Money To Live

August 16, 2010

Challenge for the coming year

Filed under: Uncategorized — by moneytolive @ 5:00 am

Currently I have a few part-time jobs that each last from a few weeks to a few months at a time. I am working in two very different industries, and I like the variety. The work is interesting, I like the people I work with, and my schedule is fairly flexible.

While I really enjoy my current work, it will not get me where I want to go. This was a big realization for me — yes, I’ve got gigs lined up and I am making enough money to live — but it’s not what I want to do forever. While there is some promotion potential in my current work, I am not interested in most of these jobs. Two of my part-time employers have already offered me permanent contracts, and in each case I turned the offer down because I wasn’t interested in the specific positions.

I can imagine full-time jobs that I would like to have, and my current work does not lead to those. Which leaves me with a decision: do I go get a full-time job that is on a promotion-path I am interested in? Or do I get creative and manage my own career to make sure I develop skills so I am ready for an interesting position when the right opportunity arises?

Based on my past experiences, I am skeptical about working full time. My past jobs have not panned out: research lab temporarily closed, hedge fund lost $6 billion dollars, consulting firm lost major clients. Even if I took a job with great promotion potential, I do not trust that the company (or my division/group) would still exist when I was at the right stage for promotion.

For now, today (at least), I am leaning towards a different path: seeking out projects that will help me develop new skills. I made a list of skills to develop, and I will either create my own projects or find short-term contract work to practice these skills.

Last year, my personal challenge was to see if I could be financially successful without a full-time job. For the coming year, the challenge is to see if I can also develop new skills without the structure provided by an employer. I am sure I can do it — the biggest challenge will be staying focused.

These are some of the general skills I am thinking of working on:

  1. Writing software – I am working on a personal finance program right now! I’ll announce it here when it is released.
  2. Project management
  3. People management – There is a volunteer program I would love to be a part of, and hopefully I can manage a group of volunteers. Part of what I love about working flexible gigs is that it leaves time for non-paying work that I care about.
  4. Statistical analysis
  5. Writing – That is part of why I am posting here regularly, and also I have a totally different writing project in its early stages.

1 Comment »

  1. You are so cool. This inspires me.

    Comment by Katherine — September 29, 2010 @ 4:12 pm |Reply

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