Telecommuting

Update on my job situation.

I haven’t talked about where I’m at with my job for a while, so here’s a quick little update.

This is going to get a little techy for a minute, so if you don’t have patience for that then move along.  I’m still working as a systems admin.  I’m focused primarily on VMware and maintaining our server infrastructure.  I don’t interact with my boss very frequently, so I’m actually really enjoying my job.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to say that at this organization.  I’m learning a lot because our previous VMware guy left suddenly a few months back.  I’m not certified in VMware at all, so I’m learning as I go.  It’s been a lot of fun.

The baby should be here in two months or so.  Right now, my wife and I are planning to have her take 3-4 months off with the baby.  I’m going to take 2 weeks off initially, and then go back to work.  Once her time is up, I’m going to take the rest of my time.  That should be about 10 weeks total.  My plan is to seriously look for telecommuting opportunities while I’m off for 10 weeks.  I’m hoping to find some either permanent status jobs or contracted work from home.  I want to get into web development still, but I haven’t had the time or motivation recently to really dive into it.  I’m hoping that staying at home will allow me to work less, spend more time with the baby, and develop my web skills simultaneously.  And, we won’t need a babysitter so there’s that as well.

Hospital Job Update

A pair of good interviews followed by some disappointing news, and a quick baby update.

I recently posted  about a job I applied for a few weeks ago.  The job is mostly supporting and possibly implementing hospital applications in their I.T. department.  I had a phone interview on Thursday last week and a follow up on site interview yesterday.

The phone interview went really well.  I always get nerves when I have to interview, but I felt like I answered pretty much every question well.  I usually have a question here or there that I fumble, but I didn’t really have that with the phone interview.  The on site interview was yesterday, and I did well on that one also.  I liked the I.T. director, she seemed like a cool person to work for.  The hiring manager for my position however came in late, didn’t introduce herself, and wouldn’t make eye contact with me.  I’m not sure how I felt about her.

One thing that came up in the interview is the overtime expectation.  There’s a lot more overtime expectation than my recruiter told me when I originally applied.  With my first baby on the way, I’m not very interested in working a job with overtime expectation.  Another thing, right now my current job gives me 6 weeks of paternity leave.  This new job said they could try and give me 2 weeks, but no guarantee.  I’m struggling with this a lot.  I want to be a family man, I want that to be my priority over my job. I want my job to be in service of my family life, not the other way around.  I haven’t made a decision yet, but I’m leaning towards not accepting this position.  I have another interview with the CIO for the hospital in a couple weeks, so I have time to think about it.  <Christianity warning> I have been praying about it and will continue to do so, I need to trust God more with these things.  I know everything will work out in the end and that He’ll take care of us </Christianity warning>.

I’ve been on the job hunt for months now, and I’m getting used to the excitement of a new prospect and the eventual disappointment of it not working out.  I’m not happy with my current boss, but I have a decent paying job with a lot of flexibility for my family.  I’m not satisfied with my current job, but I can afford to be choosy on what position I accept.  I have an interview in a few weeks with a community college in my area doing support, so we’ll see how that goes.

Quick Baby Update

Another baby appointment tomorrow, hopefully we get to see the ultrasound again.  We’re about to go public with the baby news on Facebook.  Christmas was great, we got to be around our nieces.  Playing with those babies made us so excited for our own.  My one niece is the exact age our baby will be next Christmas, so it was great to get to see how she did with Christmas this year.

 

Baby Excitement, and a Little Anxiety

Next week we go in for the first doctors appointment for our baby.  I’m so happy I’m going to be a dad, and I’m also a little anxious about the realities of pregnancy.

I’m super excited, we haven’t told our family yet and we agreed to start telling people after this appointment.  I took the day off from work and we’re going to tell everyone right after the appointment.  I get along fine with my wife’s family, but her parent’s have always been a little standoffish with me.  They had some very strong opinions about our decision to get married, and there are some old hurts there.  I’m excited to have some big news and get a positive reaction out of them.

Now that the reality of our situation has set in and I’ve had time to think on things, I feel a huge change in my perspective.  I have been so focused on work and job hunting over the last few months that I felt like all I wanted to was to get out of the job I’m currently working.  Now that there’s a baby on the way I’m seeing this job in a completely different light.  While I still want out, I appreciate the flexibility I have right now.  I had a job offer somewhere else, and I got the interview for that job literally an hour after I found out we’re pregnant.  Before I knew about the baby, I was so excited at the prospect of getting away from my boss that I was ready to jump ship immediately, no matter what the job looked like.  Thinking it over and talking with my wife, the baby changes things so much.   A nominal increase in pay doesn’t come compare to 4 weeks of vacation and no overtime.  My time has become a much more valuable currency than my pay.

