift? She’d never take cash but maybe a Home Depot card?

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