Thursday, October 25, 2012

Free Time

It seems like my free time has been coming in snippets lately. About two weeks ago I had an idea. An epiphany, really. That I should really be using the down time I have while I am unemployed to DO stuff.


Start writing and addressing Christmas cards.

Unpacking the remaining boxes in the garage.

Get back in the habit of blogging regularly. (Or exercising regularly for that matter.)

Actually organize the closet from when we moved in an just put stuff where ever.

Rearrange where I keep things in the kitchen now that we've been here for a year and I have a better idea of how I work in there.

Start compiling our one-year punch list for the builders so it's ready when they ask. (Too late, they've already asked.)

Finish organizing the filing cabinet and shredding old documents.

Maybe actually make one of the cute crafty things I see on Pinterest.

And the list goes on.

But of course, now that I have had this epiphany (and even bought the supplies I need for one of the crafts—notice how crafts seemed to bump the more important stuff aside for priority?), I have become incredibly busy with freelancing and other stuff. Isn't that just the way?

Which is a good thing. It is an excellent thing and I am not complaining. I have actually logged 30 hours in each of the past two weeks and out earned unemployment check, and probably will again this week. I am very thankful for that.

And the social committee decided we needed to get together on 4 different days to decorate for the Halloween party this Saturday. Really? Four days? I went for 3 hours last week and another 3 hours on Tuesday, but we were having friends over for dinner on Wednesday and I needed to be home to tend to the roast pork (so yummy!), and they want to decorate some more on Friday.

I am meeting with the Director at UNC Press Friday morning. We both worked for the same employer before, though he was in NY and I was in CA and we never met. I asked a mutual acquaintance to arrange an introduction and we're going to meet for an informational interview. I would like to learn more about UNC Press and how a university press differs from mainstream publishing, and maybe get some input on particular skills I should hone in order to pick up freelance work from them, or Oxford or Duke who also have university presses in the area.

And I've been consulting with a friend who recently launched her own business, helping her organize content on her website so it's easier to find, finding ways to streamline her workflow so she can spend more time creating instead of promoting, showing her ways to get more mileage from her social media efforts, and thinking up ideas for promotions and product packages she could offer. (Which reminds me, I still need to type up the summary from our last meeting.)

So I got all that in motion when I received a call on Monday from a recruiter for one of the big tech companies. They're looking for an editor for their technology and business web and blog properties, and it's local with some telecommute flexibility. So I set aside my freelance work and put together a resume and cover letter for the position.

Then on Tuesday I got a call from another recruiter, this one for an ebook conversion house in New Jersey doing almost exactly what I am doing now as a freelancer. They need a somewhat techie person with a background in publishing who understands book layouts and publishing standards, ideally with ebook or other digital publishing experience. This is so me! So again, I set aside my freelance work and put together a resume, cover letter, and portfolio for the position.

It is a straight telecommute position, though there is quite a bit of travel involved—New Jersey (of course) for training, orientation, and meetings as needed, but also 3 weeks in India, probably another week in the Philippines, 2 or more weeks in California to work on a "disaster" project, and traveling with sales/client reps when they meet with new clients to spec out their ebook conversion needs.

I would be happy with either position. The first one is a long-term open-ended contract and pays slightly more than what I make as a freelancer . The work would be predictable and it's local. The second one is a full-time position and would be close to a 40–50% raise. Yeah, you read that correctly. But I'll also need to be available outside normal work hours since I would be working with teams in India and the Philippines, as well as clients all over North America.

I never really thought I would be one of those on-the-go career women, but I have to say, the second one, while more demanding, sounds way more exciting. I know of this company and the work they do—the publisher I'm freelancing for is a client and I already interact with one of their off-shore teams. (The recruiter was stunned when I guessed who he was calling on behalf of during the interview—he didn't think I would know of the company and certainly didn't expect that I would already have a relationship with them.) The technology and solutions this company provides are in the direction publishing needs to move toward as it evolves to absorb ebooks and self-publishing.

I really am not a fan of outsourcing jobs, but that doesn't change the fact that India and the Philippines are where the coding is being done, not just at this company, but at all 5 of the companies like this that I've worked with. Okay, so these places aren't exactly on my list of places to travel to before I die but I bet I would still enjoy the adventure and have a wonderful time, you know, in addition to working.

I'm trying not to count my chickens, but I am pretty stoked about the possibility.

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