Friday, March 3, 2017

Working. My Way.

So sometimes it feels like the universe is conspiring to get you to do a particular thing.  And if you're me, your first response is "nah."  You want me to do it, so not going to.  Even if it might be in my best interests.

Thankfully with maturity comes a speeding up of that process, where I go from "nah" to "maybe" to "well, this might actually be a good idea" in a much shorter time.

I was temping last week at one of the offices that I frequent, and one of the secretaries gave 3 weeks' notice.  Everyone immediately started joking that I would be back in 3 weeks to cover for her, and I went cold.  It's not that it isn't a nice enough firm; I've been in and out of there for 4 summers now, the people are fine and I can do the work, but (a) this girl's attorneys aren't among my favorites, (b) I really don't want to spend another solid summer there, working potentially 4-5 days a week because they're busy, and (c) they're just getting too used to me being their beck-and-call girl.

Cue the sound of rescue.  My phone buzzed and it was a text from my friend Dianne, at whose firm I have also temped (and we even worked there together back in the late 80s).  I've been back there several times on longterm assignments when her secretary was out on disability.  (Her secretary left over a year ago, but the firm rearranged staff and they weren't looking to hire then).  Well, her new secretary gave notice and did I want to work 3 days a week?

I texted back: "For how long?"

"Up to you," she responded.

I went in yesterday to spend a day with her current assistant just going over what things were new since my last visit (not many, other than an upgrade to the computer system).  They let me spend a day at the desk just poking around the system, learning the upgrades and setting up the computer the way it suited me.  I set up my voicemail and email messages, chose my desk location (the area with the most natural light) and got myself ready for next week, when I'll start doing M-W-F.

For how long?

Well, that's the issue.  Part of me really, really doesn't want to commit to even permanent part-time work, because, well, it feels like I'm giving in.  Going back to the grind.

But . . .

These people aren't a grind.  The work isn't that hard, and it's the kind of work I can do while planning out my sewing to do list as I type.  They buy my stuff.  They're flexible -- I can work whatever 3 days suits me, so if I have a weekend show, I can work Thursday instead of Friday.  I have sewing camps booked at my house this summer, and they're okay working around that.  The money is the best of all my temp jobs.

And there is that, the money.  The Etsy shops do okay (especially this past October-December with the crazy publicity from Babble and Scary Mommy).  Craft shows are even better.  But they're seasonal, they're uneven and often dependent on weather.  It would be nice to have a steady income which would be supplemented by the handmade business, so I could go back to putting money toward retirement.  I still have a good bit of savings, but I would like to feel a little more prepared.  I would also like to be able to consider vacations without having to do mental math that involved Peter, Paul and taking from both of them.

I decided I would give it a few weeks and think about it.  And then at lunch, I ran into one of the attorneys who works at my third temp job, the place that hires me every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and actually pays me to decorate their tree.  Apparently they're closing down shop at the end of the year and won't be needing my services.

So, job 1 - demand for more hours with less pleasant people; job 2 - disappearing.  Job 3 - pleasant people, good money, hours of my choice.

Not sure what there is left to decide, but I'm still thinking.


SewRuthie said...

Well you know it is your choice, but vacations and savings and retirement money are all good things. Having said that I work full time (5 sometimes hard/long days) and do bits of sewing which I sell for charity (to avoid having to do taxes and because the day job pays enough). The sewing I choose to do as suits me as long as I have a stall full of something when we get to the one main charity event I do in May. So I'm on a different path which works for me.

Vicki said...

I think working part time is the best (not that I do, but have in the past) as you hardly seem to be at the office at all! And it is social. And you have plenty of time to do your other craft work. And you can always leave at any time........

sewingkm said...

The last couple years of my corporate life (I'm now retired) I worked 3 days a week and loved it. Having 2 days a week to do whatever I desired was perfect. But most important I liked the people so I think you should seriously consider this aspect as it can make a huge difference. Karen

Heather said...

I work three days a week with great people and flexibility - it is fantastic. That is my bills money everything else I do is the icing on the cake (I pay off lumps of my mortgage and go on holidays with that money). I have been doing this for two years, I wish
the opportunity had been there ten years ago!

Valerie said...

I think having a steady paycheck, with flexible hours and great people to work with will actually free you up for more creative output! I wish you the best!

Pattyskypants said...

What you're talking about is employment, not "working" . . . you work pretty hard on your sewing, etsy and other entrepreneurial gigs. It's always good to have current references if you want to work part-time occasionally; and it's even better if YOU like THEM because you grow more, learn more. I work part-time; don't need the money but do need the social contact, which seems to stimulate my creativity. Good luck!!