Monday, March 06, 2006

into the unknown

I was trapped. I put in 40ish hours a week at a job that didn't pay very well and didn't really have much of a future. And as soon as I finished the day at work, I picked up my kids and took care of them until it was time to go back to work again. My ex faced the same schedule. Both of us were completely exhausted all the time, and occasionally sniping at one another for not doing one another's "fair share," when we were both doing far, far too much and just killing ourselves in the process.

No more. I just gave two weeks' notice.

The final impetus? For the past month or so, I've been doing some freelance editing work on weekends that pays about four times as much per hour as the web development job I've held for the past three and a half years. Today, I had to pass up on doing more of this so that I could be in the office. Why?

The editing work allows me to work from home. It allows me to pretty much set my own hours (any time of day is fine, as long as deadlines are met). It allows my ex to move from the graveyard shift back to a more normal schedule, since I can watch the kids during the day and work at night. And once I'm settled into a set routine, it will likely allow us to be able to pay for daycare so that we can both work during the day. And we'll be able to trade off nights with the kids so that each of us occasionally gets some time to ourselves.

Also, in cases where there isn't the prime work available, I have a backup that pays a hair more than what I currently make. That, too, is contract work, so it's not a dead certainty, but it allows for more than one possibility for work at any given time. My hope is that the client base will build to the point that knowing where my next job is coming from will never be in doubt. And I think I have a good start.

The down side? Uncertainty. With contract work, there's no guarantee that there will be work at any given time. There's no health insurance. It's scary as hell, frankly. But it allows me to move more deeply into the field that has become my passion over the past few years, and to make significantly more money while doing so. Happier me, happier ex, happier kids.

Wish me luck!


At 7:33 PM, Blogger Kelly said...

GOOD LUCK!! Even though you're uncertain, it sounds like you've done the right thing for your mind, your body and your kids. I think it's tremendously courageous of you to take such a step!!

At 12:13 AM, Blogger P. H. M. said...


At least you were ready.

I got fired.

It is the season of change!

At 5:00 AM, Blogger Myfanwy Collins said...

This is great news, Dave, and I wish you the best of luck. I have a feeling this is going to work out great for you.

At 9:50 AM, Blogger katrina said...

Good for you, Dave.

At 7:45 AM, Blogger Sharon Hurlbut said...

Best of luck, Dave! What lucky kids you have, to have a father so willing to make a change and take a risk in order to improve everyone's lives.

At 11:43 PM, Blogger Mike Young said...

Best of luck, man. I wish you reams and brilliant reams of unedited paper. Not because I want you to work too had. But because I want you to watch the cash signs ting.



At 5:34 PM, Blogger Dave Clapper said...

Thanks so much, everyone!


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