The only thing I am a little apprehensive about is the gynecologist.  The OB/GYN my wife picked is a man.  I know that a lot of people think that’s a stupid feeling to have, or even a sexist feeling to have.  But I can’t deny it, it does give me a little anxiety.  My wife and I are high school sweethearts, so we’ve never been with anyone else.  I don’t like the idea of another man poking around down there, even in a clinical, sterile environment.  And I know the pregnancy and birth are going to be full of these weird situations, but when I’m honest with myself it does make me feel anxious.  Whether or not that makes me a sexist or insensitive, I don’t know.  My wife knows how I feel and we’re on the same page.  I told her I want her to have the best care possible, man or woman.  She knows how anxious it makes me feel, and she’s not happy about it either.  It’s a necessary evil and neither of us look forward to it.  Things will be totally fine no matter what, I’m just looking forward to eventually having the baby and putting the anxiety behind me.

Babies and Jobs

Huge news changes my perspective on my career.

So my wife told me last week that she’s pregnant.  We’ve been trying for three months to start a family, so I’m very happy to say the least.  I’ve always dreamed about this and I couldn’t be more excited that it’s finally happening.  She’s only five weeks as of this past Saturday, so we haven’t even seen a doctor yet, that happens in a few weeks.  I haven’t told anyone, none of my family or friends know yet.  It’s kind of exciting to have this secret between my wife and I, we both know there are huge changes yet but no one in our life know’s it yet.  I even bought plans to make a crib, and I’ve never even built anything before! It’s a very emotional and happy time for us.

However, this has definitely changed my perspective on the job hunt.  I’ve been pursuing a job with a local hospital to implement their electronic health record.  I was really excited about this opportunity and I have the right experience and skills to do really well.  However, it isn’t much of a raise, they can’t guarantee me paternity leave, and I’m leaving a job with 4 weeks vacation a year for a job with 1 week a year.  Seeing as I’m starting a family, I’m really going to want that time off.  And on top of that, during the actual go live implementation, I’m expected to work 60-70 hours a week for up to 2 months.  If the timing works out right, I’d be working 20-30 hours of overtime a week with a 4-5 month old baby at home.

I’m really torn.  My wife told me last Wednesday at 9 am that we’re pregnant, and I got a call at 10 am to come in for an interview that same day.  My perspective changed so quickly after talking to my wife.  I was so gung ho for this job, but now that I know there’s a real live baby inside my wife, I see things very differently.  I’m pretty certain that this is a God thing, the timing on the baby news and the call for the interview seem too coincidental to me.  I’ve been trying to be more prayerful and listen to God recently, and I think this is a pretty clear message.  I find out life changing news that immediately makes me see this new job differently, RIGHT before they call me in for an interview. I don’t see how the timing could be anything but a sign from God.

jobhunting

It’s a very strange place to be, because I am basically walking into this job with ease.  I’m the perfect candidate for what they need, and every step in the hiring process feels like a formality.  I haven’t decided what to do yet, but I’m probably not going to take the job.  It doesn’t really further my current goals, other than getting me out of my current job.  Outside of that one thing, everything else about it is a negative for me.

This is a very confusing time for me in my career.  I want to work as a web developer because I think that would make me most happy.  I can’t get a job doing that though, because I don’t have any education or experience.  I hate my current boss and want a change, but the benefits working for local government are very attractive for a brand new dad.  I am perfectly suited for this new job, but the benefits aren’t great and ultimately it doesn’t further my long term goals.  It actually further mires me down in the work I’m currently doing, which I don’t really enjoy and don’t want to do long term.

I think I’m going to stick it out here for a while.  The baby changes things for me.  Ideally, I could get hired on for some remote company doing some kind of entry level web design and learn the tools of the trade from their senior staff.  That way I could work from home for them for awhile, before ultimately starting my own web development business.  However, I don’t see that in the cards, at least not right now.  I think I’ll stay here in my current job, unless something becomes available at the hospital in the town I live in.  currently, I commute 45 minutes away from home.  If I could get hired on in my hometown, I’d see that as a worthy compromise for the time off I’d be losing.  I’d have more time at home to work on web development, so that’s the only thing I’m going to be looking at, at least until after the baby is born.

Whatever happens, at least I have my wife and my baby on the way.  I know this blog has been pretty heavy on the job hunt, but I’m honestly in a very lucky place.  I have a decent job with a lot of built in security, I have good benefits, I have a wife who loves me, I have a baby on the way, we live in the richest country in the world in a time of great financial and technological prosperity (despite Trump’s election), I honestly don’t have much to complain about.  Maybe it’s from reading The Rational Optimist recently, but my outlook on life is pretty good right now.

Now I just need to get started on that crib!

Rough Month

It’s been a difficult month.  I get a lot out of writing, and I haven’t been able to do that for a few weeks.  My buddy at work left and I’m literally running this ship on my own.  I’ve barely had any down time, so I’m trying to find a good balance to allow myself time to post on this blog.

There was a huge UFC event on Saturday and I finished a book the other day, so I’m going to try and find time this week to post about those. I definitely need to find the balance, life is really stressful right now and I need a good release.