Shining the light of God's word into our confused world.

I have a job interview! Plus, long ramblings about why this is a really good thing.

I haven’t done quite as well as I hoped at sticking to my 30-minutes-a-day editing routine. It’s more like 20 to 30 minutes every couple of days or so. But at least I’ve got some forward momentum again, however sluggish the pace.

Part of the problem here is that, when I turned down that full-time data entry job in favor of the contract web developer job, what I failed to take into consideration is that with a contract freelance job, you don’t get paid just for showing up to work like you do with an office job. You instead only get paid for the actual billable work that you do, and when you’re as prone to distraction as I am, and working at home where your husband is also home all day and he and the pets and the house all need attention throughout the day, it’s really, really difficult (I just typed “fiddicult” and had to redo it) to rack up eight solid hours of billable work each day. The best I’ve been able to do so far is five or six (and really, averaging more like four or five), which leaves me having to work weekends to make up my hours. Also, when projects get stuck waiting for client feedback or for the programmer to do whatever he needs to do before I can continue, I don’t get paid for that, either. So the contract job is keeping me full-time busy but only amounting to part-time pay, which just isn’t cutting it in the “paying the bills and stopping the hemorrhage of money and getting us back on top of our finances” department. And projects from my other freelance clients have all dried up. Basically, it’s a stressful situation all the way around, and not having time to edit is really the least of my worries right now. Le sigh.

But! There is a flicker of light at the end of this long, long tunnel. The contract job was only ever supposed to be a stop-gap to buy me time to keep looking for something better than that data entry job. Trouble is, I haven’t really had time to look for anything else, either in the way of full-time employment or new client leads. But on Friday I found myself with a free hour in the afternoon and decided to spend it trolling job listings on Craigslist. My first stop on the local boards turned up a local listing for a full-time developer job at a downtown web and media agency, so I followed the link to their web site to fill out an application and upload my resume.

You guys! Not five minutes after clicking “submit,” my phone rang, and it was the agency boss! He said he never even looks at the applications first-hand (his assistant usually compiles the most promising leads for him), but my application popped up in his e-mail and he decided on a whim to look at it, and was overjoyed to see that I was local and actually seemed to have good qualifications (apparently he’s been flooded with foreign applicants, even though the listing specifies that you have to work in their office). So we did an informal preliminary interview and now I’m scheduled for a more formal interview with the head developer on Tuesday! Eeee!

I gotta admit, when I was called in to interview for that data entry job back in June, a part of me curled up and died at the prospect of having to return to a clerical/administrative support role when I thought I had finally escaped that career path. Getting the offer for the contract job seemed like a life rope. But I’m nothing but excited (and a little nervous) about this one. I love web coding almost as much as I love writing, and the prospect of getting paid a full-time salary to do it is nothing short of awesome. And the boss was funny and charming and seemed really cool over the phone, and judging by photos on the company web site, it looks like a fun and relatively laid back place to work.

The only thing that worries me is that I’m not super-proficient with Javascript and PHP. I can program in those languages if I have to, but not without referring to tutorials, and I usually rely on pre-made script plugins. Also, they do a lot of mobile sites, which is not something I’ve had an opportunity to practice yet. He pointed me to a couple of frameworks they use for those, so once I post this I’m going to practice and hopefully whip up a basic mobile demo site to add to my portfolio before the interview. I’m hoping that this will show that I take initiative and am a fast learner.

I guess I shouldn’t get my hopes up too much before the interview–I don’t even know any details about the job yet, like how much it will pay and if it comes with any benefits and if I click as well with them in person as I seemed to click with the boss on the phone. Also, he asked if I’d be interested in part time if he can’t offer me a full-time position, which is worrisome, because I really need to find a good-paying full-time job AND QUICK if we’re going to avoid a total Bauhaushold financial collapse. So I am hoping and praying that this will be a good fit and they’ll be sufficiently impressed with me and that the money will be good enough to turn our situation around.

Also, I’m just so tired, you guys. I’m really ready to throw in the towel on my freelance business and get an 8 to 5 job so I can actually have some free time to rest and focus on my writing. That won’t happen immediately (if it happens at all)–I’ll phase it out slowly, and probably continue doing the contract work part time to get extra money to throw at the credit cards, if the contract I sign for the new job allows it. Eventually I’d like to start developing and selling premium WordPress themes as a source of side income (and added security for if I ever get laid off again), but I’m never going to accomplish my 5 Year Novelist Plan if I keep letting this freelance business eat my life and keep me from ever having the time or brain-power to write. It’s time to re-examine my priorities and goals and adjust the sails accordingly. Work-life balance, ahoy!

So anyway: job interview! Wish me luck!


  1. Thenardier

    I haven’t travelled the same road, but I recently took a job downtown in an area of programming that I’m a little rusty on. It’s not an area that I considered myself proficient at at all, and I was very up-front about that in my interviews. I’m adjusting to the different kind of workload and coding, and it IS possible. Believe in yourself, don’t let yourself get discouraged, keep a positive attitude, and ask for regular feedback, and you’ll do great.

    • Jean

      Thanks for the encouragement, John! I’ve worked for your company — that was my first secretarial job, and they gave me a chance when I didn’t have a lot of experience, too. That’s a good company.

      Relatedly, one aspect I’m NOT looking forward to is having to deal with downtown parking again. Bleah. 🙂

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