This post has been stewing for just about three weeks now, and I realize that if I’m ever going to post it, it needs to be now. Out of respect to those involved, I will not list names or the official company name. From here on out, the company will be called “dayjob”.
On March 3rd, 2011, my time at dayjob came to an unexpected end. Reason given was stated as being a business decision, nothing personal, and a hard decision at that. No matter how my mind may try to reason for my departure, and what reasons bolstered the decision, I am believing that it was business only.
I was three days shy of my seven month anniversary, and after I was notified that morning, I was very nervous about my immediate future. I know that I did not want to revert back to my previous job state where I was working 40hrs/week in a completely unrelated field. I have had my foot in the field for seven months and I’d really like to stay there.
My time at dayjob helped me realize what truly interested me in the area of web creation, and, looking forward, I will be able to weed out companies that do not hire for my skills or interests. Front-end web development, WordPress, modern html/css techniques, the semantic web, API interaction, and creating tools for others to use are a lot of areas I want to explore with my time.
While I do have a degree in Graphic Design, it is not an area I want to attempt mastering, and will fall back to mostly hobby. I will never be able to shake my love for good vector art <3. These realizations are a huge step forward regarding job search as I can focus directly and not try applying for such a wide spectrum of specialities. That is how I approached job hunting my first 3.5 years in Sioux Falls.
First task I did once I returned home on March 3rd was locate my resume and get it updated. It definitely felt good removing experience listings dating back to 2007, when I was still in college. Given the direction and nature of web development, I felt that simply a pdf/doc resume was not enough in 2011. I am not excluding a printable resume, but an online version, I feel, helps to show what I can do as well, through the resume itself. That said, I refashioned my resume page. While visually, it’s notably less than what I originally envisioned in my head, I find the simplicity more appealing. I was also able to control the markup and provide semantic meaning for the various parts using hcard, hresume, and hcalendar microformats.
After revising my resume, I did what any web creator in 2011 does, I went to social networks. I informed people, that I trust, about what had happened, and kindly asked them to keep an eye out for any opportunities that they could refer me to. Freelancing as a primary source of income was also immediately considered, until I could find another job locally. Tweeting about my sudden availability was done, and thankfully some people contacted me pretty quickly regarding possible work. One hasn’t had any work yet that they’d be able hand off to me, but they know my rates and have me down as available. Hopefully there will be something soon. Miss Loren Depalma saw a tweet from Miss Grace Smith and Loren contacted me over Facebook about helping her with some functionality for an art gallery she was putting up at lorendepalma.me. I am proud to say that the site turned out very well and a working business relationship has formed between Loren and I. I look forward to working with her more in the future.
I know that I am thankful for everyone who has contacted me about work, both mentioned above and some not mentioned. I am eternally thankful to them for bringing me in and I hope I am producing a quality even higher than they hoped for or expected :). I was extremely touched by everyone’s generosity, especially with most of this happening the same day.
Dayjob did provide a severance check to me, and that, plus the regular paycheck I had just received, has covered most of the monthly expenses for March. Thanks to that coverage, most freelance income earned during the rest of March is going to be used to pay my mid-April bills. It’s a rare moment when I am able to work ahead like that. Frugal living is also a method I am trying my best at to keep expenses low, though coffee is still a hard item to avoid splurging on.
I am still worried and nervous about what lies ahead financially, and I fear that I won’t be able to find enough regular work to sustain monthly bills. However, I have finally increased my quoted hourly rate, which has been notoriously low at around $15/hr or below. I also honestly wouldn’t argue too much with the idea of a part-time only unrelated job to help cover most bills, and in my time away from that, focus on web development. That way, I still have most of my time for doing what I enjoy, as well as time for personal projects that I have going.
To wrap up this long update, I am forever thankful for what dayjob provided me, as it got me much needed on the job experience and got me away from being a security officer, which was not doing very well for personal morale. I really don’t know what my immediate future holds or where my feet will take me, but it is at least a little exciting to see where it will lead. I may actually find this to be a great opportunity to get away from always doing agency style work, and find opportunities for unique ventures.
My name is Michael Beckwith, and I make things for the internet. What can I help you with?